September 22, 2013

No. 3 CSUN Unlucky in 4-2 Loss to No. 11 UCLA

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

In front of an overflow crowd at Matador Soccer Field, the No. 3 Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-1-0) were defeated by the No. 11 UCLA Bruins (4-2-1) on Sunday night. Northridge suffered its first loss of the season after matching a program record with a seven-match win streak to open the year.

The Matadors were the aggressors for most of the match after surviving a UCLA attack in the match's opening minutes. Northridge controlled possession throughout the night, but were unable to find the back of the net when opportunities arose.

In the first 16 minutes of play, CSUN forward Edwin Rivas had a pair of shots saved by UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr. After a UCLA shot by Leo Stolz in the 23rd minute that sailed high of the goal, neither team registered an attempt for 12 minutes, when CSUN goalkeeper Adam Hobbs made a save on a try by Victor Chavez.

Things appeared to be moving toward a haltime tie, but the Bruins were awarded a penalty kick on a disputed call that also saw Trevor Morley being shown the yellow card. Stolz converted the penalty into the lower right corner with just over a minute remaining in the half to give UCLA a 1-0 lead.

The Matadors turned up the pressure to start the second half, but it was the Bruins that found the net five minutes in to increase the margin to 2-0. After stealing the ball near the midfield line, Ryan Lee sent a cross from the left side that was flicked on by a header from Victor Chavez. The headed ball looped over Hobbs, who came off his line to play the cross, and into the net.

UCLA nearly scored once more the next minute but Hobbs made a save to spring a counter attack for the Matadors. Midfielder Chris Smith passed the ball up to Beto Velasquez on the left side, who sent a shot that deflected off a defender and into the net.

In the 74th minute, the Bruins increased their lead to two goals once more when Stolz gained possession after a scrum in the box and sent a hard shot at Hobbs. The goalkeeper got a palm to the ball and sent it straight down, but the spin allowed it to carry into the net.

The Bruins added another in the 85th minute when Felix Vobejda found Chavez with a ground pass in the box. Chavez sent a shot into the right corner for his second goal of the night.

The Matadors brought the scoreline closer two minutes later when Yarden Azulay scored his second of the year, but it would not be enough. David Turcios dribbled to the right corner of the field and crossed the ball to Azulay, who fired past Edwards for the goal.

Cal State Northridge finished with more shots (16-11) and more corner kicks (4-2), but were also whistled for more fouls (17-14) and shown more yellows (4-1).

The Matadors will enter a three-match road trip this week when the team travels to Peoria, Ill., to face Bradley on Saturday, Sept. 28. The match against the Braves will be the final non-conference contest of the year and has a scheduled kickoff of 5 p.m. PT. CSUN will then hit the road to open the Big West Conference at Sacramento State and UC Davis.