Last minute sting gives Sac State men’s soccer 1-0 win over Fullerton

Gutierrez heads in winner over Titans goalkeeper to give the Hornets a win


Fernando Navarrete

(FILE) Sacramento State sophomore midfielder Ali Sasankhah recovers the ball from University of California, Riverside senior midfielder Issa Badawiya at Hornet Field on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2022. The Hornets came back to win the game 2-1 after the Highlanders took an early lead.

Hugo Quintanilla, Men's Soccer Beat Writer

Sacramento State men’s soccer traveled to Fullerton, California to face California State University, Fullerton, where the Hornets grabbed a last-second 1-0 victory over the Titans and into Big West playoff position.

“Three wins in a row after four losses in a row,” head coach Michael Linenberger said. “It’s been a lot of hard work from our guys – almost every game has almost been like an elimination game.”  

The Hornets kicked off the first half where there wasn’t much action. The Titans were very comfortable on the ball at home. They’re undefeated heading into the game.. 

It was a scoreless first half for the Hornets and Titans. 

The Titans had 10 shots but only two were on target. Hornets redshirt goalkeeper Edgar Guerra was able to make both saves to keep the game knotted at zero. 

The Hornets were playing a very defensive match with the Titans in control of the ball for most of the match.

The Titans had 20 shots; seven of them were on-target, but Hornets goalkeeper Guerra wasn’t letting anything in making seven saves in the second half alone. 

Late in the game, the Hornets were given a freekick after Sophomore defender Mason Lamb committed a foul against the Hornets. Junior defender Genaro Alfaro stepped up for the freekick.

Alfaro sent a through ball and found sophomore defender Bryan Gutierrez. The play gave the Hornets the win after he headed the ball over Fullerton’s goalkeeper with 14 seconds left on the clock.  

“I’m still in shock,” Gutierrez said. “Our coach told us: all it takes is one opportunity. Thankfully we got it.” 

Guerra, who was a key player in the Hornets win, ended the match with nine saves. Making this his second shutout in a row. 

“It wasn’t just me who made those saves,” Guerra said. “My front four put their bodies on the line and they did an amazing job helping me.”  

The Hornets win at Fullerton helped them move sixth place in the Big West standings. 

The Hornets now move to 9-6-2 overall and 4-4 in the conference. Next, they will host, University of California, Davis at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at Hornet Field.