Henrik Regitnig made six saves for CSUN as the Matadors and Cal State Fullerton played to a 0-0 tie in Big West men’s soccer action at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, CA Wednesday night.
“Tonight was a very competitive game in which both clubs were evenly matched, both goalies came up big for their teams,” said CSUN head coach Terry Davila.
After Cal State Fullerton’s Samuel Goni took the first shot of the match in the seventh minute. Julio Rubio just missed with a header off a direct kick a little over two minutes later. The Matadors worked the ball back into the offensive zone the next time down. Daniel Trejo ended up with a 1-on-1 opportunity. Paul-Andre Guerin, the Cal State Fullerton goalie, came up with the save.
The Titans drove to the net, creating an opening for Goni who took a header that was pushed out of bounds by CSUN goalie Henrik Regitnig for the save. The Matadors cleared the ensuing corner, but Cal State Fullerton sent the ball back into the CSUN end, resulting in a second corner. The Titans took a shot that went wide right. Goni’s third attempt of the first half was a header that came midway through the first half and was again saved by Regitnig.
With just under 20 to play in the first half, Regitnig turned away an Oscar Flores shot from seven yards out. Cal State Fullerton could not take advantage of the resulting corner kick. CSUN drew a foul with a little over 10 minutes to go, resulting in a Jordan Kinoshi free kick. Kinoshi’s chance appeared to be going in the top left of the net.
Guerin was able to stretch out and knock the ball away for the save. The Matadors charged down the field a little over four minutes later. Jumoke Hutton sent the ball towards Nicholas Grinde who passed the ball to Papi Diouf in front of the net. Diouf appeared to have an open net, but his blast went just wide. Cal State Fullerton threatened in the 40th minute as Daniel Adoo’s attempt from 20 yards out was saved by Regitnig.
Cal State Fullerton (7-5-2, 2-2-1 Big West) recorded the first corner kick of the second half in the 49th minutes with the Titans taking the opening shot of the second half in the 58th minute. Michael Flores tallied the first CSUN shot of the second half in the 61st minute, an attempt that went wide left after the Titans committed a foul that resulted in a yellow card. CSUN successfully defended a Titan corner in the 68th minute.
The Matadors earned a corner in the 70th. The set piece resulted in a Darion Mealing header that Guerin saved on the goal line. The rebound came out in front where Kinoshi sent a ball that went high towards the Cal State Fullerton net and out of bounds. A Titans’ attack in the 74th minute resulted in Ross McPhie’s shot begin saved by Regitnig.
The Matadors withstood a three-shot Titan barrage in the 77th. Bass Sarr’s attempt from point blank range was saved by Regitnig. The ball came out to Oscar Flores who took a shot that went off the right post. The rebound found Christian Pinzon who went high with his attempt. The CSUN defense capped off the sequence by clearing a Cal State Fullerton corner kick.
“(Cal State Fullerton) transitioned well and made some good passes to catch us,” Davila said. “Henrik is very good and was able to make the saves.”
Regitnig again turned Sarr from inside his own box with a save in the 81st minute. CSUN earned a corner in the 84th minute which was pushed out. The ball was sent back in towards Samuel Dadzie who took a shot that made it past the Cal State Fullerton defenders, but was saved by Guerin. CSUN earned a corner kick with 29 seconds remaining in regulation. Michael Flores put the ball towards the net where it was cleared out, sending the match into overtime.
Emmanuel Usen Jr recorded the lone offensive chance of the first overtime for either squad. With two minutes remaining, he dribbled through the Cal State Fullerton defense and sent a blast toward Guerin who knocked the ball out of bounds for the save. The Titans defended the resulting CSUN corner.
Three minutes into the second overtime, Oscar Flores worked his way open for the Titans, but he could not take advantage as he went wide with an attempt from inside the 18-yard mark. With 16 seconds left, a Cal State Fullerton offensive rush resulted in a McPhie open look. He sent the ball wide left for the final attempt of the match.
Regitnig and the CSUN defense have posted back-to-back shutouts have not allowed a goal for the last 203:47 dating back to Oct. 5 against UC Santa Barbara. Guerin registered five saves as he earned his fourth clean sheet of 2017.
The Matadors (6-6-2, 1-2-2 Big West) host UC Irvine (7-4-3, 2-1-2 Big West) Saturday night. UCI sits on top of the South Division standings with eight points. The match will begin at 7 p.m. and is Bring Your Own Parent Night. It is free admission for CSUN students and their parents with a CSUN student ID.
“UCI is on top right now,” Davila said. “We are looking up at them, this is an important game with a six-point swing on the line.”