IRVINE, Calif. -
Senior midfielder Melissa Fernandez scored a golden goal in the 92nd minute of play to power the Cal State Northridge Matadors (11-4-6) to the program's first ever Big West Conference Championship with a 1-0 win over the Cal State Fullerton Titans (10-9-1) on Sunday afternoon at Anteater Stadium.
In the second minute of overtime, Fernandez received a pass from Marisa Miller and maneauvered her way through a group of Titan defenders to the top of the 18-yard box. She then curled a shot into the far-side netting for the game winner. Fernandez scored Northridge's only goal in the 1-0 semifinal victory over Cal Poly on Thursday night and was named the Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player.
The goal was the eighth of the season for Fernandez and gives her 13 for her career. For the season, Fernandez leads CSUN with eight goals, five assists and 21 points, the third-most in school history for a single season. The assist was Miller's fifth of the season.
The teams battled to a scoreless draw through 90 minutes for the second time this season. The most dangerous moment of the match came in the 54th minute when the Titans were awarded a penalty kick. However, JeAnne Mazeau's attempt wrang off the post and went wide to keep the game deadlocked.
Northridge had its chances on a hot day at Anteater Stadium. Fernandez fired off a game-high seven shots during the contest and put four on frame. For the contest, Cal State Fullerton out-shot Northridge 17-12.
In net, CSUN goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo made five saves and the Northridge team was credited with a stop as well. Jacobo made a fingertip save with less than five minutes in the first half that kept CSUN in contest.
For the season, Jacobo is 11-4-6 with a 0.46 goals-against-average, 105 saves and a .913 save percentage. The shutout was her 11th of the season and 27th of her career, giving her the school record in the category.
Northridge will have to wait to find out its next opponent, as the team will hear its name called during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show for the first time in school history. The selection show will air live on NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. PT.