November 8, 2008

Northridge Falls To UC Irvine 2-1

Nov. 8, 2008

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Playing in their season finale against UC Irvine Saturday afternoon, the Matadors battled back from a 1-0 deficit to even the match at one apiece. But a goal scored in the 88th minute by the Anteaters would prove to be the deciding shot as Northridge concluded their season with a 2-1 defeat.

With the loss, the Matadors were eliminated from participating in next week's Big West Men's Soccer Postseason Tournament.

Entering Saturday's game, seniors Ben Cox, Kevin Guppy, and Bo Miller were looking to conclude their careers at Northridge on a positive note; all three were recognized on Senior Day in a pregame ceremony with their respective family members, coaching staff, and teammates.

With the score tied a 0-0 at halftime, both teams looked to establish their offense early in hopes of scoring the decisive goal.

In the 56th minute, Anteater midfielder Matt Murphy gave his team the lead as he was able to put his foot on a ball that ricocheted around the Matador's penalty area before finding the back of the net.

Even though Matador defender Jeremy Hohn received a red card three minutes later, Northridge refused to completely lose their poise, and began to re-focus their energy in an attempt to score the equalizing goal.

As the second half progressed, the Matadors were able to grind a number of scoring opportunities together, and began to create momentum for themselves.

With a raucous crowd cheering them on, it was a free kick taken from midfielder Sunghyun Kim in the 72nd minute that was deftly received by forward Camilo Rojas, and blasted into the net for the equalizing goal.

Earning his seventh assist on the play was Kim, his third in the last two games.

The score would remain tied until the 88th minute, when the Anteaters attacked the Matador defense and was able to convert on a one-time pass for the winning goal.

Saturday's game also marked the final occasion that Matador fans would be able to see three of its finest student-athletes take the field, as they all will be graduating at the end of the academic year.

This season, Miller scored his first goal as a Matador, a game-winner, in their conference-opening match against UC Riverside. Three games later, Miller earned his first assist in the Matador's come-from-behind victory against Cal State Fullerton on October 18th at Matador Field.

Entering the 2008 season with two career goals scored, one of which took place against UCLA last season, and two assists. Cox added another three goals to his collection this season as he found the back of the net in a home win against Alabama A&M, on the road against UC Santa Barbara, and scored the equalizing goal in the Matadors come-from-behind win last Wednesday at Cal State Fullerton, earning his Head Coach his 100h career victory in the process. 

Guppy concluded his season with a 1.12 goals against average, .783 save percentage, and earned six shutouts while earning an 8-6-4 record this season. Having earned All-Big West honors in each of the previous three seasons, Guppy now stands alone atop a number of Matador records including matches in goal with 78, wins with 37, and shutouts with 27. 

The Matadors finished the 2008 season with a 9-6-4 overall record, going 4-3-3 against their Big West counterparts. Rojas led all Matadors in scoring this season with seven goals, while Kim led the team in assists with seven. Both Kim and Rojas tied for the most overall points this season with 17, and were two of eight different Matadors who scored a goal during the 2008 campaign.