LOS ANGELES -
In its lone tuneup for the 2014 season, the preseason-24th ranked CSUN Matadors snatched a victory from the LMU Lions 3-2 on Saturday night at Sullivan Field. Victor Vasquez's goal in the 102nd minute lifted CSUN to the win after LMU rallied from two goals down to tie the match with eight minutes to play.
The teams competed in three 35-minute periods to allow for an added break and the opportunity to play in overtime conditions. Two sides in the West region that are expected to compete for spots in the NCAA Tournament this season, the Matadors and Lions battled from the first whistle.
Goalkeeper Kevin Marquez got the start for CSUN and played two of the three periods, recording six saves and keeping LMU off of the scoreboard in the process. The Matadors did not get credited with a shot in the first half, but were able to score a goal nonetheless.
LMU nearly opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but a shot from Sebastian De Rada that beat Marquez was cleared off the line by the CSUN defense.
In the 35th minute, CSUN took the lead when Gabe Robinson threw a ball in from the right side that landed in the box. Carlos Gonzalez went after the loose ball and appeared to get a shot off before it hit a Lions defender and wound up in the back of the net, but the play was ruled officially as an own goal.
Twenty-two minutes later the Matadors increased their lead to 2-0 off the head of Nicolas Camacho. Edwin Rivas sailed a ball from the left side of the field to the right corner flag, where it was met by Sagi Lev-Ari. Lev-Ari took a few dribbles toward midfield before curling in the ball to Camacho, who was left unguarded at the near post.
The Matadors held the two-goal lead at the end of 70 minutes before a wild third period unfolded for the fans in attendance. Greg Antognoli brought LMU back to within a goal when he slid a shot below goalkeeper Adam Hobbs in the 93rd minute and the Lions tied the score just over five minutes later.
In the 98th, De Rada was able to get revenge for his earlier shot when he tucked one home from about six yards out into the net to make the score 2-2 with minutes left. Not content with the possible draw, CSUN sent numbers forward.
With just over three minutes to play Vasquez, a defender by trade, went on a run up the left side. He then sent the ball toward the back post and put the Matadors ahead for good when it found the inside of the far post. CSUN held on for the final few moments to come away with the 3-2 win.
CSUN will open the 2014 regular season on Friday, Aug. 29, at Denver. The Matadors will battle the Pioneers at 6 p.m. before heading to Air Force for a 12 p.m. match on Sunday, Aug. 31.