Sept. 12, 2010
FULLERTON, Calif. - Sam Ball's successful penalty kick in the 33rd minute helped the Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-3-1) chip away at the lead the San Jose State Spartans (4-1-0) created during the opening minutes of the first half.
Even though CSUN dominated possession and shut down the Spartan offense during the final 60-plus minutes of the game, the Matadors were unable to dig themselves out of an early deficit and were defeated 3-1 in their final game of the Cal State Fullerton Tournament.
It was a twenty minute time-span where the Matadors took their lumps; in addition to three goals scored by the Spartans, a CSUN penalty kick narrowly missed its intended target as Spartan `keeper Jonathan Lester barely redirected the ball out of bounds to keep Northridge off the scoreboard in the first half.
Adding insult to injury, San Jose State scored their third goal of the match only a handful of minutes later.
Now facing a three goal deficit, Northridge continued to dictate the pace of the game and continued to fight for every 50/50 ball and remained aggressive on both halves of the pitch.
It was this mindset that set up the Matadors' second serious scoring opportunity of the game; in the 33rd minute Matador defender Joe Franco was fouled in the penalty area, earning CSUN's second penalty kick of the match.
Entering the game mere minutes before Franco's foul, freshman forward Ball successfully converted on the opportunity, scoring in his debut game at Northridge.
From that point on, Northridge continued to apply pressure and easily dictated the pace of play for the remainder of the game. Only able to take five shots in the first half, CSUN out-shot the Spartans 10-2 in the second half, with Abalos able to easily secure both Spartan shots faced.
Having been out-shot in the first half by San Jose State 7-5 in the first half, CSUN finished the game with 15 total shots in comparison to the Spartans' nine.
A testament to the well-balanced attack during the latter two-thirds of the match, ten different Matadors were able to fire away at the Spartan goal. Led by Camilo Rojas and his three shots, Thomas Ramos, Gustavo Villalobos, and Ball each finished with two shots while teammates Joe Franco, Rafael Garcia, Rene Anguiano, Luis Gil, Brian Behrad, and Daniel Yoon each finished with one shot apiece.
Throughout the entire weekend, head coach Terry Davila gave a number of first-year players an opportunity to showcase their skills and potential. Naming Tanner Snedigar and Ramos to the starting line-up in Friday's game against Washington, freshman midfielder Carlos Benavides earned a similar opportunity Sunday afternoon as he earned his first career start against the Spartans.
Freshmen Ball, Brian Behrad, Shawin Berenji, and Villalobos all earned significant playing time against the Spartans, helping energize the Matador attack throughout the latter portion of the first half and the entire second half as CSUN took seven corner kicks in the second half, nearly converting on multiple occasions.
Both Franco and Anguiano were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts throughout the weekend.