Sac State men’s soccer begins Big West play with 1-1 tie versus Cal Poly

Hornets head to overtime for second straight game


Dylan McNeill

Hornets’ sophomore forward Titus Washington wrestles past a Cal Poly defender in pursuit of the ball Sept. 29, 2021 in a 1-1 tie at Hornet Field. The Hornets home record is now 0-3-1 on the season.

Dylan McNeill

The Hornets tied Cal Poly 1-1 in Wednesday night’s Big West opener at Hornet Field.

For the second match in a row, Sacramento State men’s soccer drove the game into overtime.

Sac State was short-handed for much of the game after freshman defender Christian Powell picked up his second yellow card in the 58th minute.

The penalty resulted in Powell being disqualified and forced the Hornets to play 10-on-11 for the duration of the match.

“Super proud of the guys,” said head coach Michael Linenberger. “I thought we played our best [with] a man down. Up until that point, I thought we were just average. We responded really well and I couldn’t be prouder of the guys.”

Similarly to the Hornets’ last game versus Western Michigan, Sac State once again found themselves playing from behind in Wednesday’s match.

In the 55th minute, the Mustangs’ senior forward Emmanuel Perez scored to give Cal Poly the 1-0 lead. 

The Hornets responded in the 68th minute when sophomore defender Genaro Alfaro evened the game by squeaking one by the Mustangs’ junior goalkeeper Carlos Arce-Hurtado. 

As it has been all season, getting scoring looks was once again a struggle for the Hornets who managed just two shots on goal, both of which were off the foot of Alfaro.

“It was a great feeling as always scoring a goal for the team especially with the situation, being down a player and still being able to come back,” Alfaro said. “I think today we needed to play out a little more and calm the game down especially after the first goal. I felt we just needed to regroup and know that we’re still in it.”

In the first Big West matchup of the year for Sac State, both teams brought the physicality and tallied 42 fouls total in the 110 minutes of action, with Sac State owning 22 of them. There were also nine yellow cards of which the Hornets collected six. 

“Sometimes we get too hyped up, too excited,” Linenberger said. “We have to be intense but calm, and I think that’s still something we’re working on.”

Sac State junior goalkeeper Ryan Curtis had another solid game in the box for the Hornets, saving four shots and allowing just the one goal in his second straight match playing all 110 minutes. 

Curtis and the Hornets got lucky in the first half when a Mustangs’ shot rattled off the goal post to keep the game scoreless.

“The job as the goalkeeper really is to help any and everybody out so they don’t have to do as much, try to direct the back four, see runners,” Curtis said. “It’s a lot on my voice, but at the end of the day I’m glad to take on that role.”

Sac State moves to 2-6-2 on the year and 0-0-1 in Big West play after Wednesday’s tie as Cal Poly moves to 2-4-2 and 0-0-1 in conference play. 

Sac State remains winless at home and its goals-per-game this year remains untouched at 1.00 goals per match. 

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get three points today, but considering the circumstances we came back from a goal down and with ten men,” Linenberger said. “We still found a way to get a point. We have to be happy with that.”

Sac State returns to the pitch on Saturday as they continue conference play against UC Irvine at 3 p.m. at Hornet Field.