Tournament Champions Return to Defend 2008 Title in Fullerton
Sept. 23, 2009
ALL GAMES PLAYED THIS WEEKEND WILL BE STREAMED ONLINE LIVE. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE MATADORS BATTLE DENVER ON FRIDAY (5:00 P.M.) OR COASTAL CAROLINA ON SUNDAY (11:00 A.M.)
Big West Challenge - Hosted by Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif
Friday, September 25: Matadors vs. Denver, 5:00 P.M. PT (Titan Stadium) - Big West TV
Sunday, September 27: Matadors vs. Coastal Carolina 11:00 A.M. PT (Titan Stadium) - Big West TV
RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK
Friday, September 18 vs. Tulsa, W, 2-1
Sunday, September 20 at SMU, W, 2-1
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The #24-ranked Cal State Northridge Matadors (5-1-0) return to the campus of Cal State Fullerton as reigning tournament champions this upcoming weekend as they look to successfully defend their title. Games against the Denver Pioneers (2-2-1), kick-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. this Friday, and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, kick-off is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. this Sunday, will take place at Titan Stadium and will be available for viewing on Big West TV online.
RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK
Matadors Tour Downtown Dallas
The Matadors hit the road last weekend for a pair of match-ups in Dallas, Texas, as they took part in the Prego Italian Express Invitational. Fresh off winning their own tournament the previous week, the Matador Invitational, CSUN looked to continue their winning ways in the Lone Star state, against two teams from Conference USA - the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Southern Methodist University Mustangs. In the inaugural game of the tournament, the Matadors came from behind to defeat the Golden Hurricane on two late goals by Dylan Riley and Sunghyun Kim to rapidly erase a 1-0 deficit. The goals were scored three minutes apart and was enough to defeat Tulsa by that final score of 2-1. On Sunday, CSUN won another nail-biter over the host Mustangs by the same 2-1 score. Cameron Sims put the Matadors ahead early on a goal in the eighth minute, and increased their lead in the 69th minute on a header by Riley. SMU would score in 78th minute to pull to within 2-1, but the Matadors silenced a potential Mustang rally in the final minutes to claim their fifth consecutive victory and their second straight tournament win.
Dylan Riley FINISHES WITH A HAT TRICK
With two clutch goals over the weekend, Dylan Riley was named Big West Conference Player of the Week, Most Valuable Player for the Prego Italian Express Invitational and picked up a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Riley’s clutch goals helped the Matadors turn their trip to Dallas into a successful one as they finished as tournament champions once again.. His goal against Tulsa tied the score in the 75th minute and his score against SMU in the 69th minute proved to be the game-winner. On the season, the Matador senior is a perfect two for two on shot attempts, and his pair of goals is currently second-best on the team. With Riley grabbing all-conference player of the week honors, this marks the first time since 2005 when Willie Sims and Kevin Guppy earned player of the week honors, that two Matadors received Player of the Week accolades on back-to-back weeks.
Thanks to a 5-1-0 start to the 2009 season, the Matadors are ranked 24th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Men’s Soccer Rankings. This is the first time the Matadors have been ranked in the NSCAA National Poll during the regular season since November 2005, when they finished the season ranked 14th in the nation. CSUN began the 2006 season ranked 19th in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, but did not return to the top-25 until their performance this past week.
MATADORS AND THE NCAA
In addition to claiming the top spot in the Big West Conference standings this week, the Cal State Northridge Matadors also find themselves amongst the top teams in the NCAA in a variety of categories. CSUN’s 5-1-0 (.833 PCT.) record is the 12th best in the nation, their .848 save percentage is the 32nd highest mark, while Brandon Ibarra’s .750 goals against average and .857 save percentage ranks him 43rd and 27th respectively amongst all goalkeepers. CSUN’s marks are the best figures of any Big West Conference team in those four categories.
FIVE AND COUNTING...
The Matadors have stretched their winning streak to five with their pair of victories earned last week at SMU. This is the longest winning streak for CSUN since 2005, when the Matadors won six straight games. The longest winning streak in school history stands at eight games, a mark that was set 22 years ago during the 1987 season (October 21-December 5).
