ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –
A pair of goals by Sagi Lev-Ari helped the No. 11 Cal State Northridge Matadors (5-0-0) extended their best start since 1987 with a 4-1 victory over the University of Central Arkansas Bears (3-2-0) on Friday afternoon in the 2013 TLC Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Lobo Invitational hosted by New Mexico. Due to inclement weather in the Albuquerque area prior to the match, the teams agreed to move the match to Robertson Field, the practice facility of the UNM Lobos.
Cal State Northridge opened the scoring in the match with a goal in the 16th minute by Lev-Ari. Juan Samayoa's initial shot was deflected to Lev-Ari at the six-yard box and the junior forward shot to the far side for his fifth goal of the season.
The Matadors held a 1-0 advantage at halftime, but the Bears were able to tie things up shortly after the break. Jayden Hoth picked up an assist on a shot by Taylor Hart in the 49th minute of play. Hart received the ball at the top of the box and drove toward goal before lacing a shot in from point-blank range.
Northridge regained the lead 17 minutes later when Lev-Ari found the back of the net for the second time. Chris Smith and Mynor Giron picked up the assists when Smith's pass to Giron was touched to Lev-Ari, who hammered it home in the middle of the box.
The lead was extended to 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining when a Central Arkansas handball in the box led to a Northridge penalty kick. Chris Smith converted from the spot for his second tally on the year.
A fourth goal was scored by CSUN in the 84th minute when Edwin Rivas sent a shot into the back of the net for his first of the season. Yarden Azulay was credited with the assist when his service into the box was put into the net by Rivas on one touch.
The Matadors also won the battles from the Bears in shots (18-6), shots on goal (11-1) and corner kicks (6-3). No cautions were issued to either side and the Matadors did not record a save in the match.
Cal State Northridge will have a chance to claim the Lobo Invitational when the Matadors play a highly anticipated match against the No. 9 New Mexico Lobos on Sunday night at the UNM Soccer Complex. Kick off between the Matadors and Lobos is scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT (5 p.m. PDT).
UPDATE (9/15/13 - 9:05 a.m.): This version has been updated to show that Chris Smith and Mynor Giron received credit for assists on Sag Lev-Ari's second goal. The original release gave credit to David Turcios.