Sept. 11, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Goals by seniors Cameron Sims and Robert Pate were all the offense the Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-1-0) needed Friday afternoon as CSUN defeated the visiting Fairleigh-Dickinson Knights (2-1-0) 2-0 during the first day of competition in the Matador Invitational.
For the third consecutive game, the Matadors outshot their opponents, this time by a 21-18 margin as they tested Fairleigh-Dickinson goalkeeper Majdi Zaineh throughout the entire afternoon.
The initial part of the game saw both teams looking to dictate the pace of play on offense as each team traded possessions in the middle-third of the field. It took the Knights almost thirty minutes to create their first scoring opportunity of the game, while the Matadors spent the last ten minutes firing away at the Knight's keeper.
After the first 45 minutes of play, only three saves were made by both goalkeepers combined; Zaineh had two of the three while Matador 'keeper Brandon Ibarra only needed to make one save as both teams entered the locker room tied at zero.
It took another twenty minutes before one of the teams were able to light up the scoreboard as Sims headed in a corner kick taken near the CSUN bench from the foot of teammate Milan Radovic in the 65th minute. Both players earned their first points of the season on the play, the goal was Sims' first of the season as was Radovic's assist.
The goal seemed to light a fire under both teams as each were more aggressive on offense in an attempt to net the one goal that would either tie the match, or cement the victory.
Eighteen minutes later, that goal would take place as midfielder Sunghyun Kim somehow found forward Robert Pate amongst a seas of bodies in front of Zaineh to score his first goal of the season, extending the Matador lead to 2-0. Kim earned his team-high second assist on the play.
That score would remain the same for the duration of the contest as Ibarra picked up his second consecutive shutout with the win, lowering his goals against average to 0.67 in the process.
11 different Matadors took a total of 21 shots, with Kim (6), Moy Gomez (3), and Sims (3) leading the way.
Awaiting the Matadors on Sunday are the Milwaukee Panthers (1-3-0). Last season the Matadors traveled to Wisconsin for tournament play and were defeated by the Panthers in a rain-soaked affair by a score of 1-0. Having lost to Cal State Fullerton Friday afternoon, the Panthers look to leave the Valley with a split of their two games played in Northridge. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
In the first game of the day, Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-1-0) midfielder Michael Denny scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute of play to give his team a 2-1 victory over the Panthers.
Titan forward Nick Posthuma was the first player to score as he received a cross from defender Johnathan Brit and beat Panther goalkeeper John Shakon to his right to take an early lead in the 34th minute.
Unfazed by the series of events that took place in front of their own goal, Milwaukee responded only three minutes later when forward Cody Banks curled a shot that eluded the outstretched hands of the Titan 'keeper and snuck inside the far post to tie the game at 1-1.
But it was a blast from the foot of Denny that caught the Panthers off-guard as he took a shot from thirty-plus yards out that snuck just inside the upper right-hand corner of the goal to give the Titans a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
The Titan victory could have been extended even further if it were not for two shots taken in the 60th and 75th minute that hit the post and crossbar respectively.
Fullerton finished the game with twice as many shots taken in comparison to their opponents (22-11), with Titan midfielder Kevin Venegas leading the way with six of his own.
Leading the way for Milwaukee was midfielder Robert Refai as he took over half of his teams shots (6), and was responsible for one-third of the team's total shots on goal as well.
Cal State Fullerton will return to Matador Field Sunday morning as they face the Fairleigh-Dickinson Knights in the first of two games scheduled to take place throughout the day. Kick-off for this game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.