In their first Big West Conference game of the season, the Matadors (7-3) defeated UC Davis (2-4-4) 2-0 at home capping off a five-game winning streak with three straight shutouts.
Freshman midfielder David Turcios scored his first career goal in the seventh minute of the first half while sophomore forward Edwin Rivas scored CSUN’s second goal, his sixth of the season, just minutes later.
Senior goalkeeper Michael Abalos made two key saves, contributing to Northridge’s defense which has held opponents scoreless four out of the last five games. The Matadors’ defensive prowess frustrated the Aggies, which lead to a red card when defender Ethan Shawlee was ejected for a hard foul away from the ball around the 46th minute in the second half.
According to Trucios, the red card ignited UC Davis because they had nothing to lose.
Plenty of fouls were called between Matadors (21) and UC Davis (18), which resulted in a couple of injuries, two players from UC Davis were injured in the first half and the team was left with just 10 players on the field.
UC Davis Goalkeeper Omar Zeenni made five saves to prevent the Matadors from scoring in the second half.
After the game, head coach Terry Davila discussed the highs and lows for their first Big West Conference game.
Davila said the team came out strong but fouled too much and also thought the red card gave UC Davis motivation to play harder.
“In the second half, we came out unorganized in the midfield,” said Davila about the difference between the two halves.
Davila was confident about the team’s defense being their strength coming into the season. He credited the seniors and their leadership as part of the success.
“The players are older and experienced. They’ve added depth,” Davila said. “It wasn’t a pretty win but still a win.”
Rivas said the team was able to win because they stuck to the game plan and stayed consistent even during the scoreless second half.
“We’re all together. It’s either all of us or none of us,” Rivas said.
According to Rivas, the team needs to score early and keep going at their opponent in the next game.
“We need to stay organized for 90 minutes,” Rivas said.
Turcios said they practiced the play he scored on multiple times and took the opportunity to execute it when the time arrived.
“It would’ve been a different game had they scored first,” Turcios said. “It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, we must stick to the game plan.”
The Matadors will face Big West newcomer Sacramento State at home on Sunday.