Sac State men’s soccer team draws with Western Michigan 1-1 in overtime

Hornets allow goal in fourth minute



Freshman defender Alejandro Padilla heads the ball against the Broncos on Sept. 24, 2021 at the WMU Soccer Complex. The Hornets have allowed one goal or fewer in four straight matches.

Dylan McNeill

After 110 minutes, Western Michigan University and Sacramento State could not break the deadlock, ending the game with a 1-1 tie on Friday afternoon.

As the final whistles blew, players dropped from fatigue after a hard fought overtime draw. 

The Hornets travelled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on the Western Michigan University Broncos, and the two proved to be an even match for one another.

The Broncos scratched their goal early on in the fourth minute as senior defender Philip Smith put Western Michigan on the scoreboard. The goal was Smith’s first of the season.

In the 29th minute, Sac State subbed in sophomore forward Michael Gonzalez. Just eight minutes later he evened the game as he sliced through the Broncos defense, picking up his third goal of the year.


“My voice is gone after the game from yelling but other than that I feel good, I’m excited to get conference play underway next week,” said Gonzalez, whose lone shot of the game was the only score for the Hornets.

Other than the two scores, the first half was sloppy with 14 fouls and six offsides between the two teams. 

Part of the sloppiness could be attributed to junior midfielder Oscar Govea’s absence from Friday’s match, as he was suspended for picking up a red card in Sunday’s loss to Saint Mary’s College.

RELATED: Sac State men’s soccer falls to Saint Mary’s College after controversial call

“Oscar is one of our captains,” said head coach Michael Linenberger. “He’s a team leader, he’s arguably our most talented soccer player, so it’s tough without him.”

The second half was a crisper game as both teams got their legs under them, highlighted by junior goalkeeper Ryan Curtis’ diving save on a shot by the Broncos’ senior midfielder Caden Jackman. It took full extension from Curtis to keep the score at one apiece.

“I don’t think they really had a ton of dangerous chances on us, the few they had were good, I think the saves I had were decent, nothing too terribly dangerous.” Curtis said. 

He totaled five saves the entire game.

In the 64th minute, freshman midfielder Axel Ramirez hit the post as he just narrowly missed what would have been his second goal of the year. Ramirez ended up with five shots, three on goal in 109 minutes of work.

It remained tied for the remainder of regulation as the two teams headed into a two-half, 20-minute overtime where one scoring goal would have decided the match..

In the overtime the main chance for the Hornets came when Western Michigan’s junior goalkeeper Isaac Walker got pulled out of the box right as the ball got to Ramirez. Ramirez shot a high-arching ball over Walker’s head, but Walker sprinted back and was able to punch the ball over the net avoiding the game-winning goal. 

“I thought we did well,” said senior defender Tyler Moss. “Most chances we’ve created in a game. We had four or five really good chances, unfortunately on a few, off the post, in overtime the keeper made a really good save.”

At this point the players were visibly fatigued, and there were multiple injury breaks over the overtime as players were struggling with cramps in the later parts of the match.


“I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but overall it was a good performance from us,” Linenberger said. “Tough situation, travelling three time zones across the country. It was a full day of travel.” 

The Hornets get their first draw of the season as they head into conference play with a 2-6-1 record, as the Broncos move to 2-3-3. 

Sac State returns to action on Wednesday in a home Big West matchup against Cal Poly at 4 p.m. at Hornet Field.