Sac State men’s soccer ties 2-2 in another overtime battle

Wednesday’s tie with CSU Northridge was the Hornet third overtime match in four games.


Chris Riscen

Jhared Willcot moves the ball upfield against CSU Northridge in a 2-2 tie for the Hornets at Matador Soccer Game Field on Oct. 6, 2021. Willcot had one shot on goal in Wednesday’s tie.

Dylan McNeill

The shot sailed far over the goal before the final three whistles blew as the game ended. 

Hornets sophomore forward Titus Washington laid on the pitch 109 minutes and 57 seconds into the match and found himself open inside the Matadors box. Washington’s shot sailed well over the CSU Northridge’s goalkeeper David Preys. 

The shot was Washington’s sixth of the night. However, it and the three on goal before that could not get by Preys. 

Washington’s performance was symbolic of the season as they move to 3-6-3 on the year but 1-0-2 in Big West play after Wednesday’s 2-2 tie. 

“Disappointing result, I felt we were the better team today,” said head coach Michael Linenberger. “I felt we created enough chances that we should have won the game, especially in overtime. I thought we created four fantastic chances to score.”

Sac State still managed to pick up a point Wednesday night against Northridge by tying with the now 1-10-1 Matadors. (0-2-1 Big West)

It was a fast paced first half, despite both teams being held scoreless. The Hornets got some good looks on goal, including a breakaway opportunity for Washington which was deflected by Preys. 

The Hornets had another chance two minutes later when sophomore defender Genaro Alfaro missed his shot attempt high, giving the Matadors a goal kick. 

“A big part of the game is to put the goals away, but I got myself in some good positions” Washington said. “At the end of the day, I got to finish and put the ball away.”

In the second half, the scoring came early and often as in the 49th minute sophomore midfielder Zach Mason started the scoring after a Washington-deflected the shot. Mason connected to give Sac State the 1-0 lead.

Nine minutes later CSU Northridge evened the game when freshman forward Jamar Ricketts danced through the Hornets defense then got his shot past Hornets junior goalkeeper Ryan Curtis. 

Then just five minutes later in the 63rd minute, the Hornets once again broke the tie. 

Matadors goalkeeper was a little too reckless with the ball outside of the goal, and it was stolen by the Hornets’ sophomore forward Christo Cervantes who found an open Alfaro to score, putting Sac State up 2-1.

“I anticipated where the goalie was going to take his touch, and he got nervous and scuffed it,” Cervantes said. “I stole the ball and I saw Genaro on my left side. I just played him and he finished.”

The lead was quite short-lived as 31 seconds later the Matadors’ redshirt sophomore forward Jordan Isibor evened the game, giving the Hornets little time to celebrate.

“We get too comfortable defensively,” said freshman midfielder Axel Ramirez. “They’re obviously trying to go down our throats, and we just can’t contain them like we’re supposed to and they just score. At the end of the day they put it behind our keeper and got the equalizer twice so we need to do better because it happened against Irvine as well. It’s a pattern we need to do better.”

The Hornets defense focused in during overtime not even allowing a single shot attempt in either of the overtime periods, however, the offense couldn’t muster a third goal.

The final play of the game came too tall with Washington’s shot soaring over the net.

FINAL: Neither team can score in overtime as we end in a 2-2 draw between @SacStMSoccer and @CSUNMensSoccer, as the Hornets move to 1-0-2 in Big West play. @SH_Sports @TheStateHornet

— Dylan McNeill (@dylansmcneill) October 7, 2021

Wednesday night was the third Hornets overtime game in their last four games. All three of the matches have resulted in draws. 

“Our body language was almost like we lost tonight,”Linenberger said. “That’s good. That means our guys are hungry. They’re not satisfied with just getting a tie on the road.”

Junior midfielder Oscar Govea returned to action after missing the previous three games, the first with a suspension from picking up a red card against Saint Mary College last Sunday and the last two were from a calf injury.

Govea got one shot on goal in 49 minutes upon his return. 

While the Hornets did not get the victory they envisioned, they picked up a point on the road as they prepare to take on UC Riverside on the road Saturday night at 7 p.m.