Sept. 10, 2008
Friday, Sept. 12 vs. Wisconsin, 5:00 p.m. CST/3:00 p.m. PST (Engelmann Field)
Sunday, Sept. 14 vs. UW-Milwaukee, 2:30 p.m.CST/12:30 p.m. PST (Engelmann Field)
RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK
Friday, September 5 vs. Cal State Bakersfield, W, 3-0
Sunday, September 7 vs. UNLV, W, 2-0
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - This week finds the Matadors on the road as they travel to Milwaukee to participate in the 35th Annual Panther Classic, the longest running in-season men's soccer tournament in the United States.
Led by forwards Cameron Sims (2 g) and Moy Gomez (2 g), the Matador offense has erupted during the last two weeks as they have out-shot their opponents 50-35 so far this season, and scored seven goals throughout their current three-game winning streak.But it has been the stellar string of performances by the Matadors on defense that has enabled their offense to play more aggressively. as recent opponents have failed to create any sort of offensive rhythm, let alone the time and space needed to create a scoring opportunity of their own.
Goalkeeper Kevin Guppy has not given up a goal in the last 340 minutes of game-time, and posted three straight shutouts during their streak. Last weekend at the Cal State Fullerton tournament, he only needed to make two saves throughout the entire weekend, and did not register one save against UNLV, the latest victim of the Matador's stingy defense.
The Badgers were recently ranked #20 in the country by Soccer America, and want to prove their worth against a formidable Matador team. "We need to just follow coach's game plan because it is more about us and what we are going to do versus reacting to them. As long as what we do in practice carries over to the game then we have a great chance to win." stated Guppy.
Earlier this week, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America released both their national and regional polls, and for the first time this season the Matadors made the list as they were ranked #10 in the Far West region, one of five Big West teams to make the list.
A win over the nationally-ranked Badgers would definitely help the Matadors ascend the rankings, and make it difficult for voters to exclude them from next week's regional and national poll.
Even though this is the Matadors first true road trip of the season, there is little time for the team to enjoy their surroundings as they travel to Wisconsin with only one thing on their mind. As midfielder Luis Smith confidently stated after their championship-clinching victory last Sunday in Fullerton, "we have been playing great as a team recently, and if we continue to play well on both sides of the ball, we can leave Wisconsin with two wins."
The Matadors return home next week at they recover from their trip and prepare to face Sacramento State at Matador Field on Sunday September 21st. Kick-off will take place at 2:30p.m.