October 20, 2009

Half-Way There...

Oct. 20, 2009

Matador Men's Soccer Notes Get Acrobat Reader

UPCOMING GAMES

Wednesday, October 21: Matadors vs. UC Davis, 3:00 P.M. (Matador Field) - GameTracker      

Saturday, October 24: Matadors at Cal Poly, 11:00 A.M. (Alex G. Spanos Stadium)

LAST WEEK'S ACTION

Sunday, October 18 vs. #3 UC Santa Barbara, W, 1-0

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After defeating the third-ranked team in the country last weekend, the Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-5-1, 2-2-0 BWC) will look to distance themselves from their Big West brethren in the race for one of four possible spots in the Conference Post-Season Tournament. On Wednesday the Matadors will finish a three-game home stand when they face the UC Davis Aggies (5-10-0, 2-4-0 BWC) at Matador Field before traveling to San Luis Obispo for a Saturday morning date with the Cal Poly Mustangs (6-7-1, 4-1-0 BWC).

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK

Cal State Northridge had their strongest performance of the season in their 1-0 victory against the #3-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos last Sunday at Matador Field. With both teams tied at 0-0 at the half, a header by Northridge forward Robert Pate in the 78th minute was the only goal that was scored giving CSUN their 14th won over their rivals, tying up the overall series in the process. Pate's header was his first touch of the game as he came off the bench to not only score the game-winner, but set new personal season high marks in shots (4) and shots on goal (3) in the process. With Northridge possessing the ball in the Gaucho's half of the pitch for a majority of the contest, seven different Matadors were able to fire away at Gaucho goalkeepers Sam Hayden and Trond Helge Takset as the Matadors doubled up on the Gauchos and outshot them by an 18-9 margin. Freshman goalkeeper Michael Abalos only needed to make two saves the entire game to earn his second shutout of the season as Northridge picked up their second conference win of the season.

A CLOSER LOOK AT UC DAVIS

As the Matadors near the half-way mark of the conference schedule, the team welcomes UC Davis to Matador Field for the first time since November, 2007. With two games in-hand in comparison to the Aggies, both teams enter Wednesday's game tied with UC Irvine for fourth place with two victories and six points apiece. Since this will be the one and only occasion this season that the Aggies and Matadors will face one another, today's game is a tremendous opportunity for one team to distance itself from the other in the Big West Conference standings. Having lost their last three consecutive games against Cal State Fullerton (3-2, 2OT), UCSB (3-0), and at Fullerton (1-0) the Aggies look to snap their losing streak while in the Valley. Senior midfielder Paul Marcoux leads the team with five of the Aggies' 17 total goals, 12 total points, two game-winning goals, and leads the way with 22 total shots. Taking the net for UC Davis is junior goalkeeper Ryan McCowan. Having competed in 15 of 17 games, McCowan enters this match-up with 46 saves, two shutouts, and a 1.65 goals against average.

Series History: Northridge trails 2-4-1

Home: 1-1-1, Away: 1-3-0, Neutral: 0-0-0

Last Home Meeting: 11/4/07 - Matadors 1, UC Davis 2

Last Away Meeting: 10/22/08 - Matadors 2, UC Davis 3

A CLOSER LOOK AT CAL POLY

The Cal Poly Mustangs (6-7-1. 4-1-0 BWC) are currently unbeaten in their past three matches after winning both contests last week. The Mustangs were victorious against Cal State Fullerton at home and at UC Riverside putting them in a first place tie atop the Big West Conference standings with UCSB. Cal Poly defeated the Titans 3-2 last Wednesday, scoring three first half goals by forward Junior Burgos that held up in the victory. On Saturday, the Mustangs won by a goal over the Highlanders, scoring again early in the first half on a goal by forward Ryan Anderson. All five of their in-conference match-ups have resulted in one goal decisions, as they defeated the Titans in their Big West opener 1-0 (OT), UC Davis by a 1-0 final and fell to UCSB 1-0. With a three goal game against Fullerton, Burgos is the team leader in goals with four and his total is ninth-best in the Big West. Junior forward David Zamora is second in goals with three. Goalkeepers Patrick McLain and Brett Finkelstein have shared time at net for the Mustangs, with each totaling two shutouts apiece. The duo have also combined for 71 saves (McLain with 38 and Finkelstein with 27), which is first in the conference. After a strong 4-1-0 start in Big West play, the Mustangs have a tough week ahead with two tough contests. Cal Poly will travel to UC Irvine on Wednesday then will return home on Saturday for a date with the Matadors. Last October, CSUN battled Cal Poly to a scoreless tie at Matador Field.

Series History: Northridge leads 24-13-7

Home: 15-4-3, Away: 9-9-4, Neutral: 0-0-0

Last Home Meeting: 10/25/08 - Matadors 0, Cal Poly 0 (2OT)

Last Away Meeting: 11/7/07 - Matadors 0, Cal Poly 1

AHEAD OF THE GAME

Cameron Sims' fourth goal of the season scored at Cal State Fullerton on October 7th brings him one goal away from reaching his entire scoring output from 2008. Sims cashed in his fourth and fifth goals of the season last November in the 18th game of the season against, coincidentally enough, Cal State Fullerton. This season, Sims picked up his fourth goal in the 12th game of the season and is on pace to shatter last year's scoring total.

READY, AIM, FIRE!

Through 13 games this season, the Matadors have taken the highest amount of shots in comparison to any of their Big West Conference counterparts. Averaging 17.23 shots a game, CSUN's 224 shots are almost 30 shots more than the second-ranked team, Cal State Fullerton. From an individual standpoint, both Cameron Sims and Sunghyun Kim occupy two of the top-three spots as Sims is currently tied for the league lead with 52 shots while Kim ranks third with his 45.

