The CSUN men’s soccer team was able to give head coachTerry Davila his 100th win as a Big West coach with a 2-0 victory against Canisius on Friday night to open the 2011 season.
“I’m just glad to get a home victory,” said Davila, who started his 12th season with the Matadors. “I guess when I get a bit older, I’ll look at it and savor it.”
It was the first time CSUN faced off against Canisius, which came all the way from Buffalo, New York.
Midfielders Chris Smith and Yarden Azulay made sure the ball moved around efficiently throughout the match. The even distribution allowed CSUN to execute its plans with ease.
The first goal of the match came in the 26th minute from Smith, a redshirt sophomore, with a powerful shot from 30 yards out.
“I ripped the shot and hit the sweet spot on my foot,” Smith said. “I knew it was going to be a goal right away, and I knew it was going to be a good shot.”
Freshman forward Christian Gonzalez Diaz added another goal for CSUN in the 67th minute, connecting with a far side corner kick ground lob from midfielder Gustavo Villalobos.
“As a freshman, it’s always good to be on the field,” Gonzalez Diaz said. “And to score to extend the lead, it’s a good feeling.”
CSUN came out taking every opportunity they could to score in the first half with 1o shots taken and four shots on goal. The Matadors finished the game with 24 shots, 12 on goal, compared to Canisius’ six shots and four on goal.
Matador forward Edwin Rivas came out strong with three early scoring opportunities. Two of those shots missed wide. Rivas finished the game tied with Gonzalez Diaz with a team-high four shots.
Canisius came out pushing its offense in the second half in hopes to clear the 1-0 deficit, but CSUN was just as offensively-minded.
“We definitely wanted to keep them on their heels,” Smith said.
Goalkeeper Manabu Kaji had a busy night defending the net and had a crucial save in the second half to keep Canisius scoreless. Kaji finished with two saves.
Co-captain Rafael Garcia did not play due to an injury, which will be clarified on Tuesday, Davila said.
The Matadors will face UNLV and Akron next week at the Cal State Northridge Labor Day Classic, which will be held at Matador Soccer Field.