Matadors Advance to Big West Tournament Final, Blank Cal Poly 1-0
IRVINE, Calif. -
Melissa Fernandez scored her seventh goal of the season and goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo made four saves in net to lift the second-seeded Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-4-6, 6-1-2 Big West) to a 1-0 win over the third-seeded Cal Poly Mustangs (9-7-3, 6-1-2 Big West) in the Big West Tournament Semifinals at Anteater Stadium.
Fernandez scored the match's only goal in the 26th minute after receiving a pass on the right side by Brittanie Sakajian. The forward cut the ball back toward the middle of the field and curled in a shot that beat the Mustang goalkeeper.
For Fernandez, the goal was her team-leading seventh of the season. She now has 12 goals for her career, tying Susie Mischenko for sixth in school history. She now has seven goals, five assists and 19 points on the year. Sakajian picked up her fifth assist of the season on the play.
CSUN finished the contest with 14 shots compared to 10 for Cal Poly. Marisa Miller and Fernandez had quality chances in the first half that were denied by the Mustangs' goalkeeper.
After Fernandez's goal, the Mustangs received a free kick that CSUN goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo had to push off the crossbar.
Down a goal, the Mustangs continued to press in the second half. For the most part, the Matador defense was able to keep them from securing any quality chances. The Mustangs' most dangerous moment came in the 63rd minute when Jacobo made a diving save to her right.
For the game, Jacobo made four saves to record her 10th shutout of the season and 26th of her career. For the season, she is 10-4-6 with a 0.49 goals-against-average, .909 save percentage and 100 saves.
CSUN finished with 13 fouls to nine for Cal Poly and both teams took three corner kicks. Two Mustangs saw the yellow card in the match.
With the victory, the first postseason win of any kind in the program's history, the Matadors advance to Sunday's finals. The game will start at 1 p.m. and air live on Fox Sports PrimeTicket. CSUN will play the winner of the Cal State Fullerton-UC Irvine semifinal.