RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Sacramento State entered Saturday night's match at UC Riverside looking for much-needed points in the Big West standings and found them thanks for Genaro Alfaro's 96th-minute game-winning golden goal.
With the win, Sacramento State improved to 7-8-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Big West. UC Riverside, meanwhile, fell to 6-8-3 overall and 1-4-1 in conference.
At the conclusion of Saturday night's Big West action, the Hornets found themselves with seven points, good for fifth in the league. Sacramento State remains two points back of fourth-place Cal Poly and a point ahead of the sixth-place Cal State Fullerton Titans.
The league's top six teams advance to the Big West Conference tournament.
Sacramento State scored Saturday night's first goal after Matt Carnefix converted on a penalty kick opportunity in the 34th minute, giving the Hornets a 1-0 advantage. The goal was Carnefix's fourth of the season, moving him into a three-way tie for the team lead with Oscar Govea (four goals, four assists) and Benji Kikanovic (four goals, one assist).
Despite the one-goal advantage, the Hornets soon found themselves at a significant disadvantage after Oscar Govea was shown a red card just after halftime in the 53rd minute.
Sacramento State immediately conceded the equalizer to UC Riverside on a penalty kick, also in the 53rd.
Despite playing down a man for the majority of the second half, Sacramento State allowed just the one goal to UC Riverside, forcing overtime. It was there, in the 96th minute, that Carnefix found Genaro Alfaro for the game-winning goal.
The goal was Alfaro's second of the year and one of the biggest of the season for the Hornets. His shot was the only one taken by either team in overtime and was just the third on goal for the Hornets.
Ryan Curtis made five saves for Sacramento State, including four in the second half after the Hornets were down a man. He faced 16 total shots, 10 of them coming in the second half.
Although Sacramento State is currently in line for a spot in the postseason, they'll need a result next Saturday at UC Davis or help from around the rest of the league to secure their tournament berth.
Saturday's regular season finale and Causeway clash is scheduled for a 3 p.m. kickoff at UC Davis. Details on that match, including links to tickets, video streams, live stats, and more, can be found online on the Sacramento State men's soccer schedule at HornetSports.com.