Aug. 25, 2010
GAMES THIS WEEK
Friday, August 27: Matadors vs. San Diego State • 7 p.m. • Matador Soccer Field • GameTracker/Radio
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Participating in their final tune-up before starting the 2010 regular season, the Cal State Northridge Matadors will face the San Diego State Aztecs in an exhibition match this Friday evening at Matador Soccer Field.
Admission is free for Friday's contest, the first men's soccer game played at night since moving from North Campus Stadium shortly after the conclusion of the 2001 season. Kick-off is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m.
Matador men's soccer fans who are unable to attend Friday's game can still follow all the action by listening to play-by-play announcer Bill Courtland and color commentator/women's assistant coach Juan Plascenscia's internet radio broadcast by visiting GoMatadors.com.
Even though the game and statistics will not officially count, both San Diego State (SDSU) and Cal State Northridge will utilize tonight’s game as a final opportunity to tweak their rosters before competing in their respective inaugural games of the season next week.
Next Wednesday, SDSU will begin their 2010 season at Loyola Marymount, the same Lion squad that CSUN will face in their second game of the season at Loyola Marymount on Sunday, September 5.
The last time these two teams officially faced one another was on September 27, 2002 when CSUN scored the game-winning goal in double-overtime to defeat the Aztecs 2-1.
Finishing with a 6-6-6 overall record and 3-4-3 conference record within the Pac-10, 11 letterwinners return for Aztec head coach Lev Kirshner this season.
Expected to make a sizable contribution in 2010 are senior forward Raymundo Reza, senior midfielder Khadim Diouf, and senior goalkeeper Brad Byrns. Combined, Reza and Diouf scored 12 of their team’s 26 goals last year (Reza led the team with nine goals, Diouf finished with three) while teammate Byrns earned six wins and crafted a 1.27 goals against average between the pipes in ‘09.
Reaching the playoffs for the first time since the 2005 season, 2009 Big West Conference Coach of the Year Terry Davila and his team feel the upcoming season is another opportunity to further deepen CSUN's reputation as one of the toughest teams to face in all of Division-I.
Last season CSUN defeated a number of top ranked teams, a list that includes SMU, Tulsa, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara. In 2010, CSUN will have a number of opportunities to enhance their reputation as they will face six teams - San Diego, 2010 preseason #1-ranked Akron, San Francisco, UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara that were ranked in the top-25 last season.
An experienced group will return to the pitch this season; 13 letterwinners and four All-Big West honorees will lead the way for the Matadors in 2010 as they look to replicate, if not improve upon the success earned last season.
Allowing the second fewest goals of any Big West team, sophomores Michael Abalos and Rene Anguiano were integral parts of a team that scored the second-highest amount of goals, and allowed the second-fewest number of goals of any Big West squad last season.
Earning seven victories and five shutouts in his first season at CSUN, Abalos will once again protect the net as CSUN's starting 'keeper while teammate Anguiano will combine his talents with juniors Rafael Garcia and Camilo Rojas to fuel the Matador offense to what everyone hopes will be a return trip to the playoffs.