Facing a team like the 27th-ranked Maryland Terrapins on its home field, a place where they had gone 59-2-3, can be a very tough task.
However, the CSUN men’s soccer team was hardly intimidated by its trip to College Park on Sunday afternoon, and came away with a 1-1 tie.
The Matadors scored first, just over a minute into the game. Maryland came back to tie the game a minute later, then both teams withstood a physical 108 minutes that, aside from ending in a draw, also ended in an ugly bench-clearing incident.
Sophomore midfielder Michael Clegg got the Matadors on the board in the second minute with the help of sophomore midfielder Adrian Lopez and Maryland freshman goalkeeper Thorne Holder. Lopez intercepted an errant clearance attempt by Horne and fed the ball to Clegg, who struck the ball past Thorne for the game’s first score. The Terps responded a minute later, as freshman defender Rodney Wallace headed in the equalizer off a cross from sophomore midfielder Jeremy Hall.
“We were solid,” head coach Terry Davila said. “We battled all game.”
From that point on, things started to get ugly. Two Matadors were yellow-carded in the 41st minute, then in the 75th minute, senior midfielder Fergie Agwu was red-carded for a hard tackle. Davila thought otherwise and he was red-carded in the same minute and was escorted off the field.
The physical play carried on throughout the rest of regulation and the two overtime periods. When it was all said and done, both teams combined to commit a total of 39 fouls, with CSUN tallying 26 to Maryland’s 13.
The game, however, ended in controversy, as an altercation occurred in the final minute of the second overtime, resulting in punches being thrown and both benches clearing.
When things calmed down, Matador junior forward Moy Gomez and Terrapin junior defender Rich Costanzo received red cards.
Davila said that the incident at the end of the game “was regrettable and something that should never occur during a college soccer match.”
“There were two incidents during Saturday’s game that we would take back if we could,” Davila said. “Aside from that, it was a very tightly contested match.”
The Matadors will have to do without Gomez, Agwu and Davila for today’s home match against the Cal State Fullerton Titans at 2 p.m.
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