CSUN defeated Air force 2-0 at Matador soccer field Saturday night, notching its fourth shutout of the season and second consecutive.
Sophomore forward Sagi Lev-Ari helped Northridge (5-3) take the lead off a set piece in the 14th minute with his conference-leading ninth goal of the year.
Forward Edwin Rivas added an insurance goal in the 80th minute, his fifth of the year.
Throughout most of the first half Air Force pushed the tempo, edging the Matadors 7-6 and even taking more corner kicks 5-2.
CSUN jumped on the board when midfielder David Turcios lofted a free kick to an open Levi-Ari
Head coach Terry Davila said the defense did a great job covering the field while goalkeeper Michael Abalos made three saves to keep Air Force off the board.
“They weren’t able to get any free looks in the box, just shots from outside,” Davila said.
According to Davila, the team lacked energy during the game and every line has to work together in order to play the shutdown defense expected of them.
“We were not as quick as we wanted to be,” Davila said
Davila said the team needs to show more energy, be more aggressive and get better at lasting through back-to-back games.
Abalos acknowledged that this wasn’t the prettiest game and the team needs to stick to their gameplan to get offense going early, but also added they did pretty well on defense.
“Playing defense will win games for us. We eased up a little and had to pick up compared to the first half” Abalos said.
Turcios said the team has to take every game seriously, mentally and physically.
Senior defender Joe Franco said it was a hard fought battle and they made it harder than they needed to.
Even though it felt great to have a shutout, they still have more to work on, according to Turcios.
“We still have a lot more to prove, we should win every game,” Turcios said.
Turcios spoke about how Levi-Ari’s performance has benefited the team in terms of their success this season.
“He has been a huge impact on this team,” Turcios said.
For the next game, Turcios mentioned the team has to come out with energy and come out firing on all cylinders.
Last Thursday, the Matadors defeated San Diego 5-0 on the road, which gave them their first shutout of this week.
The Matadors open up Big West Conference play at home against UC Davis on Friday.