The CSUN men’s soccer team (2-7-2, 1-1-1) will try to bounce back from its first Big West loss of the season, as they go for the season sweep of Cal State Fullerton (3-6-2, 2-2) tonight in a conference match at Matador Field.
The Matadors opened up conference play with a 3-0 road win against the Titans on Oct. 2. CSUN dominated the Titans, who were coming off a high profile win against UC Santa Barbara, in every category, especially shots 18-6.
Northridge will be looking to obtain its first Big West win at Matador Field after suffering a 1-0 loss in their conference home opener against UC Davis on Saturday.
After a slow start to the season, where the Matadors didn’t score their first goal until the fourth game, surprisingly Saturday’s game against the Aggies was the first time the Northridge offense has been held scoreless in over five games.
The last time the Matadors were held scoreless they were matched up against the best team in the nation, No.1 Akron.
Although the Matadors attained their first home win of the season in a dominating 4-0 performance against Air Force, they have yet to win at home under the newly installed lights. Tonight’s game will provide just the third opportunity to accomplish that task.
The Matadors will have the help of midfielder and team captain Rafael Garcia, who has been on an offensive tear recently. Garcia has a combined 10 shots and two goals in the last two games and leads the team in every category except goals.
Garcia is the teams shot leader with 31, he is the teams assist leader with three and is also on top of the point’s category, which rewards two points for every goal and one point for every assist with a total of seven.
As for the Titans, they are coming off their second Big West victory with a 2-1 win on the road against UC Riverside on Saturday.
Every goal during the game came in the first half with the game-winning goal coming off the foot of junior midfielder Kevin Venegas in the 41st minute.
Before the UC Riverside game the Titans were outscored 6-0 by both the Matadors and UC Santa Barbara in their previous two games.
Although the Titans were outshot heavily against the Highlanders, 15-5, in the second half they still found a way to hold on to the lead. Junior goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon finished the game with a staggering eight saves, five of which came in the crucial moments of the second half.
Whiddon’s exceptional performance in the net sealed the Titans second win of the season and solidified their position tied for second in the conference with a total of six points with two wins and two losses in conference play.
UC Irvine with a total of three wins good for nine points is the current leader in the Big West conference standings while the Matadors are fifth with four points.