CSUN Looks to Extend Winning Streak Against Cal Poly and UC Davis

Oct. 5, 2010

Matador Men's Soccer Notes Get Acrobat Reader

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Wednesday, October 6, 7:00 p.m. PT
Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-6-1, 1-0 Big West) at Cal Poly (4-3-1, 1-0 Big West)
Alex G. Spanos Stadium - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
GameTracker available at GoMatadors.com

Saturday, October 9, 7:00 p.m. PT
Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-6-1, 1-0 Big West) vs. UC Davis Aggies (2-7-0, 0-1 Big West)
Matador Soccer Field - Northridge, Calif.
GameTracker available at GoMatadors.com


NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After starting their Big West schedule on a positive note last Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, the Cal State Northridge Matadors look to continue their winning ways this week this Wednesday on the road at Cal Poly, and in their conference home opener against UC Davis this Saturday. Kick-off for each respective match will take place at 7:00 p.m.


Soccer fans looking to follow the progress of their soccer team during their time in San Luis Obispo can do so by visiting GoMatadors.com. Coverage of games both in San Luis Obispo and against UC Davis will be available.


Last Saturday's match at Cal State Fullerton was quite a memorable one for redshirt freshman Gustavo Villalobos as he scored the first two goals of his career, earned his first assist as a Matador, and was named Big West Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Villalobos becomes the first Matador in 2010 to earn the weekly accolades from the conference, the first time Player of the Week honors have been bestowed upon a Northridge student-athlete since Devin Deldó earned the award in the final week of the 2009 regular season.


With his victory over Cal State Fullerton on 10-2-10, head coach Terry Davila became just the third head coach ever to win 50 or more Big West Conference games. Joining Davila on this unique and distinguished list are current UC Santa Barbara head coach Tim Vom Steeg (71 wins) and former Cal State Fullerton head coach Al Mistri (1983-1991 and 2001-2005, 51 wins).  


Wednesday’s match at Cal Poly will be the first meeting between the two sides since Oct. 24, 2009. That game, also played at Cal Poly, ended with a 3-1 victory for the Mustangs. Cal Poly enters the contest coming off of back to back wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield after dropping a 4-1 decision to LMU at home. 

The Mustangs come into the match with a record of 4-3-1 and are 1-0 in Big West play.  Their most notable win this year was over then-18th ranked Indiana at home. They have been shutout only once this season, with the lone shutout coming in the form of a 0-0 tie against UCLA.

The Mustang to watch for on the offensive end is senior forward David Zamora, who is tied for second in the league with four assists. He is also in the Top 10 for shots taken and shots per game average, although he is yet to score this year. Goalkeeper Patrick McLain finds himself first in the conference in save percentage at .917. His 0.49 goals against average ranks second in the Big West. He has two shutouts, which place him tied for fourth in that category.

Following the match this Wednesday, Cal Poly will travel to UC Irvine to face the Anteaters on Saturday night.


Saturday’s game at UC Davis will be the first between the two program since they played to a scoreless draw on Oct. 21, 2009. The Aggies are in their fourth season as a member of the Big West Conference. They are currently on a five game losing streak, having lost to #25 Portland in overtime and UC Santa Barbara in double overtime during that stretch. 

The Aggies enter the match with a record of 2-7-0, their only wins coming against San Jose State and Saint Mary’s College early in the year.. Despite the record, UC Davis is a perfect 2-0 at home. The Aggies have a well-balanced attack as five different players have scored and five different players have notched assists thus far.

The Aggie to watch for on the offensive end is junior Midfielder Lance Patterson, who leads the Big West in goals scored, netting five in nine matches this year. He also has one assist on the season to place him in a tie for second in the Big West with 11 points and first in points per game with an average of 1.22. Goalkeeper Ryan McCowan owns a .625 save percentage this year and is tied for seventh in the league with 20 saves. He is averaging 2.86 saves per game, also good for seventh, and has a goals against average of 2.15.

Following the match this Saturday, UC Davis will return to the friendly confines of Aggie Stadium for a three-game conference home stand against UC Riverside, Northridge and UC Santa Barbara, with the match against the Matadors and Gauchos rounding out the respective season series.


The basketball court is not the only place where a Matador can earn three points as Gustavo Villalobos became just the second player in the last three seasons to score a goal and earn an assist in the same game. Matador alum Sunghuyn Kim was the last Matador to complete the feat as he also earned three points in last year's Big West opener at UC Riverside on September 30, 2009, and in a non-conference game against UCLA on September 28, 2008.


The Matadors are now 19-7-4 in conference season openers, and have only been defeated once since joining the Big West in 2001. CSUN has not lost a conference opener since 2002, when they were on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision against UC Irvine at home. The last time the Matadors tied a conference opening match was in 2007 at Cal State Fullerton, the same squad they defeated to open the Big West season in 2010. The longest streak for conference opening wins in Matador history is 10 seasons, accomplished from 1978-87 under the direction of head coaches Zvi Friedman, Ric Fonseca and Marwan Ass’ad.


