The Drama Queens
UCI 1, CSUN 0
In an ominous night at Anteater Stadium, a mist rolled in that ruined any chance of stargazing for fans attending the high-stakes Big West matchup. Offensively, the star athletes weren’t able to shine either in the low-scoring affair. Both Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine played a physical, defensive game, as neither team allowed many shot attempts.
The Anteaters played aggressively, attacking on defense and firing shots on offense, but the defensive battle meant that neither side could get off any legitimate shot attempts. As the 90-minute mark arrived, the team’s demeanor suggested that the ’Eaters had pulled off the victory, but the scoreboard still represented a nil-nil tie. All evening UCI’s bench exuded confidence. They rarely took a seat, positively supporting their team, as opposed to Cal State Northridge’s sideline, which looked as if they had just come from a funeral. At the end of regulation, everything was knotted up, the scoreboard reading 0-0. UCI and CSUN tallied 12 shots in both halves and both keepers recorded four saves.
Although the Matadors made a valiant attempt at upsetting the No. 18 Anteaters, it was UC Irvine’s game to win. After scoring a game-winning goal in the 109th minute against UCSB on Sunday, UCI won yet another double overtime thriller on Friday night.
“I don’t know if it was our best performance,” senior captain Tanya Taylor said. “The game was full of a lot of emotion, but we found a way to pull out a win.”
With two of their top scorers, Taylor and sophomore Mar Rodriguez, receiving yellow cards in the late stages of regulation, the team managed to avoid playing conservatively in overtime and continued to push the action. In the 103rd minute, Rodriguez took a pass from junior Amanda Hardeman and snuck it just inside the left post to score the contest’s lone goal.
For Rodriguez, it was her sixth goal of the season, tying her for second on the team lead with junior Lexi Kopf.
Senior goalkeeper, Danielle de Seriere and the rest of the Lady Anteaters defense continue to steam roll opposing offenses. The shutout against the Matadors marked the eighth game out of the last 10 in which the ’Eaters have not allowed a goal to the opposing team. And in the last 10 games, the Lady Anteaters have only given up three goals.
Scott Juniper’s squad has quite the flair for the dramatics, notching their third overtime win in the last five games.
A victory over Northridge extended their current win streak to 10 games. The Anteaters haven’t lost in nearly two months. In fact, their last losing effort came on Aug. 29 at home to Seattle, in a non-conference nail-biter.
UCI, now 13-1-2 with an undefeated 5-0 record in league, will put their perfect Big West season on the line on Thursday in the Black and Blue rivalry game at Long Beach State. Last season, the ’Eaters shut the 49ers out 3-0 in late October.