Matadors win Big West South title

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Matadors win Big West South title

Senior defender Patrick Hickman sets up his pass in a game against Tulsa. Photo credit: Kendall Faulkner/ The Sundial

Senior defender Patrick Hickman sets up his pass in a game against Tulsa. Photo credit: Kendall Faulkner/ The Sundial

Senior defender Patrick Hickman sets up his pass in a game against Tulsa. Photo credit: Kendall Faulkner/ The Sundial

Senior defender Patrick Hickman sets up his pass in a game against Tulsa. Photo credit: Kendall Faulkner/ The Sundial

Eduardo Miranda

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The Matadors played their final game of the regular season against the UC Riverside Highlander, and they came away with a 1-0 win.

They needed either the win, or a Cal State Fullerton tie to clinch the top spot in the Big West South. They were also playing for a bye in the first round of the playoffs and home field advantage.

In the first half, the Highlanders pushed forward and attacked the Matadors looking for an early goal. They dominated the ball and game as they held the Matadors to zero attempts on goal and corners to their two scoring chances and three corners.

The Matadors were fortunate to not have a penalty called against them 10 minutes into the game, and that forward Papi Diouf was not shown a red card when he hit an opposing player in the back of the head after his penalty call was reversed by the linesman.

In the second half, the Matadors looked like a team that no longer wanted to be on the defensive end.

Only 13 minutes had passed when midfielder Jeremy Degraffenreidt saw the Matadors first chance at goal.

Degraffenreidt was unable to connect cleanly with the ball and saw a weak shot slowly go outside of the post.

With eight minutes left to play, the Matadors saw a wide open shot by a Highlander defender go wide of the post.

With that miss the Matadors and Highlanders went into overtime to see if they could find a goal to win the game and change the playoff picture.

Overtime lasted only one minute as the Matadors used a set play to score their game winner.

Defender Gabe Robinson sent a throw into the heart of the box, where fellow defender Patrick Hickman was able to flick the ball back towards Dadzie who then sent the ball into the back of the net.

“We worked all season through the tough times and we really deserve this,” Dadzie said.

The victory gave the Matadors the win and also the Big West South title and a first round bye.

“We are still undefeated at home with nine games so it feels good,” goalkeeper Kevin Marquez said.

Coach Terry Davila still wants to see some improvements from his team before the playoffs however.

“We need to get our legs back,” Davila said.. “We have been battling for a couple of weeks.”

The Matadors will face the winner between Sacramento State and UC Riverside, at home on Wednesday, Nov. 9.