Oct. 15, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. - The game of the weekend in the Big West lived up to its billing at the Cal State Northridge Matadors (8-7-0, 3-2-0 BWC) and the #18-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters (13-1-2, 5-0-0 BWC) fought to a scoreless draw after 90 minutes of action, forcing overtime to determine the ultimate outcome of the match.
Unfortunately for CSUN, that outcome would not be a positive one as a shot from Irvine forward Mar Rodriguez snuck inside the left post in the 103rd minute to give the host Anteaters a 1-0 victory over the visiting Matadors to retain their position atop the Big West standings.
From the first minute of action to the last on both the pitch and the stat sheet, each team virtually mirrored one another throughout the evening.
After the first 45 minutes of action, each team took exactly four shots against one another, forcing their counterpart to make one save each to preserve the scoreless draw at the half. Once the second half began, each team picked up where they left off as each team once again finished with the exact number of total shots taken, and shots on goal with eight and three respectively.
Starting with a shot by freshman forward Brittanie Sakajian in the 67th minute that forced Irvine goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere to make a save, the Matadors fired six unanswered shots within a 17 minute time-frame in what would end up being their most dangerous scoring opportunity of the match.
Fernandez would follow Sakajian's effort with a shot of her own less than a minute later that struck the crossbar, followed by a shot off the rebound by junior defender Brielle Slepicoff that just sailed wide of its intended target.
Two of Kelly's four shots would take place just seconds from one another in the 79th minute, with Fernandez taking another shot on goal before Irvine was able neutralize the Matador attack with only minutes left in regulation.
Unbeaten in their last five games against Irvine at Anteater Stadium, tonight's loss is the first one experienced by the Matadors in Irvine since the 1997 season when UCI defeated CSUN by a score of 4-1.
Northridge is now 7-4-3 all-time in the 14 games played against Irvine.
Even though they were unable to earn a point from their only game of the season against Irvine, the Matadors still occupy second place in the Big West heading into their match-up against the UC Riverside Highlanders this Sunday evening at Matador Field.
Kick-off for that match at Matador Soccer Field will take place at 6:00 p.m.