The Matadors and the Anteaters played to a 0-0 draw Thursday night in Irvine, giving each team a single point in the standings.
‘We’re happy we picked up a point in the standings,’ said Matador Assistant Coach Juan Plascencia. ‘Each team had chances to win but on the road you pick up any points you can get.’
The outcome marked the first time this year that the Matadors were involved in a scoreless contest. It was their fifth overtime game of the year, and the fourth that needed two extra periods. After the game they were left with 1-2-2 mark in overtime matches, while the Anteaters stood at 0-2-2 in those games.
The 32nd minute saw a flurry of chances for UC Irvine to open up the scoring. Four different players took a shot at the goal in a three-minute span, forcing sophomore goalkeeper Leah Elliot to work to keep the game scoreless.
Anteater goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere didn’t even have to touch the ball to prevent Northridge from scoring on its closest opportunity. Freshman Heidi Farran blasted a shot for the Matadors that ended up clanking off of the goal post to keep them off of the scoreboard.
As time began to wind down in regulation, each team had their chances. Anteater junior Kate Berrini took two of the team’s three shots in the last five minutes, but neither were threats to the goal. For Northridge, junior Sydney Vermillion launched a shot that was saved by de Seriere. The rebound came out to senior Kristal Phillips who took an attempt that traveled wide.
Overtime saw each squad take three shots apiece, but the keepers continued their dominance until time expired.
Elliot made 11 saves for the Matadors en route to her third shutout of the season, including her second in the past three games. The 11 saves is her second highest total in her career and three behind her personal record, which came against Cal Poly on Oct. 12.
‘Leah played great, and has been playing great,’ said Plascencia. ‘Even when she was put under pressure she still managed to shine and keep the game scoreless.’
De Seriere finished the game with five saves, and she too has three shutouts on the season.
Phillips led Northridge with four shots, two of them coming on goal. Three of her shots came in the two overtime periods. She was the only Matador to get looks at the net in the extra periods, but two of her chances were saved, and the other traveled wide.
Berrini led the attack for the Anteaters as she took a game-high seven shots, including a potential game-winner in the second overtime period that was saved by Elliot.
UC Irvine committed 12 fouls to Northridge’s nine. Each team attempted five corner kicks in the contest.
Following the tie, the Matadors headed to Long Beach to take on the 49ers Sunday. They now have only two games to finish the regular season and they’re both at home. They’re perennial for CSUN’s chances to make the postseason.
‘We have to win,’ said Plascencia. ‘We definitely can’t go out and lose, especially when we’re back at home. The girls are focused and know what they need to do.’