Matadors Blank Titans 3-0 in Big West Opener
Oct. 2, 2010
FULLERTON, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's soccer team (2-6-2, 1-0 Big West) defeated Cal State Fullerton, 3-0, Saturday night in the Matadors' 2010 Big West opener. Redshirt freshman Gustavo Villalobos scored the first two goals of his collegiate career, added an assist and picked up the game-winning goal in the victory over the Titans.
After scoring just three goals in its first seven matches, CSUN has now scored seven goals in its past two contests. With the win, Northridge is 6-0-2 in its league openers since the 2003 season.
Villalobos was a threat all night on the pitch, finishing with four shots. Originally from Van Nuys, Calif., he scored the first five points of his Matador career in the contest.
"It felt very good to finally get that goal and I want to thank my teammates and coaches for their hard work and support," Villalobos said. "To score seven goals over the last two games is a huge confidence boost for us as we prepare for the rest of the Big West season."
On the first goal, Luis Gil fed a pass into the left hand corner that a streaking Villalobos caught up to just outside the penalty area. After putting on a series of moves to lose his defender, Villalobos fired a low shot to the near post that deflected off the Fullerton goalkeeper and into the net in the 17th minute of action.
The goal was the first of Villalobos' collegiate career. Gil earned his first assist of the season and career on the play. Villalobos became the sixth different Matador to find the back of the net in the 2010 season.
"I was happy for Gustavo. He played very well and is a great kid," CSUN head coach Terry Davila said. "He's had to overcome a broken leg in recent months and it was exciting to see what he brought to the field tonight."
After Villalobos just missed doubling his total off a corner kick, he set up the Matadors' second goal of the evening. He dropped off a pass for Rene Anguiano, who blasted a shot from approximately 20 yards out that beat the Titan keeper in the 31st minute.
The goal was Anguiano's second of the season and of his career. He now has nine career points after finishing with five assists in his freshman season. Villalobos picked up his first career assist on the play.
Fullerton nearly got on the board late in the first half, but Oscar Aguero pulled a shot just wide of the far post on the left side of the pitch.
Thomas Ramos almost collected the third Matador goal of the first half. A quick counter-attack off a Titan free kick gave CSUN a three-on-one breakaway with less than a minute to play. Anguiano fed a pass to Villalobos out wide and he sent the ball back across the goal mouth where Ramos' attempt rattled off the crossbar.
Villalobos scored his second goal of the match in the 69th minute. On the counter, Rafael Garcia sent a low pass up the left side that Villalobos corralled inside the box. He then pushed a shot past the Titan goalkeeper on the far side. The assist was the third of the season for Garcia and sixth of his career. Garcia now has 10 career points.
In net, CSUN's Michael Abalos recorded his second shutout victory in as many matches to give him seven career clean sheets. He made three saves and is now 2-5-2 with a 1.50 goals-against-average, 25 saves and a .694 save percentage. His toughest save of the night came when he punched a free kick safely away around the 75th minute of action.
In all, CSUN out-shot Fullerton 18-6 in the contest and had 11 corner kicks to the Titans' three. Northridge was whistled for 21 fouls in the contest. Fullerton's Trevor Whiddon had three saves in defeat.
Jeremy Hohn saw the yellow card in the 26th minute of action. Fullerton's Mark Nelson (55th minute) and Aguero (55th minute) earned yellow cards seconds apart in the second half. Ramos saw the yellow card in the second half in the 64th minute Nicholas Hamilton was the third Matador to earn a caution, seeing the yellow card in the 75th minute.
"I was pleased with our performance and our discipline tonight because it is difficult to pick up any points in the Big West," Davila added.
Northridge returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 6 with a roadtrip to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly. The Matadors and Mustangs are slated to start at 7 p.m. CSUN's next home game is on Saturday, Oct. 9 against UC Davis with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.