The CSUN Matador women’s soccer team took a big hit in its hopes for qualifying for the Big West Tournament when it lost its last home game of the 2005 season, 2-1, to UC Santa Barbara at Matador Soccer Field.
The two goals from Sami Svrcek and six saves from goalkeeper Jamie Considine solidified the Gauchos victory.
The loss dropped CSUN to 11-6, 3-4 in Big West play, while the Gauchos improved to 8-10, 2-4 in conference. The Matadors still have a chance to qualify for the tournament, but will have to win its last two games and get some help from other Big West teams.
The Gauchos scored first in minute 12 when Svrcek received a cross-pass from Genelle Ives and fired the ball past CSUN goalkeeper April Cline, giving Santa Barbara an early 1-0 lead.
CSUN had several chances to respond. Senior Brianna Monka fired a shot from 12 yards out, only to have the shot saved by Considine in minute 17. Three minutes later, senior forward Leila Pate had the first opportunity, but was denied by the Gaucho defense.
Sophomore Tryna Tafoya had the next attempt, but her shot bounced off the crossbar. Pate chased down the rebound, but her second attempt at the goal was deflected by Considine, off the crossbar and out of bounds.
The Matadors finally got on the board when Monka passed ahead to Mary Ortega, who then found Pate who fired a shot from the top of the box to tie the game at 1-1.
UCSB was not to be denied, and it would be Svrcek that dealt CSUN the final blow in minute 66, when she received another cross-pass, this time from Allie Kueny, and headed the ball into the net, regaining the lead for the Gauchos.
CSUN had several chances to respond, especially when keeper Kelly Soler was substituted for Jamie Considine. Sophomore Kristy Krohn had two opportunities to even the score, but both attempts were stopped by Soler.
CSUN’s best chance to tie the game came in minute 81 off a corner kick. Tafoya kicked the ball toward sophomore Rachel Gillis, but her header missed high and the Gauchos held on the rest of the match.
Prior to the loss to the Gauchos, CSUN registered a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind win in overtime over the Cal Poly Mustangs on Friday.
Pate was the hero as she scored nearly a minute into the first overtime period on a cross-pass from Krohn that beat goalkeeper Liz Hill to end the game, The goal sent her father into celebration.
“I’ve waited four years for that moment,” said Pate.
Cal Poly started the match strong as Sharon Day received a pass from Kelsey Carroll and moved in on the box. Day’s shot was deflected off of Cline, but Day recovered the loose ball and reloaded another shot at the top of the box, this time converting. Day However was injured on the play and did not return.
The Matadors quickly responded as junior Sara Davis launched a free kick into the box. Kristal Phillips recovered the free kick and fired it toward the goal, but it was deflected back into play by Hill. Tafoya recovered the loose ball and sent it past Hill, into the back of the net, evening the score at 1-1.
CSUN then took the lead when senior Alicia Coenen found Monka deep inside Cal Poly territory. Monka took the pass, rushed the into box and beat Hill for her eighth goal of the year, giving the Matadors a 2-1 advantage.
Cal Poly tied the game just a mere two minutes after Monka’s goal when Erica Zumbahlen rebounded here own shot attempt and scored from the top of the box, again tying the game at 2-2.
In the second half Cal Poly took the lead when Sierra Simmons found Carroll inside CSUN territory. Carroll moved in and fired a shot past Cline, who was caught outside the goal box, giving the Mustangs a 3-2 advantage.
It only took CSUN 19 seconds to respond as Krohn floated the ball into the net from 35 yards out to tie the game for the last time. The game eventually headed into overtime, setting the stage for Pate’s heroics.
“We put in all the hard work in practice, and coming off a four-game losing streak … It was huge for us,” said Tafoya of the victory.
The Matadors close out the regular season with two non-conference road games. The first game will be against Loyola Marymount on Oct. 27 and the last game will be against Pepperdine on Oct. 30.
Ivan Yeo can be reached at email@example.com.