Matadors get off to a good start in Dallas

Alejandro Arpiza

The Northridge men’s soccer team started its longest road stretch of the season Friday and will have an unheard of seven consecutive games away from Matador Field.

The Matadors decided to make themselves at home in Texas over the weekend.

CSUN went into the Prego Italian Express Invitational in Dallas determined to make a nationwide statement about their program – and they did, defeating perennial-ranked Tulsa, 2-1, on Friday, to win its fifth in a row.

Before the team set off for Dallas, several players stated that they wanted to send a message about Southern California soccer, and represent their region on a big stage such as this.

The Golden Hurricanes have been deflated in the win-loss column recently, having been defeated by No. 1-ranked Akron  in a recent game. The Matadors just added to Tulsa’s struggles and fall from its once top 25 standing.

“There really is no difference in men’s soccer when you’re talking about the top 70 schools,” said head coach Terry Davila. “Any team can be beat on any given day.”

Northridge had to overcome a 1-0 deficit and came storming back in the second half of play.

In a span of three minutes, the Matadors tied the game off a Ruben Rodriguez corner to defender Dylan Riley (74th) and found the game winner on the foot of senior midfielder Sunghyun Kim’s unassisted goal (77th).

The win over a highly ranked Tulsa squad will surely garner Northridge some attention and recognition in the NCAA’s Far West rankings, if not national rankings.

True freshman Michael Abalos made his college debut as the starting goalkeeper and recorded three saves on his way to the win. The goalie is part of this year’s heralded recruiting class brought in by Davila and his staff.

Tulsa’s first goal came in the 57 minute of action and took more corners in the match. But it is not the amount of corners taken that counts – rather the effectiveness of them. And Rodriguez clearly capitalized on his.

The Matadors also continued their streak of out-shooting their opponents, with Friday’s advantage of 11-10.