Notebook M-Soccer: Overtime troubles for Northridge


Joe Franco (3) and the Matadors haven’t won an overtime game since 2009. Photo Credit: Herber Lovato / Senior Photographer

Gilberto Manzano

Joe Franco (3) and the Matadors haven’t won an overtime game since 2009. Photo Credit: Herber Lovato / Senior Photographer

The CSUN men’s soccer team (6-6-1, 3-2 Big West) has gone into overtime four times this season and in every game the Matadors have come out winless. Redshirt junior defender Joe Franco has a simple explanation for that: “the curse of the overtime.”

During CSUN’s 2-1 loss to UC Davis Saturday night in extra minutes, there were a few signs of the Matadors being cursed. Northridge allowed Aggie forward Matt Sheldon, who entering the match had yet to score this season, to find the back of the net twice, including the golden-goal in the 94th minute.

Co-captain Franco added a realistic breakdown for why CSUN struggles in overtime.

“I think the problem that we have is a lack of focus,” Franco said. “Once we get into overtime we let loose and we put our guard down.”

The Matadors, who have a 0-3-1 record this season in extra period games, haven’t won an overtime match since defeating Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 4, 2009.

“I’ve been good to my family, I don’t know what the hard luck is,” said CSUN head coach Terry Davila, whose team went winless in five overtime games a year ago. “We’ve created enough chances to win it, we’re just going to keep digging and hopefully it comes at the right time. We know in the back of our minds that we haven’t won an overtime game and hopefully we don’t have to go into overtime anymore.”

Davila is still feeling the pain of the latest overtime loss to UC Davis, which dropped them to a second-place tie with the Aggies and Cal Poly in the Big West Conference.

“You never get over something like that,” Davila said. “When you have it in your hand and you play hard enough. “You just got to look deep down as coaches and ask if we’re preparing them right and what are some things we need to work on.”

Another reason why Davila isn’t able to get over Saturday’s loss is the disparity in shots between the two teams.

The Matadors took 20 shots compared to the Aggies’ seven shots.

“We’ve got to improve our ratio on finishing, we take 20 shots and score one goal, that’s a very low ratio,” Davila said. “We create enough opportunities we just have to improve our ratio. A couple shots were rushed, but there weren’t a lot of clear opportunities. Davis is very good defensively.”