September 28, 2012

Matadors Play No. 21 Pilots to 1-1 Draw

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-3-4) played to a 1-1 draw over 110 minutes with No. 21 Portland Thursday night in a non-conference game on the Pilots' campus. After Portland jumped ahead with a goal midway through the second half, CSUN leveled things for the evening on a Pilot own-goal in the 69th minute of action.

Thursday's meeting marked the third-straight year CSUN and Portland met in women's soccer, but the first time the contest took place at the home of the Pilots. One of the annual leaders in national attendance, the Matadors certainly did their best to impress the home crowd Thursday night.

For the seventh-straight game, CSUN went to halftime on a scoreless draw. The Matadors were out-shot 6-3 in the opening 45 minutes, but forced the Pilots to come up with the only save of the half. That stop came off a shot from freshman Taylor Hobson in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

Things heated up in the second half. Portland broke the deadlock with a goal from Micaela Capela in the 67th minute. Just over two minutes later, CSUN evened things on a Portland own-goal. The Matadors pressed up the wings and after several dangerous crosses, the Pilots' Sarah Bridges accidentally knocked the ball into her own net to conclude the game's scoring.

In the two overtime periods, CSUN out-shot Portland 3-2 and both teams had to make a save in net to preserve the draw. Senior Melissa Fernandez had a header saved by Portland's Erin Dees with one minute remaining in the first overtime period. Fernandez led the team with four shots in the game and now has 131 for her career, the second-most in school history.

For CSUN, senior Cynthia Jacobo made three saves to improve her season record to 3-3-4. She now holds a 0.64 goals-against-average, 64 saves and a .901 save percentage for the season. She now has 240 saves for her career.

CSUN head coach Keith West saw many positives in the Matadors' performance Thursday night.

"Tonight was a phenomenal team effort against a very tough side," West said. "Our backline was stout all night and we had several chances to take the victory. It was a great effort throughout the entire side."

Thursday marked the second time in 2012 that Northridge has been the beneficiary of an own-goal as the team also got one in their Aug. 24 contest with Baylor. Northridge's four draws in 2012 mark the most ties by a Matador team since the 2000 squad had five for the year.

Northridge returns home for its next contest, a Sept. 30 match with Hawai'i in both team's Big West Conference opener. Kickoff between the Matadors and Rainbow Wahine is slated for 6 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.

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