The CSUN men’s soccer team outplayed the 15th-ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs for 110 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.
However, for the sixth time this season and fourth time in conference play, the Matadors’ best effort resulted in a tie and just one point in the conference standings.
CSUN out-shot Cal Poly 20-12 and had eight corner kick opportunities compared to just one by the Mustangs, but both teams’ defenses held up when it mattered the most, and when it was said and done, both teams had to settle for a scoreless draw.
“You can’t be disappointed with the effort,” said head coach Terry Davila.
In the first half the Matadors out-shot the Mustangs 7-4, but it was Cal Poly that had perhaps the best look in the 25th minute. A foul called on sophomore defender Robert Pate in the Mustang box awarded Cal Poly a penalty kick. Jose Garcia sent the ball left while junior goalkeeper Kevin Guppy dove right, but the ball went wide left.
Cal Poly turned the tables in the second half, out-shooting CSUN 7-5. The Matadors had some good looks though. Freshman forward Camilo Rojas took a shot just three minutes into the second half, but Mustang goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco stopped it. Two minutes later, Rojas took another shot, but the ball deflected off a Mustang defender. Senior defender Sean Franklin chased down the loose ball and fired a shot off the rebound, but Franco made the save with a dive to his right.
In the 67th minute, senior midfielder Fergie Agwu crossed a ball to sophomore forward Sunghyun Kim, but Franco stopped Kim’s header. Then in the 78th minute, sophomore defender Ben Cox crossed a ball to junior forward Michael Clegg. Franco failed to make contact on Clegg’s header, but the shot just missed to the right.
CSUN was relentless in the two overtimes, out-shooting Cal Poly 8-1. However, the one shot Cal Poly took nearly stole them the win. With time winding down Franco sent a long ball to Julian Alvarez, who was on the right side. With just two seconds left and plenty of room to run, Alvarez charged towards the goal and struck the ball, sending it past Guppy, but narrowly missing to the left.
The Matadors’ sixth tie overall surpasses last season’s total of five and their fourth tie in Big West Conference play also overtakes last year’s total by one.
CSUN’s record heading into Sunday’s game against the UC Davis Aggies was 5-4-6 overall and 1-2-4 in conference play, giving them seven points in the Big West. Cal Poly remains undefeated in conference play with a record of 4-0-4 and 16 points in conference play.
“I thought it was our match to win,” Davila said.