In a match between the Matadors and the Toreros, both of which are bullfighting mascots, the University of San Diego had the final Ole.
Near the end of regulation, in minute 85, midfielder Dustin Guerrero tapped in a wide-open shot, breaking a scoreless tie and handing the Matadors their second loss in three games. The Matadors record dropped to 4-2-1, while the Toreros improved to 3-0-2.
The two teams came out strong on defense, with neither team allowing more than five shots on goal for the entire match. Junior midfielder Eric Pohl sent the ball to Guerrero for the game-winner, and his first goal of the season.
The Matadors did have opportunities to get on the board. In minute 74, freshman Devin Deldo launched a ball that ricocheted off the post, which was ultimately saved by Torero goalkeeper Lance Friesz. In minute eight, star forward Willie Sims attempted a shot on goal that was also stopped by Friesz.
Of the Matadors’ two losses of the season, both have come by way of shutout. The first was to defending national champion and No. 1 Indiana, and the second loss was to San Diego.
When the Matadors win, however, they win in grand fashion. Three of the teams four victories have come by way CSUN shutting out its opponent.
The Matadors begin Big West Conference play on Sept. 28, at UC Riverside. The Highlanders finished last season with an overall record of 7-10-1, while furnishing a 4-5-1 record against conference teams.
The two teams last met in 2004 at CSUN, where the Matadors sneaked out a double overtime 3-2 victory. CSUN also was to blame for UCR’s only tie of the game.
Following CSUN’s first league game against UCR, the Matadors will face Cal Poly on Oct. 1 at Matador Field. Last season the Matadors were 1-0-1 against Cal Poly’s Mustangs, including a 3-0 win at home against the team. In the two teams last meeting, the result was a 2-2 tie. Both goals were credited to then-sophomore Sims, who also fired a machine-like seven shots during the match. Cal Poly finished the season with an overall record of 7-7-4.
In the seven games the Matadors have competed in this season, the team have registered a total of 14 goals scored, a majority of which came in the second period.
Sims leads all Matadors with seven goals scored on 27 shot attempts, including a total of 16 points. Sims has also recorded three game winning goals. Junior midfielder Taylor Canel, second in goals, scored two. Senior Matador Gianni Facio leads the team in assists with four.
Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Guppy played in and started all seven games for CSUN while recording 26 saves on the season for a .722 percentage.
The 28-man roster currently has only five seniors.
Matt Osias can be reached at email@example.com.