Oct. 3, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The men in red return to Matador Field to begin conference play, participoating in only their second home game in over a month, as they face the UC Riverside Highlanders this Sunday.
Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
Led by midfielder Robert Cate (3g, 1a) and forward Caesar Diaz (2g,2a) the Highlanders travel to Northridge also looking to start their slate of Big West games on a winning note.
If history is any indication, the Highlanders more than have their work cut out for them. The last time they defeated the Matadors was during the 1981 season, since then the Matadors have amassed an impressive 12-0-6 record in the eighteen matches that have taken place.
While it may be tempting to look past the Highlanders in preparation for their match at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, the Matadors know that they need to only worry about their next opponent if they want to be tournament-bound at the end of the season.
If last week was any indicaction, the Cal State Northridge Matadors are more than prepared to face a challenging in-conference schedule en route to the inaugural Big West Men's Soccer Tournament next month.
After nearly beating the UCLA Bruins last Sunday afternoon, the Matadors more than held their own, on the road against the fifth-ranked Creighton Bluejays last Wednesday.
Leaving Westwood with a tie, and only five minutes away from leaving Omaha with another tie, may not have been the desired results that Head Coach Terry Davila was seeking when he initially embarked on his road trip.
If anything, the challenges faced while competing against two of the most respected programs in the country have only strengthened the resolve of the Matadors, as they prepare to tackle an in-conference schedule that possesses three teams (#17 UC Davis, #18 UC Irvine, and #22 UC Santa Barbara) that are currently ranked in the national top-25 poll by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
With an offense that is not afraid to fire away at opposing goaltenders, the Matadors have tmore than twenty shots on goal than their opponents combined so far this season, the Matadors are fully prepared to attack a Highlander defense that has already surrendered 17 goals to their opponents this season.
In contrast, the Matador defense has only allowed eight goals this season, against a first-rate, non-conference schedule against six opponents who were, or are nationally-ranked this season.
What happed prior to this Sunday will soon carry little weight, as the season will soon be defined by the performance on the field during the Matador's next ten games, ten opportunities to climb to the top of the Big west, ten steps towards their ultimate goal.
First up, the UC Riverside Highlanders.