Sauers' Golden Goal Propels Aztecs Past Cal, 1-0, in OT

Michael Sauers tallied his third goal of the year on Sunday to help the Aztecs beat Cal.
Oct. 16, 2016

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BERKELEY, Calif. -- Senior Michael Sauers scored the golden goal in the fourth minute of overtime on Sunday to lift the No. 25/17 San Diego State men's soccer team to a gritty 1-0 victory over host California in a Pac-12 showdown at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium.

With soggy conditions plaguing the Bay Area, Sauers' game-winner put an abrupt halt to a two-match losing streak for the Aztecs (7-3-3, 2-2-1 Pac-12), who won in Berkeley for the first time since the 2009 campaign. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears (4-6-2, 0-4-1 Pac-12) remain winless in conference play after the loss.

"This was a great win for our group," said San Diego State head coach Lev Kirshner. "We've been playing extremely well in the Pac-12 and really needed these three points. I have to give a shout to the other "Coach K" (assistant coach Ziggy Korytoski) for calling Michael's name to start overtime."

After SDSU goalkeeper Adam Allmaras made a save of Spencer Held's attempt in the third minute of extended play, senior Matt Callahan threaded a pass to junior Jeroen Meefout, who headed the ball into the box, where a Cal defender slipped momentarily trying to clear. Sauers pounced on the opportunity and drilled a shot from approximately 14 yards away into the right rear corner of the net as the Aztec bench erupted in jubilation.

SDSU also had a chance in the waning moments of regulation, but freshman Daniel Sagno's dribbler was deflected away by a diving Golden Bear netminder Drake Callender in the 87th minute.

The Aztecs maintained a 14-11 advantage in shots for match, including a 6-2 spread in the first half. However, Callender made three saves in the period to keep the game scoreless. The Cal keeper denied an attempt by redshirt freshman Pablo Pelaez in the 41st minute before thwarting a shot by Meefout with under a minute remaining.

Conversely, the Bears were unable to dent the scoreboard themselves as a header by Held in the 27th minute hit the crossbar.

Allmaras made two saves on the afternoon, including a stop of another attempt by Held in the 50th minute, en route to his eighth clean sheet of the season. With his performance, the SDSU redshirt junior now has 18 shutouts for his career, which ranks fourth in program history.

Pelaez paced the Aztecs with four shots on the day, while Sauers and freshman AJ Vergara finished with three apiece.

San Diego State will close out the home portion of its 2016 regular-season schedule next week when it plays host to Stanford (Oct. 20) and Cal (Oct. 23) in a pair of rematches at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs will battle the Cardinal on Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m. PT, before engaging the Golden Bears once again, starting at noon PT. Admission is free for all home SDSU men's soccer games.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Senior Michael Sauers was selected Man of the Match on Sunday after recording his third goal and second game-winner of the season. The Glen Arm, Md., native played 54 minutes in the downpour, finishing with three shots, including two on net.

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