Fit To Be Tied
September 21, 2013
Santa Clarita, Calif. -- This was no consolation for Jim Rickard and his band of Mustangs. Even a tie against one of the nation's best teams will do little to console a squad that is desperately seeking a victory after starting the campaign winless in four starts.
Such was the attitude Saturday afternoon after The Master's College and 22nd-ranked Cal State San Marcos each tallied in the match's last 14 minutes before playing to a 1-1 tie through double overtime in the Mustangs' home opener on Reese Field. Although the deadlock snapped the Mustangs' losing streak at four games, it still left them winless at 0-4-1.
It could have been much different for the Mustangs if they had only solved Cougar keeper Zach Sheppard, who turned back 12 shots, four of those coming in the match's first nine minutes on shots by Julio Barrios (Rosamond, CA), Jorge Serrano (Sylmar, CA), Austin Michelson (Scotts Valley, CA), and Zach Klindworth.
On the other end, Mustang goalie Christian Bryant, playing the entire match for the first time in 2013, was just as stingy, turning away a trio of Cougar shots on goal as the two teams went to halftime scoreless. The Cougars outshot the Mustangs 7-5 over the opening 45 minutes.
It stayed that way for most of the second half with the Mustangs building up a 14-8 shot advantage. Sheppard was up to the task over the first 30 minutes, rebuffing five Mustang shots on goal.
However, that changed dramatically in the game's 77th minute (76:35) when sophomore Austin Rochow (Canyon Country, CA), off passes from Vini Barauna (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Serrano, beat Sheppard with his first goal of the season for a 1-0 lead.
However, that slightest of leads lasted less than four minutes as San Marcos' Eric Lopez put one by Bryant at the 80:12 mark to knot the contest. The Mustangs had a couple of chances to move ahead in the final three minutes but Sheppard recorded saves on shots by Joey Mikulas (Monument, CO) and Rochow.
The Cougars came out firing in the first overtime, shooting three times, including one by Dustin Scibilia that hit the crossbar with 1:03 remaining. However, the Mustangs survived to play another 10 minutes.
In that final window of play, the Cougars couldn't generate any offense and the Mustangs came oh so close to winning it when Jordan Edwards' header with 49 seconds left was saved by Sheppard to preserve the deadlock.
Overall, the Mustangs edged the Cougars 20-19 in shots with Bryant notching five saves.
Now, the Mustangs must wait until Tuesday for another chance at that first win when they host Bethesda at 4:00pm on Reese Field.