Men’s Soccer: Northridge offense too much for Temple

Casey Delich

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CSUN’s  men’s soccer offensive output continued this weekend with a 2-1 victory over visiting Temple University Sunday afternoon.Though the scoreboard does not look as if it was a dominating performance, it was a one-sided battle for most of the night between the teams.

Exploding out of the gate, the Matadors’ (4-3)offense put pressure on Temple (1-3-1) throughout the first half, recording their first shot on goal within two minutes.Attacking their opportunities as much as they could, the Matadors were able to get off 25 shots, including nine on goal.  Highlight reel saves by the Temple goalkeeper kept the game closer than it seemed.

CSUN’s David Turcios (28) and Carlos Benavides (6) chase down a Temple defender Sunday night at Matador Soccer Field. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

“We stuck to our game plan, our identity, and tried to produce opportunities to score goals,” said head coach Terry Davila.Controlling the possessions and second touches helped the Matadors wear down the Temple defense, who were kept off their side for much of the half.

“Team pressure and staying together helped us keep their offense in line,” said senior defender Armando Gutierrez. “We started to tire in the second half but kept in control.”

Playing twice in 48 hours, and with near record breaking temperatures in the valley, did not help the Matadors’ cause.

Senior forward Beto Velasquez put the Matadors on the board first on a cross from junior forward Brian Behard that Velasquez volleyed into the bottom right corner past the diving Temple goalkeeper.

A match that ended the first half with one yellow card turned down right physical in the second.  Four yellow cards were issued in the second half, along with a red card to Temple on a tackle on senior defender Joe Franco.

Franco was taken out of the game after the hard tackle, and the extent of his injuries are unknown.

“They have pride and we didn’t back down, it’s a physical game but nothing beyond reckless went on,” Davila said.

Scoring the last goal of the game for the Matadors was redshirt sophomore Edwin Rivas on an unassisted shot into the lower right corner past the diving goalkeeper.  It is Rivas’ third goal of the season and first game winner.

“There was a deflection of a defender, I saw the ball coming and just turned around and shot it,” Rivas said.

In his first game back from an undisclosed injury, senior goalkeeper Michael Abalos carried a shutout into the 88th minute, ending on a shot into the left hand corner of the goal by Temple freshman midfielder Jared Martinelli.

Recording three saves in the game, Abalos recorded his third victory of the season giving him 19 for his career, good for sixth all-time at CSUN.