Nov. 3, 2010
IRVINE, Calif. - A diving header from Cal State Northridge (3-13-2, 2-6-1 BWC) forward Mattias Bonvehi with 32 seconds remaining in the game was the difference against the #7 UC Irvine Anteaters (13-2-3, 6-1-2 BWC) Wednesday evening as his shot gave the Matadors a 2-1 victory in their final road match of the 2010 season.
"These guys could have just given up, but that is not the type of player we want competing for us at Northridge," stated head coach Terry Davila. "They believed in one another and knew they were capable of creating the effort needed to come from behind and defeat the seventh-ranked team in the nation, on their own field, in front of their own fans."
Losing by one goal in heartbreaking fashion the last time these teams met at Matador Soccer Field just two weeks ago, it was CSUN's turn to send the partisan crowd home unhappy as they battled back from a one goal deficit to give the Anteaters their only conference loss of the season.
Snapping Irvine's eight game winning streak in the process, it is the second straight season that Northridge has left Anteater Stadium with a victory, dampening UCI's senior day festivities once again. In Irvine's final home game of the 2009 season, Northridge defeated the Anteaters by a score of 3-0.
The goal was Bonvehi's second of the season, originating from one of CSUN's five corner kicks taken in the match.
With the end of the match mere seconds away, Garcia sent his kick across the penalty area until Bonvehi located a bit of space within the gathering of players in front of the Irvine goal and redirected the pass into the back of the net.
The header was one of Bonvehi's three shots taken in the match, all on goal, tying Rafael Garcia with his team-high three shots taken against Irvine.
Garcia earned his team-high sixth assist on the play.
The host Anteaters were the first ones to light up the scoreboard when Joal Bagby received a free kick taken by teammate Corey Attaway, who in turn floated a pass of his own to Zach Olow who headed in the only Anteater goal of the match.
Down 1-0 at halftime, CSUN maintained their poise and composure when they returned to the pitch in the second half, nearly tying the game ten minutes into the second half when Garcia took a shot that just sailed wide of the goal.
That equalizing shot would take place mere minutes later when Daniel Yoon received a pass from Joe Franco off a throw in, quickly secured possession of the ball, and promptly fired a shot that beat Irvine goalkeeper Andrew Fontein to tie the game at 1-1.
Both Yoon and Franco earned their first points of the season on the play, with the latter earning his first career assist as a Matador.
Out-shot in the second half by a 2-1 margin, the Matador backline helped preserved CSUN's chance to win the game by preventing Irvine from creating any serious scoring opportunities in the final 45 minutes of the game.
Even though the Anteaters took 10 shots in the second half, Matador netminder Michael Abalos needed to make only one save en route to his third victory of the season.
Were it not for Bonvehi's game-winning shot, the Matadors would have competed in their fifth overtime game of the season. Instead, the pair of junior forwards ensured a quick ending to the game as Garcia's corner kick set up CSUN's first come-from-behind victory of the season, preventing Irvine from winning the Big West title in front of their home crowd.
"I am proud of these players, every one of them. Efforts like this one tonight only solidify the identity we are trying to create for out program," echoed Davila.
CSUN will host their own senior day festivities when they face Cal Poly in their final game of the season at Matador Soccer Field this Saturday evening. Senior midfielder Chris Leiva will be honored in a pregame ceremony, fans are encouraged to arrive on-campus early to secure their seats. Kick-off between the Matadors and Mustangs will take place at 7 p.m.