A shutout by goalie Michael Abalos and a four-shot performance by midfielder Gustavo Villalobos wasn’t enough to give Northridge its first win of the season, as they settled for a scoreless draw against the University of Washington at the Cal State Fullerton Tournament on Friday.
The Matadors had three high-quality looks at the net in the second period of overtime. With six minutes left in overtime, freshman Thomas Ramos fired a shot from the middle of the goal box, but was saved by Husky goalie Stephen Fung as he dove toward the left post.
On the defensive end, the Matadors showed glimpses of continuity, especially considering they were outshot 16-9.
Abalos contributed to the Matadors success on defense by accumulating five saves and his first shutout of the season. Abalos’ biggest save came with three minutes left in the second half of overtime as Husky freshman John Crenshaw had a point blank shot that could have guaranteed another Matador loss.
Another reason for the defensive improvement by the Matadors against Washington was the roster changes set by head coach Terry Davila.
Absent from the matchup were notable players such as team captain Rafael Garcia and quite possibly the Matadors biggest offensive threat, forward Camilo Rojas.
Instead Davila opted for a more defensive minded starting group, which included players such as junior defender Jeremy Hohn and defender Tanner Snedigar, who both made their first appearance of the season.
With so many defensive options and new faces playing key roles the Matador defense improved. However the offense suffered. Villalobos was the only Matador player that had multiple shots against the Husky.
Villalobos accounted for nearly half of the Matadors total of nine shots, as Northridge is still in search of its first goal of the season.
Villalobos was the only Matador player that found any sort of rhythm on offense and finished the game with two shots on goal.
The Husky offense was led by Matt Van Houten, who almost equaled the entire Matador offense and finished with a total of six shots but only one was on goal.
Brent Richards, who came in leading Washington in shots was a virtual no-show. However, Washington did continue to get production from players such as Daniel Gray and John Crenshaw, who combined for a total of four shots, two of which were on goal.
Husky goalie Fung finished the game with four saves and gathered his seventh career shutout. The Matadors accumulated 17 fouls while defender Joe Franco and forward Mattias Bonvehi both finished the game with yellow cards.