October 4, 2013

Highlanders 3 – Matadors 1

On an extremely windy Friday evening, the UC Riverside women’s soccer team powered through the elements, and came out on top against California State Northridge 3-1 in their first Big West Conference matchup of the season. With wind at a constant 20 to 30 mph and gusts nearing 60 mph, weather certainly played a factor, but despite the conditions, Riverside scored more goals than they had in any other game this season.

It seemed whoever had the wind at their backs had the advantage. During the first period the Highlanders had the advantageous position, and they led in shots, 9-4, whereas Northridge led in the same category, 10-3, in the second half when the teams switched sides. However, it is what the teams did with these opportunities that made the difference. UCR capitalized twice in the first period and once in the second while the Matadors scored only a single goal late in the game.

Five minutes into the first period, the Matadors committed a foul that resulted in a free kick by Sammy Arellano. With it, she found Danielle Giltner in the middle of the box, who headed the ball past the goalie for the first goal of the game and her first of the season. The goal also broke a three-game long stretch where Riverside had not scored.

The game stayed close until the 39th minute, when Arellano scored her second goal of the season off a nice string of passes from the Highlanders, resulting in an assist for both.

The second period was more of the same. Within the first 10 minutes, Riverside found the inside of the net again. This time it was Breanna Avila scoring her first goal of the game, locating the ball amongst a free-for-all in front of the Northridge goal and eventually getting it past Cynthia Tafoya, the Cal State goalkeeper.

At the 62nd minute mark, the Matadors finally found the back of the goal, though at that point it was too little too late. Riverside goalkeeper Elizabeth Silas played a great game, allowing only one goal, while racking up two saves out of the three shots on goal Northridge managed.