Men’s soccer beats Rebels, blanked by No. 1 Indiana

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Under rainy conditions the Matador men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season. Responsible for crushing CSUN’s quest to stay undefeated was none other than two-time defending national champion and No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers.

The Matadors lost 5-0 in the first game of the Oregon State Diadora Classic Sept. 16. The following day, CSUN rebounded nicely, beating the UNLV Rebels 5-3.

In the first game, both Indiana and CSUN came out defensively sharp, as neither team scored a goal in the first half of play. Freshman Matador keeper and recent player of the week honoree Kevin Guppy recorded three saves in the first half, while Hoosier keeper Chris Munroe recorded five saves.

The Matador offensive showed signs of life in the final 90 seconds of the first half, as the team attempted three consecutive shots to no avail, sending the match into the intermission scoreless. The two teams managed a total of eight shots for the half.

Heading into the intermission the game looked to be nail-biter, but instead the Hoosiers proved why they are the top-ranked team in the nation, scoring three unanswered goals in a six-minute stretch, then adding another two to secure the victory.

Indiana produced goals from five different players, out-shooting the Matadors 13-9. The Matadors first shot on goal came after the 43-minute mark.

CSUN’s best chance on goal came in minute 59 when star-forward Willie Sims had his free-kick opportunity stopped by Munroe.

Less than one minute later Sims fired another shot on goal that was also stopped. Munroe was a brick wall in goal manufacturing a total of seven saves in the Hoosier victory.

The final game of the tournament matched CSUN against UNLV. The Matador offense, held scoreless against Indiana, awoke from their previous game slump sparked by Sims’ three-goal hat trick, breaking a halftime tie on the way to a 5-3 victory over UNLV (2-4)

The teams traded goals twice in the first half. In minute 12, Matador Taylor Canel scored, converting on a penalty kick for a 1-0 CSUN lead. UNLV returned the favor in minute 28, when Martin Kenny scored his first goal of the season on a header.

CSUN regained the lead 16 seconds later, as Canel fired a shot to the top-right crossbar, off an assist from Facio, making it 2-1. Canel’s goals were his first of the season.

Rebel Rod Dyachenko managed to tie the game for the second time at 2-2 in minute 42. The Matadors would answer the call once again as Facio launched a deep ball down field to the sharp-shooting Sims for a 3-2 lead in minute 48.

Two minutes later, the Rebels scored yet again, evening the match at 3-3. But Sims and the Matadors proved to be too strong scoring two additional unanswered goals, winning 5-3.

Sims three-goal game gave him seven overall for the season to accompany his amazing 16 points to lead all Matadors. He also had a game-high seven shots on goal

CSUN out shot the Rebels 22-8 while keeper Kevin Guppy saved four shots on goal.

With the win against UNLV, the Matadors improved to 4-1-1 on the year. After its play over the weekend the team is now recognized by the NSCAA/adidas National Ranking poll, placed at No. 25, the final spot in the nations top-25.

The Hoosiers ultimately claimed their second tournament title of the season, winning the Oregon State Diadora Classic.

The Matadors return home to take on (4-1) UC San Diego, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. at Matador Field.

Matt Osias can be reached at sports_sundial@csun.edu.