SPOKANE, Wash. – The Sacramento State men's soccer team improved to 2-0 to start the 2019 season Sunday night, defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Spokane, 2-1. Senior Matt Carnefix scored the game-winner late in the second half while Oscar Govea scored his second goal of the season in the win.
With the win, Sacramento State improves to 2-0. Gonzaga falls to 0-2.
Carnefix's game-winning goal came in the 71' minute with the match even, 1-1. Charging down the field, it was Arath Chavez looking to cross to forward Benji Kikanovic. A smart move by the Bulldogs defender put him in position to deflect the pass, but all he did was drop the ball perfectly in front of Carnefix inside the 18.
The senior midfielder, who scored just one goal last season, needed just one touch to punch the ball past Gonzaga's diving keeper for the score. Carnefix's momentum took him all the way to the corner, where he slid into the flag before being surrounded by his teammates.
Although Carnefix's 71st-minute score proved the game-winner, Govea's goal in the seventh-minute was an early contender for goal of the season.
After a cross into the box was deflected up into the air by a Bulldogs defender, the ball drifted to Govea at the top of the box. He chested the ball before immediately volleying a perfect strike into the top left corner for the goal. His move kept the ball just out of reach of a defender and the strike was so exact that Gonzaga's keeper never even moved.
For Govea, the goal was his second in as many games, as the sophomore midfielder scored the Hornets' first goal in last Friday night's 2-0 win at San Jose State.
In goal, Ryan Curtis continued to impress after a strong freshman season a year ago. Curtis piled up five saves, bringing his season total to 13 in two games this season.
Sunday night's win moves Sacramento State to 2-0 to start the 2019 campaign. The 2-0 start is the Hornets' first since the 2008 season when the team opened with back-to-back wins against CSU Bakersfield and Long Island. Sacramento State has not started a season 3-0 in the Div. I era.
After two matches on the road to start the year, Sacramento State will return home as they host #19 Air Force and CSU Bakersfield in the annual Copa de Causeway.
The action starts Friday at 5 p.m. against Air Force. Details on how to follow the match, including links to tickets, video streams, live stats, and more, can all be found online on the Sacramento State Men's Soccer Schedule at HornetSports.com.