SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Gabe Silveira scored in the 88th minute to break a tie and the Sacramento State men's soccer team won, 3-2, at Cal Poly on Saturday night in a Big West Conference game at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
The Hornets (8-6-2, 5-2-1 Big West), who entered the game in a tie for second place with the Mustangs (9-6-1, 4-3-1) reclaimed first place in the Big West with the win. UC Davis, which plays at UC Santa Barbara on Sunday afternoon, could jump the Hornets in the standings with a win.
As it stands now, Sacramento State is first in the North Division with 16 points followed by UC Davis (15), Cal Poly (13), and UCSB (10). Cal Sate Northridge (18 points) locked up the South Division title with a 2-1 win over UC Riverside while Cal State Fullerton is in second with 10 points.
"The North Division is very, very tight and all four teams are still in the running," head coach Michael Linenberger said. "Winning at Cal Poly is difficult and they have a tremendous crowd. But with a loss our backs would have been against the wall and we came out and played very well."
The top two teams from each division advance to the Big West Tournament.
Sacramento State scored just twice in its first three North Divison games this year but exploded for three scores on Saturday night.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead when Silviera found Isaac Ikyurav for a goal in the fifth minute but Cal Poly answered with a score in the 36th minute. The two teams were locked up, 1-1, at halftime but once again the Hornets came out of the locker room swinging.
After a hand ball in the box, Max Alvarez scored a penalty kick goal in the 49th minute. It was the senior's third PK goal this season - all coming in Big West play. But in similar fashion to the first half, the Mustangs had a game-tying goal in their pocket. Mike Hocker, who assisted on the first goal, found Mackenzie Pridham in the 66th minute for his 10th goal this season.
But Silveira wasn't done in the points column. The junior rattled home the game-winning goal on an unassisted effort in the 88th minute to give the Hornets a much needed road win.
"I think Gabe has been playing very well in conference play," Linenberger added. "He works really hard. He had another great performance today and I was excited to see him deliver the game-winner for us."
Overall, the Hornets placed 11 of their 17 shots on net while Cal Poly tallied six shots on goal and 15 total attempts. Cal Poly keeper Wade Hamilton made eight saves with three goals allowed while Sacramento State keeper Bryan Oliver made four stops with two goals allowed.
Sacramento State returns home this week for their final regular season home game of the 2012 season. The Hornets will play host to UC Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. on Oct. 31.