The SF State’s men’s soccer team gave their nine seniors a grand farewell on senior day, defeating the 17th ranked Cal Poly Pomona Broncos in an overtime thriller, 1-0.
The game winner came in the first minute of overtime, on a cross from midfielder Robert Kelly that connected with the head of midfielder Jordan Wusstig. The Wusstig header went right past CPP goalie Pablo Quevedo, and the entire Gators bench erupted off the sidelines, screaming and cheering while dogpiling Wusstig.
“I was out wide left, ready for the thrown in,” Kelly said. “(Jakob Velega) played the ball back to me, I raced to the ball, and just whipped it in to (Wusstig).”
The goal is the first of Wusstig’s collegiate career. Wusstig said the pass was a “perfect dime of a ball” and he said he was happy to send the seniors off with a game winner on senior day.
Senior center back Max Talbert said the game was one of the best he’s been a part of as a Gator.
“I was so happy to see that ball go in. I was tired and was glad the game finally ended,” Talbert said with a broad smile on his face. “But really for us to end on a win, with a freshman to freshman goal finishing it off for us seniors, that’s a great moment.”
Up until the game winner by Wusstig, the contest was a close-knit affair. The Gators outshot the Broncos 12-10 in the game, and both teams had 5 corner kicks.
The shutout victory was the Gators ninth of the season. The only close scoring chances for the Broncos came in the 25th and 78th minutes.
In the 25th minute CPP midfielder Michael Torres fired a shot 15 yards out, and Gator goal keeper Emmanuel Jimenez saved a goal by fully extending his body and punching the ball away.
The other scoring chance in the 78th minute was a team-wide save for the Gators. Jimenez came out of the box to block a shot, but the ball careened against several bodies and didn’t clear. The ball eventually landed in front of CPP forward Alexander Turkson, who had a shot on a wide open net, but the pressure from two Gators defenders forced the shot to sail high.
The win against 17th ranked Pomona was one that head coach Matt Barnes considered a program changer.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more dramatic win for our seniors tonight,” Barnes said. “We’ve been waiting all year for a signature win, and we finally got it. This win is big for recruits looking to come to SF State, and it means a lot to a program that’s been struggling for over 20 years.”
The Gators will wrap up their season on the road on Oct. 31, against conference opponent Chico State University.