PEORIA, Ill. – Just when it appeared Bradley was going to hold one of the nation’s top scoring teams scoreless in regulation for the first time this season, #6 Cal State Northridge (8-1-0) headed home the game-winner with just 1:02 remaining for a 1-0 road victory against the Braves (4-3-1) Saturday night at Shea Stadium.
Bradley outshot the Matadors 20-15 on the night and had the better chances in the second half with a 10-5 advantage, but the Braves could not find the back of the net. The best chance came in the 67th minute when Tyler Davis ripped a shot from outside the penalty area that was deflected to a wide open Grant Bell on the right side of the area. Bell had a 1-v-1 opportunity versus Northridge keeper Adam Hobbs, who came through with one of his four saves on the night to preserve the shutout.
The Matadors made Bradley pay for its missed opportunities in the 89th minute when Yarden Azulay sprang Beto Velasquez for a run down the right flank. Velasquez carried the ball to the end line and sent a left-footed service to the front of the goal, where Tanner Snedigar leaned in over a Bradley defender to nod home the winner at 88:58.
Bradley, which was playing its first home game since Sept. 1 and knocked off then No. 1 Connecticut during its 5-game road swing, will face another stiff challenge Wednesday night when the Braves head north for a 6 p.m match at another sixth-ranked team, Northwestern. Following the game at Northwestern, Bradley will play four of its next five games at home, beginning with an Oct. 7 clash against in-state rival Western Illinois for Faith and Family Fun Night at Shea Stadium.