Anteater Stadium Hosts Pivotal Big West Contest
Oct. 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 15 at UC Irvine, 7:00 p.m. (Anteater Stadium)
Saturday, October 18 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 2:30 p.m. (Matador Stadium)
RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK
Wednesday, October 8 at #23 UC Santa Barbara, T, 2-2 (2OT)
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Last week against #23 UC Santa Barbara, the Matadors came from behind twice, on the road, in a hostile environment, to finish with a 2-2 tie.
As a reward for their gritty performance, the Matadors were rewarded with a much-needed six days off to not only recuperate from their efforts on the coast, but to also prepare for their next challenge on the road against the #19-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters.
Both teams are tied for third place in the Big West standings with one win and four points each; Wednesday's contest will be crucial for the Matadors if they want to remain near the top of a conference that already has three of its member schools ranked in the top-25 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
"Our preseason prepared us well for these type of games," stated forward Moy Gomez. "With the way we played against Georgetown, UCLA, and Creighton on the road, there is no reason why we cannot compete for the Big West title this season."
With six different players scoring in their last five games, the Matadors possess a dangerous, multi-faceted attack looking to secure additional points in the standings in their second straight road game.
"We need to take care of business at home, but if we can get at least one point in each of our conference road games, then we will put ourselves in a good position once we get towards the end of the season." said Assistant Head Coach Yossi Raz.
Led by forward Spencer Thompson and midfielder Matt Murphy, the Anteaters posses two of the top-five scorers in the conference, and an offense that has out-shot their opponents by a 178-120 margin this season.
Already battle-tested from five previous games against top-25 caliber opponents, the Matador backline is more than prepared face their latest challenge.
Anchored by goalkeeper Kevin Guppy and his 0.86 goals against average, the Matadors have only allowed their opponents to score ten goals this season, the second-lowest mark in the Big West.
After receiving a red card and forced to sit out their last game against UC Santa Barbara, midfielder Jeremy Hohn and forward Camilo Rojas will be available and ready to play against the Anteaters, and hope their return can help the Matadors earn another three points before returning to Matador Field this Saturday.
"Each game is an important game, and our next one against UC Irvine is no exception," said Assistant Head Coach Peter Bomar.
"As a former player, we live for these type of games, and I know that our guys are excited to go down to Irvine."
Playing in only their third home match in the last six weeks, the Matadors return home to face the Cal State Fullerton Titans at Matador Field this Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.