SF State won its first CCAA game Sunday against Cal State East Bay(CSUEB) in an exciting 3-2 overtime thriller, following a disappointing draw earlier this week against Cal State Stanislaus.
“We were just waiting for that first win today,” Head Coach Matt Barnes said. “We looked a little bit tired today, so we made a decision as a staff to use up our bench and use a lot of guys that have had some limited minutes.”
The game started late as both teams wore away uniforms. Cal State East Bay’s Head Coach Andy Cumbo complained that SF State is supposed to wear white, but according to CCAA rule book it states that the home team on back-to-back games is supposed to wear white on Friday’s game, and dark on Sunday game.
In the first half the Gators and CSUEB were even. Neither team controlled the ball and hit on shot attempts at the goal. CSUEB was the more aggressive team, taking nine shots on goal as the Gators took eight.
Cal State East Bay’s Adrian Maldonado scored the first goal of the game from two yards out off a corner kick by Rica Guerra at the 26-minute mark.
The Gators would score soon after at the 32-minute mark, as sophomore Emmanuel Serrano drilled a goal from 15 yards to tie the game at 1-1.
In the second half, the Gators were the aggressors taking 14 shots on the goal while CSUEB only took five.
“At halftime we thought we could play a little bit simpler, but we were giving the ball away a little bit. So we made of couple of tactical adjustments to deal with what we thought they were doing,” Barnes said. “The second half was just dramatically different. We went into halftime being out-shot by one we finished the game nine shots ahead of them.”
With five minutes left to play, Cal State East Bay scored on a header by Michael Tieku putting the team up 2-1.
Even being down with little time left on the clock, the Gators didn’t give up as Jakob Velega scored on an assist by Nathan Fernandez tying the match 2-2 with three minutes left.
“We were down 2-1 with four minutes to go, and to win, it’s just amazing, and took hard work,” Serrano said.
The game would head into double overtime, but it didn’t take long for senior Kevin Johnson to score the golden goal within the first 10 seconds.
“We were just working harder than them. They had nothing on us,” Johnson said. “Those two goals were flukes. They were just free kicks that went in but what coach said, we were going to win this game and we did.”
The next game for the Gators is Oct. 3 at Cal State Monterey Bay.
“I prefer being on the road. I can control schedules, I can control what the kids eat,” Barnes said. “So we’re ready to get after it.”