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Going into their games against Denver and Coastal Carolina at the Big West Challenge, the Cal State Northridge Matadors will also bring with them a five game win streak. This is not the first time that a Davila-led squad possessed a lengthy winning streak as his 2003 and 2004 teams also crafted a five game streak of their own with the 2005 group reeling off six straight victories before their respective streak was snapped.
KEEPING SOCCER FANS ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEAT
Out of the six games played this season by the Matador men, four games have been decided by one goal, including CSUN’s last three games played.
TIME TO MAKE ROOM FOR ANOTHER ONE
With their 2-1 victories over Tulsa and SMU in last week’s Prego Italian Express Invitational the Matadors claimed back-to-back tournament championships for the third time in the program’s history (the team won the Matador Invitational on the weekend of September 11-13). Other teams who have claimed this feat are the 2005 team, they emerged as tournament champions in the Matador Soccer Invitational and adidas/Cal Legacy Classic (Berkeley, Calif). and the 2003 team who won both the Lobo Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.) and UNLV/FILA Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.).
DON'T COUNT THEM OUT
A goal scored by Cameron Sims in the eighth minute of their game against SMU marked the first occasion this season that a Matador scored a goal in the first half as the other eight goals scored by the team took place after the 45 minute mark.
PICK YOUR POISON
Going into the season, the big question mark surrounding the team involved whomever was going to replace their previous record-setting goalkeeper. After six games the Matadors have found their answer with a pair of talented young athletes that have combined to allow only five goals, and currently sport a cumulative 0.83 goals against average. Sophomore goalkeeper Brandon Ibarra currently leads the league with a 0.75 GAA, while teammate Michael Abalos ranks #5 amongst conference ‘keepers with a 1.00 GAA.
A CLOSER LOOK AT DENVER
The Denver Pioneers (2-2-1) will travel to Fullerton as one of four participants in the 2009 Big West Challenge, and will face the Matadors for only the third time in each respective school’s history. The previous two match-ups took place on Valley soil in both 1997 and 2002, with Denver defeating the Matadors by a score of 1-0 before CSUN returned the favor five years later by defeating their opposition from the Rocky Mountains by a decisive score of 3-1. With a five game win streak in their possession, the Matadors will make the drive to Cal State Fullerton and face the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s preseason favorite to open tournament play. Coming off a 0-0 tie against Washington, and a 6-1 win over Belmont last week the Pioneers are looking to also end their preseason schedule on a winning note before competition against their conference foes begin. Led by freshman forward Alex Tarnoczi and his three goals, six different Pioneers have found the back of the net this season for Head Coach Bobby Muuss. Sophomore midfielder Jarod Stigall is another scoring threat who is unafraid to shoot the ball at all times as his 18 shots, seven on-goal, are team-high marks in each respective category.
Series History: Tied 1-1
Home Record: 1-1-0, Away Record: 0-0-0, Neutral Record: 0-0-0
Last Home Meeting: 10/6/02 - Matadors 3, Denver 1
A CLOSER LOOK AT COASTAL CAROLINA
The second, and final out-of-state team making the trip to Fullerton are the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (2-2-2), the Matadors’ opponent for their Sunday morning game. Representing the Big South Conference, the Chanticleers Tied Furman by a score of 3-3, and defeated Davidson on the road 3-1 last week before traveling west to face CSUN in their inaugural match-up between the two. Having already scored 11 goals in their six games played, the Chanticleers will provide yet another stern test for a Matador defense that has only yielded five goals to their opponents in their six games played in 2009. Chanticleer senior forward James Stapleton and redshirt-junior forward Riley Phelps are responsible for nine of their team’s 11 goals, with redshirt-junior midfielder Joe Anderson responsible for the other two goals scored. Four different players have taken the net for Coastal Carolina this season; unlike the Matadors’ goalkeeper situation where Terry Davila has two solid players to choose from, Chanticleer Head Coach Shaun Docking will use games played this weekend as an opportunity to solidify who his starting goalkeeper before they also begin conference competition.
