M-Soccer: Lobos explode for three late goals to defeat Matadors

Anthony Carpio

It was the longest 70 seconds ever for the Cal State Northridge men’s soccer team.

With less than 10 minutes left in regulation, CSUN (2-3) saw its 1-0 lead disappear faster than it could say “boom.” New Mexico scored three consecutive goals in the 84th, 85th, and 86th minutes to take a 3-1 victory over the Matadors in the TLC Invitational championship game Sunday afternoon.

“We didn’t do anything to try and come back,” CSUN head coach Terry Davila said. “(New Mexico) is probably the best team we’ve played all year. They’re very good at transitions. We shut them down for the most part, but we opened up a little bit and lost a little bit of focus, and then ‘boom, 2-1,’ and then ‘Boom, 3-1.’”

It started with a corner kick by Lobo midfielder Blake Smith to find defender Kyle Venter, who put it in the back of the net for the tie. Then forward Devon Sandoval netted another goal from the left side of the box, assisted by forward James Rogers, for the 2-1. The third goal came from Smith on an assist by Rogers.

The Lobos (4-0-1) came out shooting throughout the afternoon, outshooting the Matadors 14-6. It took New Mexico exactly three minutes to attempt its first shot, coming from Sandoval. Seven Lobos attempted at least a shot, with three players having three.

Matador midfielder Gustavo Villalobos scored the opening goal of the game in the 35th minute, which came unassisted.

CSUN goalkeeper Michael Abalos was tested by New Mexico’s offense early, and had four saves by halftime, the same number of saves he had during Friday’s 3-0 victory over Missouri State.

Abalos ended the game with five stops.

Besides Villalobos’s goal, CSUN had one other shot in the first half that missed high by way of a header from defender Nicholas Hamilton in the 32nd minute. The Matadors only had three shots on goal for the game.

Apparently, New Mexico likes to pick on the Matadors. Sunday’s win made it the six consecutive time the Lobos have beat CSUN, a record that dates back to 2003.

The Matadors’ next game will take place at Cal State Bakersfield against the Roadrunners.