CSUN men’s soccer needs break in Akron

Raul Magana

Nicholas Hamilton (15) and the Matadors look to capture their first victory of the season at the University of Akron Tournament. Photo Credit: Paul Kingsley Photo Editor

The Matadors (0-3-1) have had a rough start to the season, as they remain winless and travel to Ohio to take on soccer powerhouse No. 1 Akron (3-0-0) and UIC (0-3-0) in the University of Akron Tournament, starting Friday.

When the season started the Matadors hoped the matchup against one of best teams in the nation would serve as a stepping stone towards a successful year.

Now with questions on offense, defense and team chemistry, the University of Akron Tournament will merely serve as yet another opportunity for CSUN to turn things around and show they can be consistent on both ends.

“We have to come as a team, so we can stay together, stay focused and win our first game,” freshman defender Angel Sanchez said. “Were doing things right, its just sometimes things haven’t gone our way.”

Although the Matadors have been everything but consistent, there still is reason for hope. Northridge, who has only scored one goal this season, has shown glimpses of success on offense and defense.

Defensively against Washington University, CSUN was heavily out shot 16-9 yet found a way to keep Washington from scoring. On the offensive end the Matadors out shot San Jose State 10-2 in the second half.

“We just have to come together as a team, give it our all and take it one game at a time,” Sanchez said.

As far as team chemistry is concerned, CSUN head coach Terry Davila has played and started just about everybody on his roster. It will be interesting to see if Davila will continue to meddle with the starting lineup in the Akron Tournament.

No. 1 Akron University has the highest winning percentage in the NCAA since 2005. They were 2009 college cup NCAA Tournament finalists and have last year’s NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Coach of the Year in head coach Caleb Porter.

Akron, who is undefeated, has already proven they are worthy of a No. 1 ranking, attaining victories over top five teams No. 4 North Carolina and No. 3 Wake Forest in the University of North Carolina Tournament last week.

UIC like the Matadors also comes into the University of Akron Tournament looking for their first win of the season. The Flames have yet to score in the 2010 season and have losses against Florida International, Michigan and Gonzaga.

Players to Watch

Zip to watch: Junior Forward Darlington Nagbe

The Zips biggest offensive threat is an electrifying forward who has a chance to score every time he touches the ball. Nagbe leads the team with 9 shots and has 2 goals this season and is a strong candidate to win the Hermann Trophy, an honor given to the recognize the top male and female collegiate soccer player in the nation.

Matador to watch: Redshirt Sophomore Defender, Joe Franco

Franco is a key component of the Matador defense and will be counted on to slow down the Akron offense. Franco was named to the Cal State Fullerton All-Tournament team and continues improving as a leader.