NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
After 102 scoreless minutes, the Sacramento State Hornets (5-4-1, 2-0-0 Big West) were able to break through for the game-winning goal to defeat the Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-4-0, 1-1-0 Big West) on Sunday afternoon at Matador Soccer Field. After quality chances for both sides in regulation and overtime, Chris Sandoval scored the match's only goal in the 103rd minute for the Hornets.
The Matadors started the match as the more agressive side, taking 10 shots while allowing only two in the first half. Edwin Rivas had the first shot on goal during the match, sending a hard ball on the ground from outside of the box that was saved by goalkeeper Bryan Oliver.
Northridge goalkeeper Michael Abalos was tested just twice in the first half and made one save, plucking a rising shot out of the air in the 31st minute.
The Matadors looked to have the day's first goal in the 37th minute, but the play was called back for offside. Beto Velasquez took a free kick from the left side of the field that went through traffic and into the net, but it was ruled that a Northridge player made contact with it in an offside position.
With no score at halftime, the Matadors had the advantage in corner kicks (5-1) and committed fewer fouls (5-13). Sacramento State came out of the break more focused and recorded eight shots in the second half alone.
Both Oliver and Abalos were called upon in the second half, each making a pair of saves to send the match to overtime. The most difficult for Abalos does not show up in the box score, however, as he had to dive to punch a ball away that would have resulted in an own goal late in the match.
The Matadors had a few attempts to score in the first overtime period, but each resulted in the match moving forward. Carlos Benavides received a pass just 13 seconds into overtime and took a shot that was saved by Oliver in the middle of the goal.
The teams played another 12 minutes of scoreless action until Sandoval delivered the winner for the Hornets. Almog Strikowski and Isaac Ikyurav set up Sandoval with a pass into the box behind the defense and he was able to put it past Abalos.
With the loss, the Matadors' streak of five consecutive wins was snapped. Northridge was defeated for the first time since September 7 at UNLV and have only conceded two goals since that match.
The Matadors hit the road for a pair of Big West Conference matches next week against North Division opponents. Northridge will take on Cal Poly on Friday, Oct. 5 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium before heading to UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.