FULLERTON, Calif. -
After allowing a goal less than two minutes into the second half, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-0) scored twice in the next seven minutes to defeat the American University Eagles (1-1) 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Titan Stadium. The Matadors finished play undefeated at the Wilson Titan Classic to claim the tournament championship.
The match proved to be a seesaw battle through the first 45 minutes as the two sides played a scoreless first half. The Matadors led on the shot chart 6-5 and American goalkeeper Billy Knutsen had to make three saves to keep the match level.
Both sides looked to break out early in the second half but it was the Eagles that put up the match's first goal in the 47th minute. Patrick Mehlert sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by Northridge goalkeeper Michael Abalos before Alassane Kane volleyed the loose ball into the net for his second goal of the season.
The Matadors were able to answer less than four minutes later when sophomore forward Edwin Rivas scored his second goal of the weekend. Carlos Benavides sent a through ball on the left side to Rivas, who beat a diving Knutsen on the near side of the goal.
Play began to get more physical and American's Dale McDonald was issued a straight red card in the 52 minute. Up a man, the Matadors were able to capitalize and took the lead for good in the 54th minute of action.
In addition to McDonald's red card, Connor Osborne (30th minute) and Mehlert (65th minute) picked up yellows for the Eagles. Rivas (27th minute) and Jose Luis Garcia (79th minute) were issued cautions for the Matadors.
With two goals and an assist at the Classic, Rivas was named the weekend's Offensive Most Valuable Player. Northridge defender Armando Gutierrez was named the Defensive MVP for his work in the Matadors' two victories.
Benavides and Barak each earned their second assist of the season on Sunday.
The Matadors continue their road trip on Friday, August 31 with a match at Georgetown at 1 p.m. PDT.
2012 WILSON TITAN CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Joe Franco, Sr., D, Cal State Northridge
Rene Anguiano, Sr., M, Cal State Northridge
Edwin Rivas, So., F, Cal State Northridge
Armando Gutierrez, Sr., D, Cal State Northridge
Alassane Kane, Sr., F, American University
Cristobol Soto, Jr., D, American University
Ryan Morales, Sr., M, American University
Steven Evans, Jr., M, Portland
Derek Boggs, So. M, Portland
Keith Grubisich, Sr., D, Portland
Jaime Cano, Jr., D, Cal State Fullerton
DEFENSIVE MVP: Armando Gutierrez, Cal State Northridge