NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
After going 13-5-1 in the regular season and winning a pair of matches to advance to the Big West Conference Tournament Final, the No. 25 Cal State Northridge Matadors earned the 15th overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and a first-round bye, the selection committee announced Monday morning. The Matadors will host the winner of a first round match between Stanford and Loyola Marymount at Matador Soccer Field on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m.
"I have a lot of respect for both Stanford and LMU," said CSUN head coach Terry Davila. "They are well-run and very disciplined. Whoever we face on Sunday will be a tough battle."
Cal State Northridge is in the Field of 48 for the second year in a row and sixth time in school history. The Matadors received a national seed and will be in the second round for the first time since 2005, when the team advanced as far as the Sweet Sixteen.
"The Committee showed us a lot of respect in giving us a bye and we are very thankful," added Davila. "We've worked very hard to be where we are."
"The bye means a lot to us and gives us a chance to get rest," said senior forward Brian Behrad. "Especially after the Big West Tournament and going to the finals, we've played a lot of soccer. Every single game we've given it our all and we will continue to do so."
Cal State Northridge forward Sagi Lev-Ari is the leading scorer entering the NCAA Tournament, having recorded 16 goals, six assists and 38 points. As a team, the Matadors lead the country in assists (58) and points (144). In addition to having the top goalscorer, CSUN has the top assist man from the Big West Conference in Beto Velasquez (9).
Stanford, an at-large team from the Pac-12 Conference, will host LMU on Thursday night to determine who will advance to face CSUN on Sunday. Loyola Marymount enters the NCAA Tournament as the champions of the West Coast Conference.
A potential Third Round clash looms with second-seeded Washington, while the Gauchos and New Mexico Lobos could stand in the Matadors' way in the Quarterfinals.
The 2014 College Cup will take place from December 13-15 at PPL Park in Philadelphia and will consist of the Semifinals and Final of the Tournament.
Cal State Northridge is one of three teams from the Big West in the field, joining UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. The Matadors, Gauchos and Anteaters all earned byes to the second round, marking the first time in conference history that three members were awarded national seeds in the same season.
Tickets for Sunday's match will be $10 for General Admission and $7 for CSUN Students with I.D., Youth (17 & Under) and Seniors (60+ with I.D.).