NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
After opening the 2013 season with decisive victories over Albany and Memphis, the Cal State Northridge Matadors are now ranked in the Top 25 by both Soccer America (22) and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (25). In addition, Sagi Lev-Ari's hat trick against the Tigers on Sunday landed the junior on the National Team of the Week by College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer.com.
The Matadors, who were ranked as high as 14th by Soccer America and 20th by the NSCAA last season, are back in the national rankings after receiving votes in multiple preseason polls. The news of the rankings comes following CSUN's 3-0 win over Albany on Friday night and 4-1 win over Memphis.
Cal State Northridge was picked to repeat as champions of the Big West Conference's South Division by the conference's head coaches before the season.
Lev-Ari is building off of the success he had last year by starting this season with three goals in two matches. After being held without a goal on Friday against the Great Danes, he found the back of the net three times in 21 minutes to lead the Matadors to a come-from-behind win against Memphis. His hat trick was the first for Cal State Northridge since Willie Sims did the same in 2005, and it helped CSUN claim the championship of the 2013 Ryan Rossi Memorial Tournament.
The forward now has 18 goals and 36 points in 24 career matches for the Matadors.