October 6, 2010

Gutsy Effort Helps Northridge Tie Cal Poly 2-2

Oct. 6, 2010

Box Score

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Down by two entering the final portion of the game, Cal State Northridge (2-6-2, 1-0-1 BWC) midfielder Rafael Garcia scored two goals within five minutes to help his team earn one point from their 2-2 tie against Cal Poly (4-3-2, 1-0-1 BWC) Wednesday evening.

The CSUN midfielder now becomes just the seventh player in the last five years to score two goals in one match, and the second this season following Gustavo Villalobos' accomplishment in their previous game at Fullerton.

Both Matador goals originated off a free kick; Garcia's first goal was scored off a tapped pass from Villalobos in the 71st minute, his direct kick taken in the 75th minute forced the extra sessions.

The assist was Villalobos' second in as many games, the freshman midfielder trails only Garcia who leads the team with three assists this season.

 

Even though Northridge was out-shot by a 4-1 margin in the twenty extra minutes played at Cal Poly, Matador goalkeeper Michael Abalos did not need to make one save in either overtime session. The most dangerous Mustang shot taken was one that sailed over his head, eventually ricocheting off one of the football crossbars at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in the second overtime period.

Abalos finished the game with seven saves, one more than his Mustang counterpart.

CSUN would have made it to the locker room at halftime with the score tied at 0-0 if Mustang midfielder Wes Feighner had not scored in the 44th minute as his shot taken from just inside the penalty area gave Cal Poly the first lead of the game.

That advantage would double in the 67th minute when Cal Poly converted on a penalty kick, placing the Matadors in a challenging position with a little more than 20 minutes left in the game.

Down two goals, on the road, CSUN was also forced to play a man down when Nicholas Hamilton picked up his second yellow card of the evening on the play that created Cal Poly's penalty kick opportunity.

Drawing a foul just outside the top part of the penalty area just minutes after the Mustangs doubled their lead, Villalobos tapped a pass to Garcia who promptly fired a laser of a shot into the goal to slice the Cal Poly lead in half.

Only four minutes would pass before CSUN would score another goal that originated from another free kick to tie the score at two apiece.

In addition to scoring both Matador goals, Garcia led the team with six shots taken, all of which were on goal.

Within minutes the partisan crowd in San Luis Obispo had watched their team score, what they thought, would be an insurance goal en route to another Mustang victory. Instead, everyone in attendance witnessed a resilient CSUN squad steal momentum, fight their way back into the game, and put the Mustangs on their heels while playing one man down.
The Matador goals would end up being the final ones scored on the evening as CSUN would be the only team to successfully take another shot on goal from that point on.

Entering Wednesday's match with two career goals to his credit, both scored during his freshman season, the junior midfielder ended up doubling his overall total in one night to give his team a hard-earned point before traveling back to the Valley.

Finishing with a scoreless tie against Washington (9/10), and on the wrong end of a 2-1 double-overtime heartbreaker in San Francisco (9/24), CSUN is now 0-1-2 in the three overtime games played this season.

Having played eight road games in their last nine matches, the Matadors will now play only their third home match in 2010 when they face UC Davis this Saturday evening at Matador Soccer Field.

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