Oct. 18, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-5-1, 2-2 BWC) pulled of their most impressive win of the 2009 season with a 1-0 shutout win over the #3-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (10-3-1, 4-1 BWC), handing UCSB their first Big West Conference loss Sunday afternoon at Matador Field.
After 77 hard fought minutes by both teams, the Matadors finally broke a scoreless tie thanks to a shot from the head of Robert Pate that reached the back of the net to give CSUN a 1-0 lead deep into the contest.
Unfortunately for Sims, his point-blank shot was stopped by Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Hayden; with Hayden unable to collect the cross he had no choice but to knock it out to safety. Instead of traveling towards midfield, or one of the sidelines, the ball was still in play just in front of the Gaucho goal giving Pate an opportunity to head in the rebound for his second goal of the season.
With over ten minutes still remaining in the game, Matador head coach Terry Davila still encouraged his team to score another goal. Rather than retreat and play with a defense-oriented mindset for the remainder of the game.
Northridge was almost able to score another goal only moments after the first one when Sunghyun Kim received a long-ball pass and furiously outran the Gaucho defenders on a breakaway opportunity. Kim delivered a shot on goal but Hayden made another impressive save to keep the Gauchos still within a goal heading into the final minutes.
But it was the Northridge back-line that shined during the latter moments of the game, as they did not allow another shot on goal following Pate’s goal to earn their second conference victory of the season.
Going into Sunday’s contest it was the Gauchos that were playing impressive soccer as they shutout their previous five opponents; this time they were the team that was unable to score as the Matadors handed UCSB their first loss in the series since September, 2006 when CSUN shutout the Gauchos 5-0 in a game that also took place at Matador Field.
Matador soccer fans in attendance saw one of the strongest all-around performances of the season, as CSUN seemed to possess the ball in the Gauchos’ half of the field for the majority of the game and were determined to establish their pace of play throughout the entire match.
Northridge outshot UCSB by an 18-9 overall margin, held one of the most potent offenses in the nation to only three shots on goal, and outshot the Gauchos in the second half 11-5.
Led by Sims and his five shots, seven different Matadors fired away at the Gaucho net and forced Santa Barbara to make ten saves.
CSUN will complete their three-game home stand with a match-up with the UC Davis Aggies this Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Matador soccer fans can catch all the action via GameTracker on www.GoMatadors.com.