THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Coming off a tough invitational last weekend where they went 1-3, the Matadors came out more focused and went 4-0 in the Cal Lutheran Invitational.
In the first game, the Cal State Northridge water polo team faced the Concordia Eagles and came out with the victory, 12-6.
The game started off slow for both teams as the Matadors and Eagles could not score.
“I think we came out a little sluggish. One, it can be the fact that it was a morning game. I also think its mental preparation to come out and play a game that early,” coach Marcelo Leonardi said. “We had opportunities early that we didn’t take advantages of, so that’s why it was a low scoring first half.”
Northridge capitalized first with a goal by Whitney Delgado with in the first period.
In the second period, the Matadors scored three more goals before the Eagles finally got on the board with 3:49 left in the second, which ended the half at 4-1.
Both teams combined for eight goals in the third period.
“I thought that Nicole (Concialdi) gave up a couple of goals she shouldn’t have on lobs and defensively we had some mental lapses,” Leonardi said.
The Eagles came back on the offensive attack, bringing the lead down to just two at 6-4 with 3:47 left in the third period, but CSUN scored two goals to make it 8-5.
The Matadors’ defense held strong in the last period, giving up one more goal while adding four more goals to their lead.
“We completely took their (Eagles) two-meter game and forced them to shoot from the outside,” Leonardi said. “We did a good job of field blocking and funneling shots to Nicole (Concialdi) and made our adjustments.”
The second game, with the Wagner Seahawks as opponents, was characterized by another slow start, but the Matadors prevailed and won 12-7.
Northridge was first to get on board with Lindsy Nelson’s goal at the 3:44 mark of the first period.
CSUN scored two more goals in the period and captured a 3-1 lead after one period. The Seahawk goal came with 35 seconds left.
Utility Sydney Sonoda started the scoring in the second period with 44 seconds in and at the end of the half, Northridge led 5-1.
The Matadors’ third period has been a struggle for them and in this game they gave up three goals, the closest Wagner got was 7-4 at the 2:21 mark of the third.
CSUN knew it had to push hard and it scored five goals to make it 9-4 after three periods of play.
“In this game, we talked about it (third period) and we were focusing on the third period. I know we let in three goals, but other than that, we really focused on that (period),” said Sonoda, who had five goals.
Both Northridge and Wagner scored three more goals apiece in the last period.
With another 8 a.m. game, CSUN started the offense on a slow key, but the Matadors fought back to come from behind after the first half and win, 10-5, over Cal State Monterey Bay.
The Matadors trailed 4-2 at the half.
The third period, which has been tough for Northridge on defense, proved to be its time to shine for the defense and the attack on offense as the Matadors held the Otters to zero goals and scored five of their own to give them a 7-4 lead.
In the last period, CSUN scored an additional three goals and allowed one goal to the Otters.
The final game of the day was no competition for the Matadors as they defeated La Verne 15-0.
By scoring nine goals in the first period, CSUN never looked back and finished the game with two goals in each of the remaining three periods.
Whitney Delgado (9) passed former CSUN standout Jessica Coy (162 goals, 2006-09) for the third spot in the CSUN career goals list with her 163 goal on Saturday. Her total after the invitational is 170.