Oct. 25, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Camilo Rojas' shot in the first overtime would be the best scoring opportunity for the Matadors, as they earned their fourth tie of the season against the visiting Cal Poly Mustangs Saturday afternoon.
Playing in their fourth overtime game in the last five matches, the Matadors now occupy fourth place in the Big West Conference standings with a 6-5-4 (2-1-3 BWC) record while Cal Poly's record now stands at (8-4-4, BWC 3-2-2).
"We had a couple of opportunities, but we really wanted to get the three points at home. It was a fair match and we'll see them for sure again if we both are in the playoffs. Our hope is that we get there and we are playing well enough to get there," Rojas said.
The game got off to a quiet start in the first half with the ball staying mostly in the middle-third of the field until Northridge fired off a pair of back-to-back shots; one of which was saved by Mustang goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco, while the second shot was deflected out of harms way by a Mustang defender.
At the end of the first half the Mustangs out-shot the Matadors 6-5, even though the Matadors forced Branagan-Franco to stop four of the five shots taken that half.
Midway through the second half Sunghyun Kim scored what would have been the first goal of the game had the Matadors not been whistled offsides on the play.
Milan Radovic also though he found the back of the net minutes later, but the play was also nullified by an offsides call.
With the score tied at zero after regulation both teams looked to set the pace of play in an effort to earn the victory.
Rojas' scoring opportunity was one of three shots taken by the Matadors throughout both overtime sessions before walking off the pitch with an additional point in the conference standings.
Entering today's game with a team high 37 shots midfielder Kim added three more shots to that figure against the Mustangs, while Rojas lead all Matador players with four shots taken in Saturday's game.
With his six save performance, Matador goalkeeper Kevin Guppy posted his sixth shutout of the season. In the process, Guppy lowered his goals against average to 0.98 while increasing his save percentage to .800.
"I felt like we had the first 25 minutes of action. They responded well in the middle of the game, but I felt like we had the last part of the game. We both created great opportunities to win the game. These were two even teams going at it. Kevin Guppy came big for us," said Head Coach Terry Davila.
The Matadors will now have three days to prepare for a crucial conference game against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos this Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Matador field. The kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.