There was good news and bad news for the CSUN Matador men’s soccer team in its Big West Conference opener Wednesday night.
The good news: It broke its streak of going scoreless in the first half with a goal only two minutes into the game.
The bad news: It allowed the host Cal State Fullerton Titans to equalize midway through the first half and it stayed that way the rest of the game, with CSUN having to settle for the 1-1 draw at Titan Stadium.
Sophomore forward Sunghyun Kim got the Matadors on the board first in only the second minute, as he received sophomore defender Robert Pate’s pass and struck the ball past Titan goalkeeper Tyler Andrews into the upper left corner, giving CSUN the early lead.
Fullerton stayed in the game, holding CSUN to only two shots in the first half while taking eight shots itself. The Titans tied the game in the 24th minute when Matt Sanders sent Michael Farfan’s free kick past junior goalkeeper Kevin Guppy into the net.
CSUN was aggressive in the second half, attempting nine shots. Fullerton ended up outshooting Northridge 18-14 throughout the contest. The Matadors might’ve been too aggressive, as it committed 11 fouls in the second half. In what amounted to a physical contest, CSUN committed 21 fouls total, while the Titans committed14.
Guppy made seven saves in goal for CSUN and Titan goalie Andrews made three saves.
CSUN’s task didn’t get any easier over the weekend, as it traveled to UC Irvine to face 25th-ranked UC Irvine at Anteater Stadium this past Saturday night. Adding to the difficulty, Irvine was coming off a 4-0 drubbing on the road at the hands of defending national champion UC Santa Barbara at Harder Stadium in a televised game.
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