UC Irvine’s win streak increased to 10 straight as CSUN lost to the Anteaters, 1-0, in double overtime on Friday at Anteater Stadium.
The Matadors (8-7-0, 3-2-0 Big West) and the Anteaters (13-1-2, 5-0-0 Big West), arguably the two best teams in the Big West Conference, battled throughout the entire game. A goal by sophomore forward Mar Rodriguez decided the electrifying event.
Rodriguez kicked the ball through the left post for the game-winner in the 103rd minute of extra time for her sixth goal of the season. Junior forward Amanda Hardeman dished the assist to set up the play.
With the victory, the Anteaters remain on top of the Big West standings while the Matadors sit on their tail for the second place rank.
Offensively the two teams played to a stalemate throughout the beginning of the game, mimicking each other as time progressed. In the first half both teams recorded four shots followed by the second half with the teams striking eight times.
The game opened with Big West leading scorer Tanya Taylor taking a wide shot for Irvine in the fourth minute of the game followed by yet another wide shot in the 10th minute of the first half.
Next, the Anteaters player of the game, Rodriguez, got in on the action with her first shot in the 16th minute that drifted high over the Matadors’ net.
Northridge fired back in the 19th minute of action with senior midfielder Erin Kelly taking a shot on goal that was saved by Anteater goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere. Senior forward Taylor matched Kelly with a shot on goal of her own in the 24th minute of play that was captured by Matador goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo.
The Matadors then led a small rally that almost landed them the first goal of the night. In the 30th minute, freshman Brittanie Sakajian took a shot that was blocked and senior Desiree Cardenas landed a header in the 38th minute that ventured high, which took us into the second half.
In the second half, the Anteaters opened up the game with a corner kick that led to a header by freshman midfielder Zuri Walker that went wide. The Matadors then took possession of the ball and soared down the field leading to a shot on goal by Melissa Fernandez in the 49th minute of play.
The Anteaters took matters into their hands leading a charge at the Matador net with shots from Taylor that was blocked, junior forward Coco Goodson that was too high and sophomore defender Sarah Devine that went wide.
The second half continued with both teams matching each other with shots, as frustrations occurred with Jasmine Pratt and Taylor receiving yellow cards in the 64th minute of action. Taylor quickly capitalized on the altercation taking a shot that went wide in the 65th minute.
CSUN took possession and looked to close the game out for the last time in the 66th minute with Sakajian taking a shot on goal followed by a corner kick from the team. The Matadors then got a grand look when Fernandez took a shot that came up short, hitting the crossbar in the 67th minute.
The half continued with the two teams exchanging shots and Rodriguez picking up yellow card in the process.
Backed by almost 500 fans, the Anteaters came out aggressive in overtime, taking two early shots in the 93rd and 95th minute by Goodson and in the second overtime they took the game with the early score.
Overall, the Anteaters were signaled for 11 fouls while the Matadors were whistled for seven. The Matadors were outshot 15-12 and the Anteaters had an advantage in corner kicks, 5-4.
CSUN goalkeeper Jacobo had six saves on the night compared to her opponent Serierre’s four.
The Matadors now have a 7-4-3 all time record against UC Irvine. Also, the loss marks the first time since 1997 that CSUN fell at Anteater Stadium.