Hobbs Top-Class in Scoreless Draw at UC Riverside
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -
Goalkeeper Adam Hobbs made five saves, including three in overtime, to lead the No. 6 Cal State Northridge Matadors (11-2-1, 3-1-1 Big West) to a scoreless draw at UC Riverside (6-5-3, 1-3-1) on Saturday night at UC Riverside Soccer Stadium. Hobbs recorded a save with six seconds left in overtime and another 20 seconds from full time to earn a shutout in CSUN's first draw since the 2011 season.
UC Riverside opened the match on the better foot and took the first shot just a minute in, an attempt by Richie Osborne that was blocked by a Northridge defender. After back-and-forth possession over the next 17 minutes, Richie Osborne registered the next shot of the match but it went wide left.
The first shot of the night for the Matadors came off the foot of Chris Smith, who saw his blast in the 22nd minute saved by UCR goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi. Khosravi followed up his save with stops on tries from David Turcios and Mynor Giron that kept the match even.
The Highlanders had the best chance in the first half, but a shot by Romario Lomeli rang the crossbar in the 31st minute of play. The teams went into halftime with the same amount of shots (5-5) but Khosravi was forced to make a save on all five attempts by the Matadors.
The second half proved to be much more openly played, as each goalkeeper was tested just once before the end of regulation. Khosravi made a save on a shot by Smith in the 56th minute and Hobbs stopped Ulises Mosqueda in the 64th.
CSUN forward Sagi Lev-Ari, the nation's leading goalscorer coming into the match, fired off a shot in the dying seconds but it missed to the left side of the goal.
In the first of two sudden-death overtime periods Hobbs made a pair of key saves. After denying Mosqueda in the 98th minute he saved Hayden Leslie's shot with six seconds to go before the horn.
Khosravi stepped up in the second overtime and made a pair of saves on shots by Edwin Rivas.
With under a minute to play before the final whistle, Hobbs recorded his final save on a try by Lomeli that rebounded right to Mosqueda. However, he could not control his follow up and the ball went high to ensure a scoreless draw.
It is the first time in this series since 2008 that at least one side did not score. It is also the first draw between these two teams since October 13, 2007 (0-0 at Matador Soccer Field).
Cal State Northridge retains its place at the top of the Big West South Division with 10 points and is currently tied with Cal State Fullerton, who played to a draw against UC Irvine on Saturday night. The Matadors will return home for their next match and battle the Titans on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at 7 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.