Men’s soccer win 3-2 in overtime at home

Christopher Bullock

If there’s anything the Sacramento State men’s soccer team knows, it’s drama.

After two devastating losses to Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside to start the Big West Conference part of their season, the Hornets pulled out an important win at home on Thursday, beating UC Irvine 3-2 in overtime.

Isaac Flores, Jessie Gonzalez and John Quintanilla all scored their second goals of the season for the Hornets, and as the team managed to score three goals in a game for the first time this season.

Sac State defender Andrew Gosselin, who had the game-winning assist, was relieved about the victory after the game.

“I’m incredibly happy and satisfied that we got a win,” Gosselin said. “We really needed it.”

Heading into Thursday’s match, the Hornets were 3-6-1 on the season, and 0-2 in the Big West.

The game started off fast, with both teams scattering across the field in a sun-drenched frenzy. In the seventh minute, the Anteaters scored first. Fullerton midfielder Ivan Canales floated a short pass to forward Jaime Phillips, who finished with a close goal to the far post. The goal was Phillips’ third on the season.

The Hornets, looking to start off fast, answered back one minute later. Sac State midfielder Ivan Ramirez kicked the the ball toward Flores, who crossed into the box and finished in the low far post.

The Hornets had two yellow cards in the first half, but managed to keep their emotions in check. Hornets fans were questioning some of the calls being made, thinking that the Anteaters were being favored.

Hornets’ head coach Michael Linenberger happened to disagree, blaming the yellow cards on a very intense match.

“Obviously, when it’s an intense game, you’re always going to disagree with some of the calls being made,” Linenberger said. “Do I disagree with some of the calls? Yes. Does Irvine? For sure.”

Going into the second half, the Hornets and Anteaters were tied 1-1. The Anteaters, however, had different plans. In the 67th minute, midfielder Mats Bjurman took an assist from Phillips and turned it into his first goal of the season. The goal put the Anteaters ahead 2-1.

The Hornets and Anteaters would combine for three yellow cards within the next 13 minutes after the goal. In the 80th minute, with the ball at his feet again, Ramirez sent the ball toward Gonzalez. The Hornets freshman forward cut back to the top of the box, sending the ball toward the top right of the goalpost.

The goal was his second of the season, and tied the game at 2 for the Hornets. The game ended up going into overtime, which proved to be the catalyst the team needed.

In the 93rd minute of the game, Gosselin passed the ball to defender John Quintanilla. The junior hit a header into the open goal, giving the Hornets their fourth win on the season and their first conference win.

Assistant coach Matt McDougall praised the team’s resilience and effort, knowing this win was a huge confidence booster.

“The best thing about a win is that you get to raise your shoulders and stick out your neck a little bit,” McDougall said.

With the win, the Hornets are now 2-0-1 at home this season. The Hornets will have a chance to improve their home record on Saturday when they face off against Cal State Northridge at Hornet Field. The game kicks off at 4 p.m.