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

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Matadors score rapidly to win home opener

Rodrigo Hernandez
Jorge Solorzano, 7, squares off against the Las Vegas Rebels on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Northridge, Calif. Solorzano scored a goal for the Matadors during the game.

After starting the season with one win and three draws on the road, the Matadors won their home opener with a 3-1 performance over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on Thursday.

The Matadors got the crowd cheering early, as freshman midfielder Jorge Solorzano scored at the sixth minute.

“I’m very happy because I’ve been added to the score sheet again,” Solorzano said.

Despite this being his first collegiate season, Solorzano has started the season strong, as he’s recorded two goals this week and was named CSUN’s Athlete of the Week.

“I just checked my phone right now, and it says I have five total college career games and four goals, which makes me really happy it’s been able to impact the team,” Solorzano said. “I’m very grateful to be a part of it and am really happy with how the team performed.”

While CSUN took the lead early, the Las Vegas Rebels outpaced and outshot them for the remainder of the first half as they had eight shots on goal to the Matadors’ four.

The Rebels eventually tied the game at the 32nd minute with a header from a corner pass.

With the game tied, the Matadors entered the second half with a clear game plan, as effort and execution shone with two rapid goals coming within a minute into the late second half.

“In the first half, it was a very complicated game, but we got it together and found the solution for the second half,” defender Matthieu Mayindu said. “I’m really happy the team won and with our performance.”

As the Matadors were aggressively outpacing the Rebels in the second half, forward Jamar Ricketts pushed in a rebound from forward Zion Wagoner in the 78th minute.

Less than a minute later, forward Jack Rhead scored on a penalty kick to decide the game with a two-goal lead, as the Matadors closed out the remaining minutes with stellar defense and control of the game.

“I always try to get the end of balls and use the opportunity to run it behind the defenders with a lot of open space in front,” Rhead said as he recounted what he was thinking leading up to his goal. “I wanted to drive it at the goalkeeper and wanted him to make a decision, whether to step to me or stay in his goal. There was a heavy touch in there, but it all worked out in the end, and I think it was Sebastian [Fuentes] who got the end of the ball in the penalty and at that moment, I just wanted to bury it, and scored the goal.”

The Matadors enjoyed their first home win this year as they remain undefeated after their first five games, something they’ve now done twice in the last four seasons.

“I thought it was a really positive performance from the team, as we’ve had a really great start to the season playing some big teams,” Rhead said. “I think this was a big one today, as we’ve had a few draws back-to-back, and that win today really solidified our start to the season and shows what team we are and what we can bring this season.”

While high season expectations are consistent among the team, the Matadors are hopeful and optimistic that they will accomplish their goals through teamwork and improved performances moving forward.

“Keeping the momentum is very important,” Rhead said. “We’re a few games away from the Big West now, and we’ve played these tough games against the opposition for a reason, because we know how competitive the Big West is going to be.”

Rhead emphasized the importance of the team continuing their winning streak as they continue their hunt for a championship.

“So, taking that momentum throughout this season and continuing that winning streak, and going undefeated from playing as a team, [we’re] going for that championship,” he said.

The Matadors lost 3-1 to the California Baptist University Lancers on the road Sunday despite leading the game with 17 shots on goal, as opposed to the Lancers’ 14.

CSUN will host the Loyola Marymount University Lions on Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m., as they look to improve their standings in the Big West conference.

More to Discover