Originally Published October 12, 2007
It was 10 huge minutes for the CSUN men’s soccer team.
In those 10 minutes in the second half, the Matadors erased a winless streak against local rival UCLA and built some momentum heading into Big West Conference play with a 3-0 victory, their first victory in 14 tries against the Bruins.
“When you play UCLA, which is the fine program that it is, you gotta put your A-game together,” head coach Terry Davila said. “I thought our kids played well the entire time against a fine, quality opponent.”
After 69 scoreless minutes, sophomore forward Michael Clegg broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, as he took a pass from sophomore midfielder Sunghyun Kim, charged in on goal from the right and blasted a shot past UCLA sophomore goalkeeper Brian Perk to the left side of the net.
Clegg’s goal was just the beginning for the Matadors. In the 73rd minute, sophomore midfielder Dylan Riley crossed a ball from the left to sophomore defender Ben Cox, who headed the ball past Perk and to the left.
Freshman forward Camilo Rojas capped off the scoring spree in the 80th minute, as he beat a Bruin defender one-on-one, then beat Perk to the far post.
“I still can’t believe I scored,” Rojas said.
The Matadors were clearly fired up for the occasion, as Clegg, Cox and Rojas celebrated their goals with the CSUN crowd. A small group of fans returned the favor after the buzzer sounded, storming the field to celebrate with the players.
“Our whole team played well,” junior forward Devin Deldo said. “I’m ecstatic, I’m happy.”
CSUN was aggressive on both offense and defense the entire afternoon. The Matadors fired off a total of 15 shots in the game and in the process, held UCLA to only four shot attempts. In fact, UCLA took just one shot in the first half.
“A lot of our offense was started by our great defense,” Davila said. “We played outstanding team defense, everybody worked very hard and bought into the system.”
CSUN played the match without three starters on defense. Senior Sean Franklin and junior Chad Borak were nursing injuries and senior Matt Tracy had to sit out after collecting a red card in the Matadors’ last match against New Mexico. CSUN went to a 2-5-3 formation. Junior Bo Miller and freshman Jeremy Hohn started in the backline and sophomore Luis Smith started as the fifth midfielder.
“The other guys that are stepping in for the starters are playing amazing,” Deldo said. “It’s a whole team effort and everyone’s playing so well together and we all work hard for each other.”
After 12 straight defeats at the hands of the Bruins, the Matadors showed signs of breaking through, playing to a scoreless draw at Matador Soccer Field in 2005 and a 1-1 draw at Drake Stadium last season.
“I’m just glad we got the win,” Davila said. “I don’t care when we got it, I don’t care if we deserved it or not. If we had to wait three years, four more years for it, we worked for it. We earned it and I’m proud of this win.”
The win improves CSUN’s record to 4-2-1 and drops the Bruins to 3-4-1.
CSUN opens up Big West Conference play, as it travels to Orange County to face the Cal State Fullerton Titans on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.