Sac State men’s soccer battles CSU Northridge, concedes 2-1 loss

Back-to-back losses for the Hornets in Big West play


Dylan McNeill

Sac State junior midfielder Cody Sunquist takes a freekick outside the box versus CSU Northridge at Hornet Field in Sacramento on Oct. 5, 2022. Suquist has scored two goals this season, one of them gave the Hornets a win in Bakersfield.

Hugo Quintanilla

Sac State fell at home 2-1 to California State University, Northridge. The game was tied until a  Hornet red card gave the Matadors a free kick, which they capitalized on. Down a man and not playing their crispest soccer, the Hornets could not overcome the late goal.

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The Hornets started the match slowly compared to a very energetic Matadors lineup. With a head start in initiative, the Matadors took a very early lead when Matador sophomore forward Marley Edwards scored a floater over Hornet sophomore goalkeeper Mac Learned in the fourth minute of the game 

The early goal gave the Matadors the lead, but the Hornets offense kept pushing — looking for the goal to even the game, — having five shots in the first half. 

The Hornets ended the first half down 1-0. 

The second half began and the Hornets offense was pushing forward, looking for the goal to even the match. A bottom left shot came from Hornet junior forward Michael Gonzales, but was blocked by the Matadors redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Cooper Wenzel. 

In the 76th minute of the match, junior forward Austin Wehner was able to score off a header, assisted by junior defender Genaro Alfaro.  

“It’s good to be able to bring your team back,” Wehner said. “Give them a little wind, a second life.” 

The match was very even and the Matadors found a shot outside the box. But the Hornets goalkeeper Learned made a save, keeping the game even. 


Sac State freshman defender Justin Faison controls the ball versus California State University, Northridge at Hornet Field in Sacramento on Oct. 5, 2022. The Hornets have now lost three of their last four matches.
(Dylan McNeill)


Both teams were playing tough and there was less than ten minutes in the game. That’s the point that sophomore midfielder Ali Sasankhah made a tackle, keeping the ball in play. 

Sasankah was tackled and hit in the arm, but received a red card. Before receiving the violation, he was able to get to the ball.

“It was a very poor decision from the referee,” head coach Michael Linenberger said. “One of the worst in 35 years of coaching college soccer – our guy [Sasankhah] got 100% of the ball — their guy hit our guy and he gave our guy a red card.” 

Sac State’s medic car had to come on the field as Sasankhah was knocked down and unable to walk off.  

Northridge then received a free kick where Matador redshirt junior forward Jack Rhead was able to put his head on the ball and score. 

This gave the Matadors a late goal to up 2-1 over the Hornets. 

“We have to keep moving forward,” junior defender Alejandro Padilla said. “Look forward to the next few games and hopefully pick up a winning streak.”

The Hornets move to 6-4-2 overall and 1-2-0 in conference. The Hornets will travel to Irvine this weekend where they will face University of California, Irvine in their fourth conference match. 

“My team was poor today,” Linenberger said. “We deserved what we got today.”