Sac State men’s soccer draw 1-1 to Pacific at home

Hornet Men’s soccer game was moved up to beat the heat


Hugo Quintanilla

Genaro Alfaro steps up to take a late freekick at the Hornet field on Sunday. With this freekick, Hornet junior defender Alfaro helped tie up the match 1-1 to Pacific.

Hugo Quintanilla

It was a hot Sunday morning in Sacramento with two teams going head-to-head for the seventh time in the past seven years. Sacramento State ties 1-1 to Pacific in a non-conference matchup on the home field.  

Coming from Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Saint Mary’s, the Sacramento State Hornets looked to keep their winning streak — going over Pacific, who is coming into this match 1-2 for  the season.  

 The Hornets started the match with low energy as Pacific took an early lead when senior midfielder Yazid Omri scored a very close-angled goal that was cleared off the line, but good for a goal.

This also allowed Pacific to gain momentum and maintain majority of possession at the start of the first half. 

The Hornets lost junior forward  Austin Wehner after he received a red card in the 38th minute following a hard foul on senior midfielder Samuel Villalta. This was a key moment as Pacific used this to keep possession of the ball.

Sac State went into halftime down 1-0 and down a player. 

“We didn’t back down, we went to the locker room, settled down and started problem solving,” said junior defender Jaime Robles. “We started getting more passionate and more spirit as we gladly hyped up the crowd.” 

Robles said that getting the red card woke the Hornets up, fueling them. They used this energy to push harder in the second half. 

The Hornets appeared to become a completely different team in the second half of this match. They kept Pacific on their toes. Sac State missed a couple of valuable shots on goal, but in the end they were able to get the freekick that allowed them to tie up the game. 

Junior defender Genaro Alfaro, stepped up to take the freekick and scored within the last 10 minutes of the match. He was able to kick it to the side of the player wall and it bounced into the net. 

“It was [a] better feeling knowing we deserved it, because we came on with ten men and we were the team that was on top of the whole half,” junior defender Genaro Alfaro said. “It meant a little more as it was more deserving instead of getting a lucky goal.”

This was the long-sought goal for the Hornets; the previous goal attempt was a shot off goal that came from Bryan Gutierrez.   

Alfaro said “We were very disciplined being a man down.” 

Alfraro explained that the Hornets anticipated not having the ball much, but knew that their chances would show up. And they did, as they received the freekick in which they tied up the game. 

The heat had a big impact on the way this match was called. There were water breaks during each half to allow the players to stay hydrated even after the match began earlier due to heat forecast. 

“When you look at the circumstances, we’re elated with the outcome of it.” Head coach Michael Linenberger said. “When you’re down a goal and down a man for over half the game — in this type of weather condition — and you can find a way to comeback and get a tie out of it, you’re pretty happy with the results.”

The heat kept rising throughout the match. The Hornets still showed spirit and kept pushing. As they were able to get the draw at home and split the points, the team kept fighting, even after being down 1-0 and losing a player.

“I am so proud of my team right now,” Linenberger said.

Sac State moves to 2-1-1 and, Linenberger said the team will prepare and rest up before they face Loyola Marymount on Thursday Sept 8 at home with kickoff set for 4:00 p.m..