October 28, 2012

Hobson's Golden Goal Sends Matadors to Big West Tournament

LONG BEACH, Calif. -

Freshman midfielder Taylor Hobson scored off of a rebound in the 104th minute of double overtime to propel the Cal State Northridge Matadors (9-4-6, 6-1-2 Big West) to a 1-0 upset over the Long Beach State 49ers (12-7, 5-4 Big West) on Sunday afternoon at George Allen Field. With the win, the Matadors clinched the second seed in the Big West Tournament and will face the Cal Poly Mustangs on November 1 at 5 p.m. at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, Calif.

After seeing their last two seasons end at George Allen Field, the Matadors turned the tables on the 49ers in dramatic fashion to earn their first road win in the series since 2004.

The goal came in a sequence that can only be described as chaotic. A Northridge foul gave the 49ers a free kick outside their 18-yard area. However, the Long Beach player blasted the ball into the backside of a CSUN player and that sent the ball sprawling back toward the LBSU goal.

At that point, senior Nicole Cruz and the 49ers goalkeeper, Marinna Meyers, raced to the loose ball with Meyers making a diving stop. However, she was ruled to have played the ball outside of her area and CSUN was awarded a free kick directly in front of goal.

Hobson took that free kick and it nearly found the far netting before a 49er made a last-ditch deflection. On the ensuring corner kick, Cruz took a shot that Meyers punched away and the rebound fell to Hobsob. The freshman calmly deposited her second game-winning  goal of the conference season to end the match.

Cruz earned an assist on the play, her second of the year. 

Both teams had opportunities throughout the contest. CSUN had a goal called back in the first half due to an offsides call and LBSU's Nadia Link pushed one just over the crossbar with under three minutes left in regulation.

Cynthia Jacobo made one save in net to earn her ninth shutout of the season and 25th of her career. For the season, Jacobo is 9-4-6 with a 0.51 goals-against-average, 96 saves and a .906 save percentage.

For the game, Northridge out-shot Long Beach 16-7 and Meyers had four saves in defeat. The match had its physical moments as the teams combined for 32 fouls and three yellow cards.

The victory marked CSUN's first in its last 12 overtime contests.

With the victory, Northridge earned the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament. The Matadors will face Cal Poly in the semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 1 at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine. The match is scheduled for a 5 p.m. kickoff.