One of 17 newcomers to the squad this year, freshman forward Sam Ball is making quite an impression within the Big West this season. Leading CSUN with three goals scored - an impressive feat as he has taken eight total shots and has capitalized on all three shots on goal taken - Ball leads the conference with 0.60 goals per game, and is tied for fifth with five other players with three goals scored after competing in four games so far this season. Redshirt freshman Gustavo Villalobos had a career day with two goals and an assist en route to a five point performance at Cal State Fullerton over the weekend. His five points were the most recorded in a game for the Matadors since Willie Sims tallied six with three goals against UNLV on September 17, 2005. He is also the first freshman to score multiple goals in a game since teammate Camilo Rojas did it against Detroit on August 31, 2007.


With his two-goal effort at Cal State Fullerton last Saturday Gustavo Villalobos became the sixth Matador in the last five seasons to find the back of the net twice in the same match. Of those six occasions, four have taken place against the Titans. In addition to Villalobos, Camilo Rojas scored two against Fullerton on October 18, 2008, with teammate Cameron Sims accomplishing the same feat in their return match that season at Fullerton on November 5th. Matador Michael Clegg also netted two shots against the Titans in a home game that took place on October 28, 2006.


In addition to current teammate Camilo Rojas (August 31, 2007 vs. Detroit), Gustavo Villalobos joins Willie Sims (November 15, 2003 at Cal State Fullerton and September 7, 2003 vs. IUPUI), Jason Lara (August 29, 2003 at San Francisco), Will Beard (August 30, 2002 vs. Cal), and current assistant coach Yossi Raz (September 30, 2001 at Oregon State) as the only freshman to score two goals in one match since Northridge joined the Big West in 2001.


One indication of the success sophomore goalkeeper Michael Abalos earned last season can be seen in the Matador record books as the San Juan Capistrano native earned a spot on four different lists with his numbers earned during his freshman season at Northridge. Abalos now shares eigth place with Zoltan Nagy (1995) and Mike Littman (1989) with his nine career victories, is fifth all-time with his 1.17 career goals against average, and is now tied for seventh all-time with Mike Caputo (1985-87) and his seven career shutouts. His five clean sheets earned in 2009 is also the seventh-highest number of shutouts earned in a season, tying him with Joe Barton (2001) and Mike Littman (1989) and their respective single-season performances.


Known for creating a tough schedule year after year, the Matador coaching staff have pieced together one of the most challenging schedules ever in an attempt to prepare the team for the challenges and rigors faced during conference play. Almost one-third of the games scheduled in 2010 will be against teams that were ranked in the top-25 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2009. The list of opponents includes CSUN’s season-opening game vs. San Diego (9/1), last season’s College Cup runners-up Akron (9/17), San Francisco (9/24), cross-town rival UCLA (10/27), UC Santa Barbara (10/23), and UC Irvine (10/20).


Since relocating from North Campus Stadium to their current facility before the start of the 2002 season, Matador Soccer Field has presented a strong advantage for the Matadors. In the 73 games played on-campus, CSUN possesses an overwhelming 50-15-8 record at home for a .685 winning percentage on their home turf.


Despite some tough outcomes early in the season, a number of Matadors are continuing to make their mark within the Big West and have found themselves ranked in the top ten in various statistical categories. Senior midfielder Rafael Garcia, who serves as a captain on the squad, is currently eightth in the conference for shots taken with 21. Redshirt freshman midfielder Gustavo Villalobos sits ninth in shots per game with 2.22. With an assist at Fullerton, Garcia now leads the team with three and sits in a tie for fifth in the conference in that category. Freshman forward Sam Ball stayed in the top ten in points and is currently tied for tenth with six. He is also tied for second in the Big West in points per game with an average of 1.20. After scoring against Air Force, Ball leaped to a tie for fifth in the conference in goals scored with three. Back-to-back shutouts have goalkeeper Michael Abalos tied for fourth with two.


With two additional victories, head coach Terry Davila will become the fifth coach in Big West history to win 100 game as a member of the conference. Even though Davila enters the 2010 season with 110 career wins to his credit, the first 14 were earned as member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In 2001 the Matadors switched conference affiliation from the MPSF to the Big West, since then Davila’s teams have compiled a 98-56-30 overall record (.533 pct.). 


The 2010 Cal State Northridge men's soccer team received 27 points and were picked to finish fourth in the 2010 Big West Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches poll as announced by the league office in mid-August. Northridge was narrowly edged out by Cal Poly as the Mustangs earned 28 points to claim third place by a slim one point margin. Finishing in second place with 43 total points and one first place vote was UC Irvine, with UC Santa Barbara leading the way with 48 points and six first place votes. Cal State Fullerton's 22 points were enough to secure fifth place, with UC Davis and UC Riverside rounding out the poll in sixth and seventh place respectively with 17 and 11 points. This is the third straight season that Northridge was predicted to finish in fourth place; last season CSUN received 32 overall and one first place point en route to a 10-8-2 overall record, clinching a spot in the 2009 Big West Men's Soccer Postseason Tournament.


Tickets for all home men's matches are available through the CSUN Associated Students Ticket Office. Adults are $5, while youth 17 and under and seniors 60 and older are $3. There is also a $3 discounted rate ticket for CSUN Faculty/Staff, Military Service Personnel and CSUN Alumni Association Members with their respective identification cards.

CSUN students receive free admission to all home games with their CSUN I.D. Groups of 10 or more people may purchase $3 tickets, but tickets must be purchased a minimum of 24 hours in advance. For more information, call the A.S. Ticket Office at 818-677-2488.


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