The CSUN women’s soccer team worked a little overtime to put itself in a position to clinch a spot in the Big West Tournament.
The Matadors accomplished back-to-back overtime wins in their weekend games against UC Davis on Oct. 13 and the Pacific Tigers on Oct. 15, both by scores of 2-1. The only difference in the two games was how the wins were accomplished. The Matadors had to come from behind against the Aggies and actually had to play two overtimes before midfielder Kristy Krohn kicked in the game winner in the 109th minute. Against Pacific, the Matadors struck first, and allowed the Tigers to equalize in the second half, but needed only four overtime minutes to win the game thanks to the head of defender Rachel Gillis.
“That was a great team we just beat,” head coach Keith West said of Pacific.
The Aggies got on the board first in the 18th minute. A CSUN foul set up a free kick for Davis 35 yards out. Katie Snyder sent a long ball past goalkeeper April Cline into the net for a 1-0 Aggie lead.
Davis almost had a two-goal lead when Snyder sent another free kick into the Matador box. Cline got a piece of the ball, but it slipped out of her hands. The ball hit the post but didn’t clear the goal line and Cline quickly smothered the ball before any other Aggie got a chance to shoot.
CSUN finally tied the game in the 55th minute on a corner kick. Midfielder Devon Nizich sent the kick into the Aggie box, and midfielder Susie Mischenko headed the ball to defender Sara Davis, who fired the ball past Aggie goalkeeper Megan Daws at the left into the net.
CSUN had a chance to go ahead following Davis’ goal. Forward Tessa Binkley chased down a lead pass from Nizich and quickly charged toward the goal. Binkley lobbed a shot attempt that missed to the right. The Matadors had the best chance to net the golden goal in the first overtime. Binkley sent a ball into Aggie territory and forward Farryn Townley tracked it down, but Daws came out and deflected Townley’s shot attempt on a slide kick and forced the ball out of bounds.
Then in the second overtime, The Matadors finally pushed across the game winner in the 109th minute. Forward Kristal Phillips tracked down a loose ball at the left side of Davis territory and charged toward the goal. Daws came out of the goal line to contest Phillips, but Phillips lobbed the ball past Daws, then headed the ball into the middle of the box and midfielder Kristy Krohn slid and kicked the ball into the empty net.
“I wanted to head it in, but luckily it went right to her foot,” Phillips said.
“It was all Kristal, I think Kristal did it all,” Krohn said. “I was just there to poke it in and hope it went in.”
The Matadors looked to carry the momentum into its matchup with Pacific. The Matadors had most of the scoring chances in the first half, but couldn’t capitalize. Then with time winding down, midfielder Kelley Ross sent the ball off a Pacific defender into the net with 14 seconds left, giving the Matadors the lead heading into the locker room.
Pacific tied the game in the 57th minute when Mary Van Dorn shot from the top of the box and sent the ball past Cline at the right side into the net, tying the game.
The game eventually went into overtime. Pacific had the first good look when Cline left the net to deflect the ball away from the goal. The ball though went to Kelsey Nagel who looked to capitalize on the empty net, but she shot high and the Matadors had dodged a huge bullet.
CSUN soon got its chance. A Pacific foul set up a free kick deep inside Pacific territory. Davis sent the kick into the Tiger box and Rachel Gillis headed the ball left. Pacific goalkeeper Jaime Souza misjudged where the ball was going and as a result, the ball went into the left net for the game-winning goal.
“Honestly I saw the ball rolling very slowly,” Gillis said. “But then I turned and saw the keeper going the wrong way so I definitely knew it was going in.”
The Matadors out-gained the Tigers in shot attempts 14-10 and corner kicks 6-4. Gillis took four shots and Krohn and Mischenko each had two.
“We had a lot of pressure,” forward Carrie Faith Murphy said. “We just stuck to our game plan.”
The Matadors look to secure their place in the Big West Tournament next week, but will have their work cut out for them, as they travel to UC Santa Barbara to face the Gauchos Oct. 20, then to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to face the Mustangs on Oct. 22.