Oct. 15, 2008
IRVINE, Calif. - Matador Kevin Guppy put on a goalkeeping clinic for everyone at Anteater Stadium Wednesday evening as his timely saves helped the Matadors (5-4-3, 1-0-2 Big West) earn another point in the Big West standings as they tied the #19-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters (8-1-4, 1-1-2 Big West) 2-2 in double overtime.
This was the second tie in as many games for the Matadors, with both games taking place on the road against nationally-ranked opponents.
The first half saw two teams employing two different strategies on offense as the Matador coaching staff implored their team to utilize the entire field in an effort to stretch out the Anteater defense.
Once spread out, the Matadors were able to utilize the newly created space to set up various scoring opportunities, and test the Anteater defense.
Conversely, the Anteaters tried set up their scoring opportunities primarily on their counterattack, efforts that were routinely neutralized by the Matador backline.
Matador defenseman Jeremy Hohn played a brilliant game on defense, consistently negating the efforts of forward Spencer Thompson, the Anteaters primary offensive weapon.
Rarely was Thompson able to elude the pursuit of Hohn, let alone create enough space to enable a clean shot on goal.
The second half saw both teams playing a more possession-oriented offense, as both teams marched back and forth throughout midfield for a majority of the half in an effort to create the passing lanes needed to execute their respective offense.
The first of Guppy's highlight-worthy saves came in the 65th minute as he swatted away a shot taken at point-blank range, frustrating the crowd in the process.
In each overtime session, Guppy needed to make two diving saves to prevent the game from ending prematurely. One such save nearly knocked him into his own goal as it was taken with such force, at close range, before being knocked out of bounds.
Guppy wasn't the only goalkeeper tested throughout the match as Anteater netminder Andrew Fontein needed to make a number of key saves on his own as the Matadors were able to consistently thread the Anteater defense with a number of passes that lead to five shots on goal throughout the game.
The Matadors return home to play in only their third home match in six weeks as they welcome the Cal State Fullerton Titans to Matador Field. The two teams will meet this Saturday, October 18th; kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.