Oct. 30, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-13-2, 1-6-1 BWC) dropped a hard-fought match in overtime Saturday night to the UC Riverside Highlanders (5-10-1, 2-6 BWC) by the score of 2-1 after UCR came away with a late goal deep into the first extra period.
Just mere moments before the deciding goal, the Matadors had three solid shots on the Highlander goal in the first two minutes of overtime. Luis Gil and Rene Anguiano each delivered strong shot attempts within a minute of each other that were both saved at the last moment by the outstretched hand of Riverside goalie Nick Goldreich.
A minute later off a Riverside turnover, freshman Brian Behrad delivered a direct pass up the field from just inside midfield to teammate Thomas Ramos who was racing down the near sideline towards the Riverside goal.
Seeing the potential scoring opportunity developing before his eyes, Goldreich came off his line and engaged in a footrace with Ramos in an effort to squelch CSUN's scoring opportunity. Ramos would get to the ball just a couple of steps quicker than Goldreich and in one motion delivered a shot that the UCR `keeper was in no position to stop. Unfortunately for CSUN, the Highlanders defense would save the surefire game-winning goal, deflecting the ball out of bounds to give the Matadors a corner kick instead.
Near elation quickly would turn into heartbreak for the Matadors, as the Highlanders connected with a goal off the foot of Cesar Diaz in the 97th minute to win the game.
With Northridge completely dominating the action in the first overtime session, both the crowd and team were stunned by the turn of events that took place during the Riverside counterattack that preceded the decisive goal.
After nearly 40 minutes of back and forth play between the two squads, with neither team coming away with a goal, it would be CSUN who found the back of the net first in the latter moments of the first period.
In the 38th minute of play, freshman Majeed Shahin found the back of the net on an unassisted goal in the lower left corner of Riverside's box from about four yards out.
The goal was also the first shot taken by the freshman midfielder this season.
The score would hold up until the 50th minute where Riverside took advantage of penalty kick opportunity to even the score at 1-1.
Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Abalos helped keep the score tied for the remainder of the second half by saving five shots; Abalos finished the contest with eight total saves.
In the match that both teams played aggressive from start to finish, Northridge finished with 27 fouls, while Riverside had 21. A total of seven yellow cards were issued to the two teams; CSUN was issued four cards to UCR's three. Also one red card was assessed to the Matadors, forcing CSUN to play a man down for the last 39 minutes of the match.
Jumping over a slide tackle to avoid contact, one of Gustavo Villalobos' feet accidentally landed on the Riverside defender whose momentum took him squarely into the same area that Villalobos landed in. What initially looked like an aggressive, yet fair and innocuous play became the one play that would force CSUN to play a man down for the remainder of the match.
The Matadors took a total of 26 shots in the contest, a season-high mark, as 11 of the seventeen players who saw action were able to take at least one shot during the match. Freshman midfielder Thomas Ramos led the team with six shots and two shots on goal.
Going into tonight's match with a five-game winning streak against the Highlanders, tonight's match was only the second time in the 32 years these teams have faced one another that their Inland Empire counterparts defeated Northridge.
CSUN will return to the pitch this Wednesday when they travel to UC Irvine for their final road match of the season. Kick-off between the Matadors and Anteaters will begin at 7:00 p.m.