The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Soccer season finale

Playing its final game of the 2007 season on Friday afternoon, the CSUN men’s soccer team made sure it went out on a good note.

The Matadors got two quick goals in the first half and held back a furious charge from the UC Irvine Anteaters, ending their season with a 2-1 win at Matador Soccer Field.

Before the game, CSUN honored its four seniors, defenders Sean Franklin and Matt Tracy, midfielder Fergie Agwu and goalkeeper Peter Bomar. In fact, Bomar, normally a reserve, was given the start in goal on Friday.

“I loved it,” Bomar said. “I’ve been waiting five years for this.”

Northridge struck nine minutes into the game, when sophomore forward Sunghyun Kim sent a ball to junior midfielder Devin Deldo, who from the left side of the Irvine box fired a shot that beat freshman goalkeeper Pat Barton near post for a 1-0 Matador lead.

Tracy added to the margin in the 18th minute after Deldo was fouled while trying to break for goal. Tracy took the free-kick, sending a David Beckham-style, bending free kick from 28 yards out past Barton to the far left post.

“We wanted to play the best game we’ve played,” Tracy said.

Irvine looked to get back into the match in the second half. The Anteaters’ first good look came in the 63rd minute when sophomore midfielder Kevin Santora fired a shot on goal that Bomar got his hand on just enough to send it off the crossbar. The ball bounced down to Rafael Macedo, who was in the Northridge box and looked to have an open net opportunity, but Tracy right away swooped in and cleared the ball out of the box.

The Anteaters finally got on the board when Macedo crossed a ball to freshman forward Amani Walker, who struck it past Bomar near-post.

Irvine had several chances to equalize towards the end of the game, its best chance coming as the final seconds ticked down. Junior midfielder Matt Murphy had a look at an open net and headed a ball on the ground that looked good, but instead bounced over the goal.

“We got two goals early and held them off, so it was a good win for us,” Tracy said.

Irvine took 13 shots to CSUN’s 11 and also had eight corner kick opportunities, compared to just three by the Matadors. Bomar tallied three saves in goal while Irvine’s goalkeepers stopped five Matador shots, four by Barton and one by senior Eric Ringen stopped five Matador shots. Friday’s game also carried some implications in the Big West Conference standings.

“Terry (Davila, head coach) mentioned in the locker room that either we win and get fourth place or we lose and get last place, and we did not want to end up in last,” Franklin said.

Northridge’s 2007 season was an emotional roller coaster. Expectations were high heading into the season and the Matadors had some great moments, none more so than defeating the UCLA Bruins 3-0 at home back on Sept. 29. But, then came the sudden death of junior midfielder Jay Singh in October and the difficult task of trying to play through all the emotion. The Matadors finished with a record of 7-7-6 overall, 3-5-4 in Big West play and a total of 13 points in conference play.

“It was tough at first, but everyone fought through it and tried to make the best of our season,” Agwu said.

Davila commended his team for playing through all the emotions they endured during the season.

“We have tremendous spirit,” Davila said. “There is no animosity. They all love each other and it says a lot about their character and their friendship.”

Two of the four seniors, Franklin and Tracy, say they have aspirations to play professionally, particularly in Major League Soccer.

Davila took some time to comment on the four seniors and what they meant to Northridge, on and off the soccer field.

“Sean represented consistency and talent the whole year,” Davila said. “Matt was one of the most competitive players that ever went here. Fergie is one of the most confident players that has ever been around and Peter was the best teammate out of every player at Cal State Northridge.”

Looking ahead, Davila says the team must continue to improve mentally and physically in order to get back to the success the program enjoyed from 2002-2005.

“We need to become a stronger physical program, as far as our physical toughness, our physical strength and our mental strength,” Davila said.

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