NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Postseason play continues for No. 25 Cal State Northridge as the Matadors earned a spot in the Big West Conference Tournament Semifinals after knocking off Cal Poly on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Matadors will next travel north to face No. 10 UC Santa Barbara at Harder Stadium with an appearance in the Final on the line. Earlier this season, the Gauchos defeated then-No. 4 CSUN 2-1 in overtime thanks to a penalty kick with eight seconds remaining. This time the scene shifts to Santa Barbara, the site of a 1-0 Northridge victory last season. The task will be tough for the Matadors as the Gauchos recently completed the first undefeated league season in Big West history and have not lost since September 27th against Stanford. The match between CSUN and UCSB will kick off at 7 p.m. and will feature live stats coverage courtesy of UCSBGauchos.com. In addition, a free audio broadcast will be available through GoMatadors.com.
#25 Cal State Northridge (14-5-1, 5-4-1) at #10 UCSB Gauchos (12-4-3, 7-0-3)
Big West Conference Tournament Semifinal
Friday, Nov. 15 - 7 p.m.
Meredith Field at Harder Stadium (17,000) - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Live Stats, Audio: Link Available on Men's Soccer Schedule Page
$12 - General Admission
$5 - CSUN Students*, UCSB Students*, Youth 17 & Under, Seniors 60+**-With I.D.
Follow Your Matadors Online
All home games this season will include live stats coverage and selected contests will also feature a free audio broadcast on GoMatadors.com. For road games, related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the game on the men's soccer schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) and the soccer-specific feed (@CSUNMensSoccer) for updates of games in progress and news and notes throughout the week.
Take Your Seat in the Front Row
Fans can now follow all of the action for Cal State Northridge's 18 varsity sports right from their phone or tablet! CSUN Front Row, the official mobile app of Cal State Northridge Athletics, is available for free for your iOS and Android devices. You can also access live stats coverage of a majority of CSUN home events, as well as audio and video links when available. For more information, search for CSUN Front Row on the App Store or Google Play or visit GoMatadors.com/frontrow.
Adding Their Names to the Record Book
With the final regular-season matches this week, the Cal State Northridge Matadors have already accomplished a feat that the school hadn't seen since most of the players' parents were in college. CSUN opened the season with a string of seven consecutive victories for the first, and only, time since the 1979 season. In the process, the Matadors rose through the national rankings and were the third-ranked team in Division I. The ranking marked the first time that Cal State Northridge entered the Top 5 in the school's Division I history. In addition, the Matadors defeated eight non-conference opponents for the first time in the school's DI history.
A Closer Look at No. 10 UC Santa Barbara
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara enters the match this week as the champion of the Big West Conference North Division. The Gauchos finished the regular season 12-4-3 and powered through the league with a mark of 7-0-3. UC Santa Barbara has made four appearances in the Big West Conference Tournament and has advanced to the Final each time. The Gauchos are 3-0-1 in the Semifinals but just 1-3-0 when playing for the championship.
UCSB is led on offense by Goffin Boyoko, who has seven goals and three assists for 17 points. Achille Campion has seven goals as well and has 16 points, but missed the matches against Sacramento State and UC Davis due to injury before retuning in the regular-season finale against Cal Poly. Drew Murphy leads the team and the Big West with eight assists. As a team, the Gauchos have 15 players with at least one point and five players with at least 10 to their credit.
Goalkeeper Josh McNeely has played in all but two matches this season for the Gauchos and owns a record of 11-3-3. He has six shutouts this season and has not allowed a goal since a 1-1 draw against UC Davis on November 2. For the year, McNeely has allowed just 13 goals and has a 0.71 goals against average with 53 saves and a .803 save percentage. As a team, the Gauchos have allowed just 16 goals all season and are limiting the opposition to an average of 10 shots per game. At the same time, UCSB is the most whistled team in the league having been called for 342 fouls and picking up 48 yellow cards.
The winner of Friday's match will play either UC Davis or UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament Final on Sunday, Nov. 17.
The Big West Conference Tournament
Cal State Northridge got off to a fine start in the Big West Conference Tournament with a 4-1 win over Cal Poly in the First Round on Tuesday night. Sagi Lev-Ari opened the scoring in the first minute of action as he tapped in from two yards away after a perfect cross was played in by Edwin Rivas. Brian Behrad gave the Matadors a 2-1 lead at the half with a penalty kick in the 45th minute and Lev-Ari scored again in the 62nd. Nicolas Camacho then finished off the frst goal of his collegiate career in the 71st minute to put the match away.
The Matadors now turn their attention to the No. 10 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the semifinal round this Friday. The winner will face the winner of the other semifinal match between UC Davis and UC Irvine. Should the Matadors defeat the Gauchos on the road, they will either play the Big West Tournament Final at UC Irvine or host UC Davis depending on the outcome. Fans can visit bit.ly/bwtmsoc for additional information and stats from the tournament.