Sept. 7, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - Goals by forwards Cameron Sims in the 17th minute and Moy Gomez at the 46th minute helped lead the Matadors (3-1-0) to a 2-0 victory over the UNLV Running Rebels (3-1-0) earlier today in the Championship Game of the Cal State Fullerton Tournament.
But it was the Matador back-line that cemented the victory, as they fueled the Matador counterattack all game long and put on a clinic for everyone in attendance. The Rebels were never able to generate the necessary space or passing lanes needed to execute their offense and were smothered by a number of defenders whenever they entered the Matador half of the field.
Matador goalkeeper Kevin Guppy did not record one save throughout the entire game, an example of how cohesive the Matador defense played throughout the entire game.
"We have a great group of guys who have a lot of confidence." stated Assistant Coach Ivan Alzate. "Now they have their identity, they feel that they are not going to give up any goals. Even if our opponent has the ball in front of the net, we feel that we are going to get that crucial blocked shot, save, or clearance."
The Matador offense also kept their poise whenever they were presented with a viable scoring opportunity as it was deftly placed pass through the penalty box by Luis Smith that set up Sims for the first goal of the game.
"It was a great run (by Sims) that created the space where I could pass the ball and put him in a position to score." said Smith.
Midfielder Dylan Riley and forward Camilo Rojas led the counterattack that set up Gomez for the second goal of the game, enabling the Matadors to focus their efforts on defense and prevent the Rebels from creating any last-minute scoring opportunities of their own.
The assist was the first of the season for Smith, while Riley and Rojas each earned their second assist of the season, leading the team in that category.
Both Gomez and Sims scored for the Matadors in their previous game against Cal State Bakersfield on Friday, and lead the team in scoring so far this season.
It was the second time in as many seasons where these two teams faced one another in the championship game of a tournament. Last year the Matadors downed the Rebels on their own field 1-0 in the UNLV Tournament.
Next week the Matadors travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers in their last tournament of the regular season.
"This win gives us tons of confidence" echoed Smith, "where we can go into Wisconsin and hopefully leave with a couple of wins."
In the consolation game of the tournament Cal State Bakersfield defeated Cal State Fullerton 3-2 in overtime as midfielder Manny Guzman's diving header secured the first win of the season for Bakersfield. The win improved their record to 1-3-0 for the season, while the loss dropped Fullerton to the same record.