The Sacramento State men’s soccer team won its first conference game October 26 after scoring in the first half and holding onto to the 1-0 lead against UC Davis in an intense second half.
The goal was made when senior midfielder Almog Strikowski lobbed the ball over to senior forward Issac Ikyurav 35 minutes into the first half. Ikyurav was able to get his foot on the ball and into the net after he and Davis defender had fallen, taking a shot while still on the ground.
Fans cheered on their teams and were kept on their toes throughout the entire game while they watched at Aggie Soccer Field. The game’s intensity was apparent not just in the stands, but also on the field. The Aggies showed a hard-fought effort to equalize the scoreboard in the second half, however, the Aggies could not put in any of its shots taken against the Hornets’ senior goalkeeper Cesar Castillo.
Castillo had four saves during the second half, 3 more than Davis’ goalkeeper, Omar Zeenni.
“It was probably the most intense 40 seconds of my life in a soccer game,” freshman defender Andrew Gosselin said about last seconds of that half. “Emotions were incredibly high; it was indescribable.”
Seven yellow cards were dealt to four of Sac State’s players and three to Davis’. The only red card was given to Davis’ starting goalie, Zeenni in the last seconds of the game.
The win came as the team’s first conference win and earned three points for the Hornets to stay alive for a berth in the Big West tournament. The Hornets’ conference record is 1-6 and is 3-9-3 overall.
“Hopefully [the win] gives us some confidence here,” Linenberger said. “This is a tough place to win, on the road against our rival, and in a tremendous environment and crowd so it should give us some confidence.”
Linenberger said he was happy with the Hornets’ effort and energy against a well-played Aggie team.
“They had a lot of great players, a lot of experience on this team,” Gosselin said. “They’re just solid all around so it was a tough game for us.”
The Hornets’ next conference game will be against Cal Poly November 2 at the Mustang’s Alex G. Spanos Stadium.