Nov. 11, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's soccer team (10-8-2) lost 1-0 to UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Tournament Wednesday night at Harder Stadium. Gaucho defender Michael Boxall scored his first career goal in the 72nd minute of action to push UCSB into the Tournament finals.
For Northridge, the loss ends their regular season and will force them to wait until Monday at 5:30 ET/2:30 PT on ESPNNews to see if it earns an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. UCSB advances to face UC Irvine at home in the Tournament finals.
With the game deadlocked entering the final 20 minutes, UCSB was awarded a foul outside the Matadors' 18 just right of the penalty box. Luis Silva swung a shot into the area that CSUN goalkeeper Michael Abalos pushed to his right. However, Boxall headed home the rebound for the match's only goal.
In all, Abalos finished with seven saves in the contest and faced a total of 12 shots from UCSB. Northridge countered with 13 shots for the game, with six coming on target. The Matadors forced UCSB goalkeeper Sam Hayden into several saves following the UCSB goal.
The game was a chippy affair from the start, with the referee handing out eight yellow cards in the 90 minutes. The teams combined for 45 fouls, with UCSB drawing 23 whistles.
The match also marked the final regular season contest for the Matadors' 10 seniors. CSUN finished the regular season 10-8-2 overall and 5-4-1 in Big West Conference play.