(This is an unedited first draft of reporter Michael Harrington’s game story)
For the 2007-2008 New England Patriots, their bid for a perfect season ended in their 19th, and final, game of the year. For the 2008 Cal State Northridge Matadors, it ended in their fifth.
The Matador’s (4-1-0) suffered their first defeat of the year on Friday with a 1-0 overtime loss to the California Golden Bears (4-1) in the first match of the Saint Mary’s Fall Classic in Moraga. Cal junior Katie Oakes put in the game’s only goal in the 97th minute.
Northridge started the game as the attacker when senior Kristal Phillips took the first shot of the contest in just the second minute, but it was saved by goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini. It would be one of only two Matador shots that would be on goal, and one of six total shots through the entire game.
As the first half continued to progress, Cal looked like it might break through in the opening period. In the 26th minute they had two opportunities at the goal, but shots by freshman Katrin Omarsdottir and sophomore Alex Morgan traveled wide of the net.
Just four minutes later, the Bears had another two looks at the goal. Sophomore Lisa Kevorkian, who leads Cal in goals with five, had a shot a blocked and just seconds later, Morgan had another shot travel wide, this one a header.
The first half would end with no points on the board, marking the first time this season that the Matadors entered the locker room in a scoreless tie.
The second half started and the Bears were once again on the offensive. Cal took three shots in three minutes starting in the 50th minute, . The first one was blocked before it reached the net, but the last two needed to be saved by Northridge goalkeeper Leah Elliot. Elliot would finish the game with a career-high eight saves.
The Matadors had a their share of chances to score midway through the second half. In the 68th minute, senior captain Tryna Tafoya took a shot that was saved by Pelligrini, one of her two saves of the contest. Tafoya was able to get off another shot in the 72nd minute, but that one would sail wide.
When 90th minute hit, the score was still 0-0, so the teams went into overtime.
Once the extra period got underway, it didn’t take long before it was over. Only two minutes went by before Oakes scored from six yards out.
It was the Matador’s second overtime game this season. They won their previous one 2-1 in double overtime on opening day against San Diego State.
Northridge finished the contest with a season-low six shots, with Tafoya and Phillips leading the team with two each. It was also the first time this season that the Matadors failed to score, as they put in at least two goals in each of their first four contests.
CSUN will rap up their visit up north on Sunday when they take on the host Saint Mary’s Gaels at 2:30 p.m.