Men’s Soccer: CSUN opens season with Wilson Titan Tournament win

Andrew Clark

The Matadors defeated the Portland Pilots and the American University Eagles to claim the Wilson Titan Classic championship in Fullerton over the weekend.

Sophomore forward Edwin Rivas was named offensive MVP for the tournament with two goals and an assist in the two games. File photo/ Daily Sundial

On Friday, CSUN smashed Portland 4-0, thanks to a scoring flurry by newcomer forward Sagi Lev-Ari, who led the team with two goals in his Northridge debut.

Sophomore forward Edwin Rivas and senior defender Joe Franco added scores and were up 3-0 by the end of the first half before Lev-Ari put in his second score.  Franco’s score was his first in three years.

Senior goalkeeper Michael Abalos preserved the shutout with four saves.  Abalos now has 15 career shutouts and is now second on the all-time shutout list.

This was CSUN’s best offensive performance since September 2010 when they beat Air Force, also a 4-0 score.

The Eagles proved to be more of a challenge on Sunday as the Matadors beat them in a close 2-1 battle.

American scored first after a deadlocked opening half on a shot by Alessane Kane, but the Matadors responded soon after with a goal from Rivas with an assist by junior midfielder Carlos Benavides, his second of the season.

American’s Dale McDonald was issued a red card in the 52nd minute and Northridge took advantage of the penalty with a goal two minutes later by junior forward Beto Velasquez.  Senior defenseman Yuval Barak recorded an assist on the play, also his second of the season.

Rivas was named Offensive MVP of the tournament with a total of two goals and an assist. Senior defender Armando Gutierrez was named Defensive MVP.

As a result of their play during the tournament, Franco, Rivas, Gutierrez, and senior midfielder Rene Anguiano were named to the 2012 Wilson Titan Classic All-Tournament Team.

CSUN next travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas on Friday.