NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
David Turcios scored his first career goal and Edwin Rivas added his sixth of the season to lead the Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-3-0, 1-0-0 Big West) to a 2-0 win over the UC Davis Aggies (2-4-4, 0-1-0 Big West) on Friday night at Matador Soccer Field. The victory was the fifth in a row for Northridge and the team's third straight shutout.
"It is not easy to get a win and three points in the Big West," said head coach Terry Davila. "It was not a pretty win for us, but it was a win nonetheless. Our overall team defense is what is going to help or hinder us the rest of the way."
Turcios put the Matadors ahead early with a goal in the seventh minute of play. After teammate Joe Franco threw the ball in from the right side, Turcios dribbled into the box and fired a shot that glanced off goalkeeper Omar Zeenni before he put home the rebound.
Rivas doubled the lead less than 10 minutes later to finish off the scoring. Carlos Benavides passed the ball to Rene Aguiano in the middle of the field before a chipped ball found Rivas alone behind his defender.
Rivas then deked Zeenni by going to his left before shooting across his body and into the back of the net. The goal for Rivas set a new season high for the forward after he scored five goals last season.
Physical play by both sides resulted in four yellow cards during the first half, three of which were shown to Northridge players. Rivas, Benavides and Jose Luis Garcia were all cautioned for CSUN while Nick Grigoriev was booked for the Aggies.
Less than two minutes into the second half, more discipline was doled out to UC Davis in the form of a red card to Ethan Shawlee after a foul away from the ball. Despite playing over 43 minutes down a man, the Aggies did not concede a goal in the second half and limited the Matadors to just three shots after halftime.
Northridge goalkeeper Michael Abalos made two saves in goal to pick up his 22nd career victory and move into fourth place all-time at CSUN. The clean sheet was the 17th of his career as well.
With the win, the Matadors moved to 9-1-2 all-time in Big West Conference openers and have earned wins in each of the last five. The Northridge record for consecutive conference openers won is 10, set from 1978-87.
Northridge returns to action with a conference match against Big West newcomer Sacramento State on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.