A sluggish start and an anemic offense against visiting University of San Diego resulted in a 1-0 loss for the Matadors Sunday night at Matador Field.
Over their last four games, two losses and two ties, the Matadors (3-3-3) have been outscored 3-1. Defense has been one of the Matadors’ strong points throughout the season, as they’ve only allowed six goals through nine games.
A starting lineup that didn’t include some regulars due to injuries, started off slower than normal, being outplayed by the Toreros (4-7).
“Our quality wasn’t there and we were making silly mistakes up top, the spaces were there, we just were not finding them,” said redshirt sophomore Brittanie Sakajian.
Head coach Keith West put the blame on himself for his team’s tired play for the tightly-packed schedule that he created that included a Friday trip to Santa Clara and then Sunday’s game back in Northridge.
“It was a tough one to go away and come back, it’s hard to play with quality sometimes when you travel like we did,” said West.
The first half, as did most of the game, belonged to the Toreros as they overpowered the Matadors’ defense by putting up shots at will. Highlight reel diving stops in the goal by senior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo kept the score even in the first half.
Multiple corner kicks by the Toreros kept the game tense, but clearance shots by the Matador defense kept the goal safe until the 50th minute when the Toreros struck in a goal on a header that a diving Jacobo was unable to save.
The Matadors’ offense never posed a threat to the Toreros in either half, putting four shots on goal.
Outshot by the Toreros 17-11, and struggling to get anything started, players started taking multiple shots from long ranges but failed to score.
Fast break attempts were quickly thwarted by the Toreros, with multiple turnovers by the Matador offense.
“We were rushing passes, we weren’t finding the right passes, it felt like we were panicking,” Sakajian said.
After losing to the Matadors 3-0 at their home field earlier this season, the Toreros were able to adjust to the Matadors’ style of play.
“They were able to control the speed of the game, and make adjustments between the halves tonight,” Sakajian said.