Sonoma took the lead with five minutes in the match, but couldn’t stop Cal State Stanislaus from scoring in the 90th minute of regulation to force what would turn out to be two scoreless overtime periods as they settled for a tie on Friday.
“That game pretty much had anything you would ever want in a game: the goals, being down, going up, giving up a goal at the very end, having to go to double over time, and just everything,” said head coach Emiria Salzmann-Dunn. “They’re a very good team, so we were curious to see what our team was going to do today.”
Both teams displayed superb defense in the first half, but 15 minutes into the second, Stanislaus—say that five times fast—finally broke through with the first goal of the game in the 60th-minute.
“It was a little bit hard going down the goal,” said team captain JJ McFarlin. “We hadn’t given up a goal in over a month [since the preseason] but I thought we battled back from it really well.”
Big deal, one goal?
Just let it sink in that until that point, the women’s soccer team had yet to concede a goal this season after shutting out four straight opponents.
Still, the Seawolves had little time to dwell on the past with 30 minutes left to play.
After a rough collision with the goalie on an attempt at scoring sidelined her towards the closing stages of the first half, forward Cara Curtin came back into the game with apparently only one thing in her mind: scoring.
“I didn’t think I was going to get put back in, but when I did, I decided to focus on the game and not the injury,” said Curtin. “I’m really happy I scored and got the keeper back.”
Within five minutes of reentering the game, she received a pass from Margi Osmundson that allowed her to break away from the defenders and power the ball into the upper left-hand corner of the box in the 70th-minute.
The game went into a stalemate until the closing five minutes of the game, where both sides really turned on the afterburners.
Sonoma caught a break as they received a corner in the 85th-minute to put them within striking distance.
Of course, Curtin would not settle for just one goal, so she took advantage of the corner kick and headed the ball into the right side of the net, assisted by none other than her sister, Lauren Curtin.
“They [the Curtins] just have an innate understanding of how to play together and that’s beyond coaching,” said Salzmann-Dunn. “They’re just twins that happen to both be extraordinarily, athletically gifted.”
The crowd and the bench went absolutely wild after the Seawolves came back from a 0-1 deficit and take a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Stanislaus caught a lucky break of their own that took Sonoma by surprise to score in the final minute of the game to force overtime.
With plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams, overtime was certainly anything but uneventful, but ultimately neither side was able to come away with the game-winning goal.
“We did really well today I was really happy with our performance,” said Curtin. “We made really smart decisions and we stopped the main players we had to focus on.”
The two teams each held a perfect 4-0-0 record coming into the game and both exit with 4-0-1 records—an occurrence that doesn’t happen very often.
“Every game we just want to grow and get better,” said McFarlin.
“There’s a lot to take from this: just battling and pushing through when we’re tired, and playing overtime is always good in the beginning of the season because it really pushes you.”
The Seawolves will head down south to play Cal Poly Pomona and UC San Diego this upcoming weekend before returning home to play Cal State Los Angeles on Sept. 4 here at Seawolf Soccer Field.
“I’m really proud of them—really, really proud of them,” said Salzmann-Dunn. “What more could you ask for? Would I have liked the win? Absolutely, but it teaches us something, and maybe the tie will just keep us hungry.”