IRONMEN ON THE PITCH

Last season current sophomore Matthew Chavez was the lone freshman to participate in every game for the Matadors. This season redshirt-freshman defender Joe Franco and freshman midfielder Rene Anguiano are the lone pair of newcomers to have seen action in all 13 games so far this season.

TWO-HEADED MONSTER

This season, the Matadors have two solid goalkeeping options to choose from in Brandon Ibarra and Michael Abalos. Each `keeper has earned two shutouts this season; individually both are tied for fourth in the conference in shutouts, combined their efforts rank them second in the league with UC Irvine's lone goalkeeper.

TOP RANKED TEAMS BEWARE

With a 1-0 win over #3 UCSB on Sunday, the Matadors defeated a top-10 nationally ranked opponent for the first time in two seasons. On September 29, 2007 CSUN beat #10-ranked UCLA 3-0 at Matador Field. In the game, Northridge dominated in the second half, scoring three times for their first victory in school history over the Bruins. However, it has been five seasons since the Matadors slayed a top five ranked opponent, as host CSUN again downed top ranked UCSB on October 16, 2004, scoring three unanswered goals in the second half, winning by a 3-1 final. Coming into the match, the Gauchos held a #1-ranking in the nation, before the Matador handed them the defeat.

ONE OF A KIND, LITERALLY

Having produced numbers that have increased in his first three seasons at Northridge, midfielder Sunghyun Kim has amassed 42 points on 15 goals and 12 assists throughout the first three seasons of his collegiate career. The senior from Los Angeles, Calif. has started in 53 of the 57 games he has competed in prior to this season, and is the only senior in the entire conference who has earned All-Big West honors during his first three seasons as a student-athlete. In 2006 Kim was named to the Second Team as a freshman, received Honorable Mention honors his sophomore season, and followed that with a spot on the First Team last season.

RPI RANKINGS

Used to determine a team's strength of schedule and taken into consideration when determining at-large bids for the College Cup tournament. Last week, the Matadors ranked 61st in the nation out of 204 Division-I Men's Soccer Teams and fourth amongst Big West Conference teams. Ahead of Northridge are UC Santa Barbara (34), UC Irvine (40) and Cal State Fullerton (53), trailing CSUN are Cal Poly (78), UC Davis (135) and UC Riverside (187).

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Northridge opened up conference action on the road against UC Riverside, and left the Inland Empire with a 3-1 victory, the 18th conference-opening victory in the program's history.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

CSUN's inaugural home game of the 2009 season against Loyola Marymount on September 6 was the first of eight regular-season home games scheduled to take place. The game was the eleventh home-opener for the Matadors under the tutelage of head coach Terry Davila who increased his overall record to 8-3-0 in home openers with the 1-0 win over the Lions.

A HAT TRICK FOR RILEY

With two clutch goals during their two games played at the Prego Italian Express Tournament hosted by SMU, Dylan Riley was named Big West Conference Player of the Week, Most Valuable Player for the tournament and picked up a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Riley's clutch goals helped the Matadors turn their trip to Dallas into a successful one as they finished as tournament champions once again.. His goal against Tulsa tied the score in the 75th minute and his score against SMU in the 69th minute proved to be the game-winner. On the season, the Matador senior is a perfect two for two on shot attempts, and his pair of goals is currently second-best on the team. With Riley grabbing all-conference player of the week honors, this marks the first time since 2005 when Willie Sims and Kevin Guppy earned player of the week honors, that two Matadors received Player of the Week accolades on back-to-back weeks.

FIVE AND COUNTING

The Matadors crafted a five-game win streak before tying Denver at the Big West Challenge earlier this season. This was the longest winning streak for CSUN since 2005, when the Matadors won six straight games. The longest winning streak in school history stands at eight games, a mark that was set 22 years ago during the 1987 season (October 21-December 5).

TIME TO MAKE ROOM FOR ANOTHER ONE

With their 2-1 victories over Tulsa and SMU at the Prego Italian Express Invitational, the Matadors claimed back-to-back tournament championships for the third time in the program's history (the team won the Matador Invitational on the weekend of September 11-13). Other teams who have claimed this feat are the 2005 team, they emerged as tournament champions in the Matador Soccer Invitational and adidas/Cal Legacy Classic (Berkeley, Calif). and the 2003 team who won both the Lobo Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.) and UNLV/FILA Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.).

DON'T COUNT THEM OUT

A goal scored by Cameron Sims in the eighth minute of their game against SMU  marked the first occasion this season that a Matador scored a goal in the first half as the other nine goals scored by the team took place after the 45 minute mark.

DID YOU MISS US?

Last season, seniors Devin Deldo, Moy Gomez, and sophomore Rafael Garcia all missed a number of games due to injury. After each underwent grueling rehabilitation sessions throughout the off-season, all three student-athletes were directly involved on every goal scored by CSUN this season during their first three games (one exhibition, two regular season) played in 2009. In the Matadors' exhibition game against UNLV, Deldo ended up heading in the equalizing goal, while teammate Garcia netted the game-winning shot with just a few minutes left in regulation. Even though their goals will not count since they took place in an exhibition contest, the goal scored by Gomez in the Matadors' regular-season home-opener will go down in the record books as the first one scored by a Northridge player in 2009.

THE INSIDE SCOOP

Matador soccer fans can sign-up to receive the latest thoughts, opinions, and information from head coach Terry Davila via Twitter throughout the season at http://twitter.com/CSUNMensSoccer. Cal State Northridge is also the only member of the Big West Conference, and one of the few across the nation that provide live post-game interviews for free on the Athletic Department's YouTube page. Fans can watch interviews with their favorite players and coaches at http://www.youtube.com/northridgeathletics throughout the season.