Series History: NONE
ONE OF A KIND... LITERALLY
Having produced numbers that have increased in his first three season at Northridge, midfielder Sunghyun Kim has amassed 42 points on 15 goals and 12 assists throughout the first three seasons of his collegiate career. The senior from Los Angeles, Calif. has started in 53 of the 57 games he has competed in prior to this season, and is the only senior in the entire conference who has earned All-Big West honors during his first three seasons as a student-athlete. In 2006 Kim was named to the Second Team as a freshman, received Honorable Mention honors his sophomore season, and followed that with a spot on the First Team last season.
CSUN’s inaugural home game of the 2009 season against Loyola Marymount on September 6 was the first of eight regular-season home games scheduled to take place. The game was the eleventh home-opener for the Matadors under the tutelage of head coach Terry Davila who increased his overall record to 8-3-0 in home openers with the 1-0 win over the Lions.
DID YOU MISS US?
Last season, seniors Devin Deldo, Moy Gomez, and sophomore Rafael Garcia all missed a number of games due to injury. After each underwent grueling rehabilitation sessions throughout the off-season, all three student-athletes were directly involved on every goal scored by CSUN this season during their first three games (one exhibition, two regular season) played in 2009. In the Matadors’ exhibition game against UNLV, Deldo ended up heading in the equalizing goal, while teammate Garcia netted the game-winning shot with just a few minutes left in regulation. Even though their goals will not count since they took place in an exhibition contest, the goal scored by Gomez in the Matadors’ regular-season home-opener will go down in the record books as the first one scored by a Northridge player in 2009.
YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST
In 2008, goalkeeper Brandon Ibarra served as a backup to the Big West Co-Goalkeeper of the Year. This season, Ibarra earned the starting spot as the Matadors’ keeper, and in his second game as a member of the starting 11, the redshirt-sophomore picked up the first shutout of his career in front of his home fans in CSUN’s 1-0 victory over Loyola Marymount. After waiting an entire season to earn his first shutout of his career, Ibarra had to only wait five more days to pick up his second as he helped the Matadors earn their second won of the season in a 2-0 effort over Fairleigh-Dickinson.
ROOKIE BY NAME ONLY
In 2008, defenseman Matthew Chavez was the only true freshman to start a game for Coach Davila. Chavez played in 15 of the 17 matches, and was named to the starting line-up on ten of those 15 occasions. This season, freshman midfielder Rene Anguiano became the inaugural first-year player to earn a spot in the starting lineup against San Diego on the road and at home against both LMU and Fairleigh-Dickinson. Yuval Barak added his name to this exclusive list with his start in the Matadors’ game against Milwaukee last Sunday. Although he redshirted the 2008 season, freshman Joe Franco has started in all four games this season for Northridge in what will be his debut season on the field.
MAKING THE LIST
College Soccer News recently released their annual top-100 freshman to watch in 2009, with five Big West freshman receiving accolades from the publication. Out of the five, CSUN’s own Luis Gil was amongst some of the most talented freshmen in the nation to watch. The native from Fillmore, Calif. will play midfield this season, and made his unofficial Matador debut against San Diego in the Matadors’ season-opening game on September 1st.
KEEPING THEM ON THEIR TOES
Even though the season is only four games deep, the Matadors have outshot and drawn a higher amount of corner kicks than their opponents. So far in 2009, Northridge holds a 96-76 advantage in shots, and four more corner kicks than their opponents combined (26-21). Last season, the Matadors possessed 8-2-0 record whenever they took more shots than their opponents, and a 5-3-0 record when they drew more corner kicks. So far this season, the Matadors are 4-1-0 when outshooting their opponents and 3-1-0 when possessing the advantage in corner kicks.
THE INSIDE SCOOP
Matador soccer fans can sign-up to receive the latest thoughts, opinions, and information from head coach Terry Davila via Twitter throughout the season at http://twitter.com/CSUNMensSoccer. Cal State Northridge is also the only member of the Big West Conference, and one of the few across the nation that provide live post-game interviews for free on the Athletic Department’s YouTube page. Fans can watch interviews with their favorite players and coaches at http://www.youtube.com/northridgeathletics throughout the season.