NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Rene Anguiano scored his first goal of the season in the 104th minute to propel the Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-4-0, 4-1-0 Big West) to a 2-1 double-overtime win against the UC Riverside Highlanders (8-5-0, 1-4-0 Big West) on Saturday night at Matador Soccer Field. Defender Yuval Barak tallied two assists on the night to help Northridge to its first home overtime win in nearly three seasons.
The top two teams in the Big West South Division squared off in a tense battle and played a scoreless first half. The Highlanders had the most dangerous of opportunities in the first 45 minutes, however, as a breakaway in the 13th minute nearly resulted in a goal.
Jimmy Martinez received a cross in the box for the Highlanders but his resulting shot was saved by Northridge goalkeeper Michael Abalos, who slid across his line toward the post to keep the match level.
The Matadors were the first to score on the night, cashing in on a set piece in the 48th minute. Barak played a short touch to Chris Smith on the left side of the field and Smith was able to curl a shot over a wall of defenders and into the net from about 25 yards away.
UC Riverside tied the match in the 68th minute as the Highlanders were awarded a penalty kick after a foul was called at the edge of the box. Julio Reyes then placed a shot into the lower right corner as Abalos dove the other way.
The two squads played to a tie at the end of regulation with neither side getting much of a chance on goal after the penalty. The teams did, however, receive a combined nine yellow cards on the night and were whistled for 32 total fouls.
The Matadors had their first chance at a golden goal in the first overtime period as the Highlanders were called for a foul in the 92nd minute. Sagi Lev-Ari took a shot on a direct kick from 20 yards out but his attempt missed just wide of the target.
Abalos was forced to make a save as time was winding down in the period, punching a header over the bar with five seconds remaining.
Northridge nearly scored the game winner early in the second overtime after a long run up the right side by David Turcios, but his ground cross in the box was sent out for a corner. The resulting set piece finally brought the match to its end.
Barak played a short corner to Carlos Benavides to get the play started. Benavides then found Anguiano making a run toward the top of the box and the senior struck a hard shot that went into the top left corner of the goal.
The win for Northridge was its first in added time at Matador Soccer Field since a 1-0 victory in overtime against Cal State Fullerton on November 4, 2009 and snapped a two-match skid against UC Riverside. With 10 regular season wins the Matadors also clinched their first winning season since the 2009 campaign.
With the start in net, Abalos is now tied for second all-time in school history with 65 matches played as a goalkeeper.
Cal State Northridge will return to action with a Big West Conference match against South Division rival Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Titan Stadium.
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