Nov. 5, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - Down two goals, on the road against Cal State Fullerton (4-14-1, 1-7-1 BWC), forward Cameron Sims completed the Matador comeback as his goal in the 108th minute of action gave the Matadors (8-6-4, 4-2-3 BWC) a 3-2 victory in their final road game of the regular season.
The game-winning goal was Sims' second of the game, with midfielder Sunghyun Kim earning an assist on both tallies.
"I just tried my hardest to find the net and make my way through the Titan defense," explained Sims. "That's the lefty connection between me and Sung(hyun)."
Matadors Head Coach Terry Davila earned his 100th career victory in the process, as he was surrounded by his coaching staff, players, and a swarm of Matador fans shortly after the game ended to celebrate the occasion.
With the win, the Matadors keep pace with fourth-place UC Irvine in the Big West standings as both teams now have two days to prepare for one another in a crucial Big West match-up in Northridge this Saturday.
Titan midfielder Jose Gomez opened up the scoring in the 43rd minute of the game as his shot just snuck inside the far left post, giving his team an early 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Fullerton's one-goal advantage increased only four minutes into the second half when Titan defenseman Mark Nelson dribbled through traffic into the Matador penalty area and found the back of the net.
It was then when the Northridge offense sprang to life, and began to look like a cohesive unit.
Having hit the post and crossbar on two seperate occasions earlier in the game, the men in red were determined to chip away at the two-goal lead, and were able to string together a number of shots in front of the Fullerton net that narrowly missed its intended target.
Only four minutes after the Titans increased their lead, Matador forward Cameron Sims lit up the scoreboard for CSUN as he received a well-placed cross through the Fullerton penalty box from Kim, and nailed his shot past Titan goalkeeper Kevin Puder for his fourth goal of the season.
As the clock kept winding down, the Matador momentum would conversely increase as the team was able to break through the Titan defense with ease and create the necessary space to run one set play after another in an effort to net the equalizing shot.
CSUN's defense also fed off the newly-created energy as they did not allow the Titans to take one shot for the rest of the match after they scored their second goal of the game.
With the Matadors alble to conduct a passing clinic in the Fullerton penalty area throughout most of the second half, it was an innocent chip shot from forward Camilo Rojas that found the foot of midfielder Ben Cox that set up the equalizing goal.
Once Cox received the pass from Rojas he quickly flicked the ball towards the net, beating Puder to his left, tying the game at 2-2.
Cox's goal was his third of the season, while Rojas earned his second assist of the year on the play.
With the score tied at two apiece until the waining minutes of the second overtime, it looked like both teams would eventually settle for the draw until Kim found Sims charging towards the goal, and connected once again for what would eventually become the game-winning goal.
It was deja vu all over again for the Titans; when these two teams previously met on October 18th at Matador Field, the Matadors came-from-behind to tie the game late in the second half, and netted the winning goal with only :24 second left in double-overtime.
Said a jubilant Sims shortly after the match came to a dramatic end, "now all we have to do is just look ahead. Against Irvine we have nothing to lose, all we have to do is just work our tails off if we want to get into the tournament."
The Matadors return home to Northridge to play their final game of the regular season against #11-ranked UC Irvine with the winner earning the fourth and final spot in the inaugural Big West Men's Soccer Postseason Tournament. Saturday's contest will also be the final game at Matador Field for three players - defensemen Ben Cox, Bo Miller, and goalkeeper Kevin Guppy. A short pre-game ceremony will take place before the game, even though kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., fans are encouraged to arrive early to Matador Field to secure their seats for the Senior Day ceremony.