The Matadors shut out No. 13 UC Irvine 2-0, in their fourth win over a ranked opponent this year, and confirmed their status as the No. 4 seed in the Big West tournament.
“We beat a great team tonight,” coach Terry Davila said after the game. “They were dangerous; I thought we were a little more dangerous. This is a fun time. Any time there’s a do-or-die game, those are the game that you play for so it’s kind of fun being in the playoffs.”
Sophomore Daniel Trejo, who had not gotten on the score sheet for two games, was responsible for both goals of the match.
His cross from the left side, after 75 minutes, hit off of Irvine defender Greg Patenaude’s back and went into the back of the net for CSUN’s first goal.
After the goal, Irvine pushed forward to equalize, but this left them lacking in their defensive half, giving Trejo and the rest of the Matador forwards a ton of space to attack.
Trejo would penetrate this open space on the left side after 83 minutes, creating space for midfielder Michael Flores in the box. Trejo then passed to Flores, who cut back on to his right foot and slid the ball across the face of goal to Trejo who poked it home to make it 2-0.
“We needed this game,” said Trejo, who is now tied for the conference lead in goals. “We were hungry to get a win and especially at home. We prepared well, and this is the result that happened. We’re very happy about it, and we just got to keep working.”
With the win, CSUN tied UC Davis for forth slot in conference, however a 3-0 beat down of the Aggies by the Matadors earlier in the year breaks the tie. Northridge will now host Davis in the first round of the Big West tournament.
“We know what we want. We’re coming for everything,” Trejo said.
Before the game, seniors Andrew Rizeq, Nicholas Grinde, Michael Flores, Jordan Kinoshi, Henrik Regitnig and Jumoke Hutton were honored in a ceremony for the departing seniors, while Davila himself was honored for breaking the all-time wins record earlier this year.
With the regular season now complete, the Big West Conference has handed out their annual awards, with CSUN claiming seven All-Conference selections, including Henrik Regitnig being named Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year. He is only the fifth Big West player ever to accomplish that feat and the second CSUN player to do so.
Senior Andrew Rizeq and sophomore Daniel Trejo join Regitnig as first team All-Conference selections, whille defender Jumoke Hutton earned second team honors.
The Matadors earned two honorable mentions, with sophomore Giovanni Aguilar and junior Samuel Dadzie making the list, while freshman Wolfgang Prentice made the All-Freshman team.
The Matadors will now have just a few days to prep before visiting Davis comes to Matador field Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. for the opening round of the Big West Tournament. The winner of that game will go on to play UC Irvine (11-5-2, 5-1-1 in Big West) at Irvine Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.