HILLSBORO, Ore. — In the face of 110-degree temperatures on the playing surface, a young Portland State defense stood tall against a strong CSUN attack, but a 78th-minute goal from the Matadors’ Sylvia Trinh broke the deadlock, leading CSUN to a 1-0 win over the Vikings Friday at Hillsboro Stadium.
CSUN (1-0-0) outshot the Vikings (0-1-0) 16-5, including an 11-1 advantage after halftime, but it wasn’t until Trinh’s late goal that the Matadors were able to crack the Vikings’ defense.
“We played a great first half and it was a very close match really through the first 60 minutes,” Portland State head coach Laura Schott said afterwards. “We lost 3-0 to this team last year and the heat was a factor today – exceeding 100 – but our group has no excuses for dropping the game out of a stoppage in play. We are all on the same page, we are excited moving forward and we will continue to improve.”
Trinh’s goal came after a Portland State clearance of a deep CSUN throw-in deflected back towards the face of goal. The deflection fell to the Matadors’ Taylor Hobson, who quickly flicked the ball to Trinh. Hobson’s flick was quick enough to where Trinh was left with a huge 1v1 advantage against Portland State goalkeeper Abbie Faingold, and Trinh easily slotted in the goal from 15 yards.
The goal put an unfair blemish on what had been, to that point, a strong second half for Faingold, who subbed in for teammate Ashton Blanksma at the break.
Faingold finished the half with five total saves, with several of them coming in 1v1 situations against Matador attackers where she was the Vikings’ last line of defense.
Faingold recorded her first save of the half in the 47th minute, when CSUN’s Kourtney Kutscher flicked a ball over the top of Viking center back Jade Rafallo, giving her a look at Faingold in goal. Faingold came out off the right post, however, and smothered Kutscher’s shot for a save.
A good through ball from Hobson put Kutscher in scoring position again in the 63rd minute, but Faingold kicked Kutscher’s shot wide of the right post for another save.
CSUN’s Camille Watson then played a nice through ball to Cynthia Sanchez in the 78th minute, putting Faingold in 1v1 position against another Matador attacker. Watson’s pass was just long enough to make the angle tougher on Sanchez, and Faingold was able to block the ball around the right post once again.
Faingold wasn’t the Vikings’ only strong performer defensively, however, as Blanksma and center back Kristin Moyer made several strong plays in the first half to cut out chances for the Matadors.
Moyer made a tricky defensive play in the 35th minute, as a long ball over the top of the Vikings’ defense left Sanchez with a strong scoring chance. Moyer caught up to Sanchez as she collected the high-bouncing pass, and cut in front of her to clear the ball out for a throw-in. Sanchez went down on the play and begged for a penalty to be given, but Moyer had positioned herself well enough that the referee didn’t give it.
Blanksma also made two saves in goal for the Vikings in the first half, and recorded her first career start in the match.
“Abbie and Ashton are still in a battle for the starting spot and both handled their time well today,” Schott said. “That spot continues to be contested. There is no doubt that Ashton was solid and that Abbie took more heat in the second half and handled it very well.”
Milder weather would be welcomed for the Vikings’ next match, too, which will come next Friday against cross-town rival Portland. The match will be the first regular-season meeting between the Vikings and Pilots since 2010, and will kick off at 5 p.m. (PT) at Merlo Field on the UP campus.
Match Notes: The Vikings fall to 1-5-0 all-time against CSUN after Friday’s match…The Vikings started three freshmen on their back line in Rafallo, Kasey Isobe and Maxine Nagramada, who played in her first counting match as a Viking after missing what would have been her freshman season in 2015 due to injury…Krystal de Ramos led the Vikings with three shots in the match, and had one of the Vikings’ two shots on goal.