No. 6 CSUN Blanks UC Davis, Earns Third Consecutive Clean Sheet
DAVIS, Calif. -
Cal State Northridge wrapped up its Northern California road trip with its third consecutive shutout as the Matadors (10-1-0, 2-0-0 Big West) defeated the UC Davis Aggies (5-5-1, 1-1-0 Big West) 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Aggie Soccer Field. The Matadors used a header from Brian Behrad in the first half and a late strike from Edwin Rivas in the second to earn a clean sheet in a rematch of the 2012 Big West Conference Tournament Final.
The Aggies came out flying from the start of the match and registered a pair of shots in the first two minutes. In fact, UC Davis had three attempts just miss the target before the Matadors recorded their first shot in the 10th minute of play.
Adding to the pressure for UC Davis was the ability to create opportunities, but the Aggies could not capitalize on any of their seven corner kicks in the first half. As Cal State Northridge has shown over the past few weeks, the Matadors took advantage of any space available and made the opposition pay.
After coming on as a substitute in the 20th minute as a way to disrupt the Aggie defense, Behrad found the perfect moment to strike and put the Matadors ahead 1-0 in the 32nd minute. A textbook cross from Beto Velasquez found Behrad just three yards from goal and the senior found enough space by the near post to notch his sixth goal of the season.
Northridge goalkeeper Adam Hobbs made one of his two saves on the day in the 43rd minute to help CSUN go into the break with the lead despite being outshot 10-3.
UC Davis continued to turn up the pressure on the Northridge defense and took the first four shots of the second half. Yarden Azulay nearly found the net for the Matadors in the 67th minute but his shot was saved by Aggie goalkeeper Omar Zeenni inside the box.
The late stages of the match featured four more corner kicks for the Aggies, but it was a mistake just outside of their own box that set up the insurance goal by Rivas.
At the top of the 18-yard box, Steven Manios stole the ball from his defender and slotted it to Rivas. The junior forward the took a one-timed shot from 12 yards out and found the back of the net for the third time this season.
With the victory, Hobbs moves into a tie for 10th place in CSUN history for single-season wins (10). He also collected his second shutout on the year.
Cal State Northridge will take its three-match win streak into a pair of tough matches at Matador Soccer Field next weekend. The Matadors will host UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. and battle Cal Poly on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 6:30 p.m.