On a day where goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo etched her name in the record books forever, the Matadors (8-4-5) played host to the UC Davis Aggies in their last home game of the 2012 season, and celebrated their nine graduating seniors by earning a 1-0 victory.
“They changed our program, we’ve made the Big West tournament every year since they got here, they are a special group,” said head coach Keith West about the graduating seniors.
Jacobo, one of those seniors, logged her 30th win in goals, breaking the previous school record. She finished the game with four saves and also recorded the 23rd shutout of her career.
“It feels great, it’s also their (teams) wins as well as mine, I feel really proud,” Jacobo said.
While it was a team effort, the seniors helped play pivotal roles in securing a Matador victory.
The match was evenly contested in the early going, with neither side able to control the ball or pace of the game. Senior forward Melissa Fernandez, who would be the hero of the game, recorded the first shot on goal during an active Matador possession in the seventh minute.
An outstanding performance by Aggies sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Jern kept the Matadors off the board early with multiple sliding, diving and jumping saves. The constant pressure against the Aggies defense and Jern eventually became too much for them to handle.
Fernandez scored her third goal in two games in the 24th minute on an assist by senior forward Marisa Miller. A give and go between Fernandez and Miller resulted in the former hitting a shot in the right box past a diving Jern into the bottom left side of the net. The goal set a career-high for Fernandez with her sixth of the season.
“It was a combination play with Marisa Miller, I got the ball and found her, she got it back to me with a perfect ball and it was one on one with the keeper,” Fernandez said.
At the start of the second half, the Matadors came out with the same intensity, but the Aggies came out with a mission of their own. Putting only one shot on goal in the 35th minute during the first half, the Aggies managed to fire off three shots on goal in the second half.
“We just had to pick up our energy, I think we let down our guard a little bit, and they came at us a little more than we thought they would,” West said.
The Matadors got a scare when a UC Davis shot in the middle of the second half nearly slipped past Jacobo, who had to fully extend on a jump to block the shot, barely reaching it with her fingertips.
Needing a goal to send them into overtime, the Aggies kept the pressure on the Matadors, which resulted in tense minutes as the Matadors struggled to clear the ball, but ultimately, they were unable to score.
“They were coming at us a little bit more stronger, we were just trying to hold our ground, trying to get that win, keep fighting till the end no matter what they threw at us,” Jacobo said.