Men’s Soccer: Northridge clinches playoff berth

    Northridge guaranteed itself atleast a second place finish in the Big West South Division with a 2-1 victory over UC Irvine Saturday night.

    The playoff birth gives the Matadors (11-5, 5-2 Big West) its first visit to the postseason since 2009.

    After suffering a stumble against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 17, CSUN rebounded with an early 1-0 off a Sagi Lev-Ari goal in the 10th minute of Saturday’s match in Irvine.

    Northridge gave up an equalizer in the 60th minute but the Matadors’ Armando Gutierrez responded with his first goal of the year in the 80th minute, putting CSUN ahead for good.

    The goal was the senior defender’s second of his career and the eventual goal that clinched the southern division.

    With three games remaining, Lev-Ari and his conference-leading 12 goals this year look to stay atop the south heading into the playoffs.

    CSUN next closes its road trip with a visit to UC Riverside before finishing the regular season with two home matches against Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine at Matador Soccer Field.

    The three conference foes are a combined 5-15-1 in Big West play. Fullerton is currently second, 8 points out of first place.

    Senior Night will take place Nov. 3 with Big West playoffs slated to start Nov. 7.