The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors fall early, recover in second half

The CSUN men’s soccer team has been developing a trend in its last three games: Coming back from a 1-0 deficit.

The first time came against San Francisco Sept. 15, but the Dons stole that game with a second goal with just under four minutes left, then after surrendering a penalty kick 10 minutes into the Sept. 17 game against Santa Clara, the Matadors launched an offensive barrage against the Broncos in the second half, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes and four overall to come away with a crucial non-conference victory.

Well, the Matadors accomplished the soccer tri-fecta in its Big West Conference opener against the UC Riverside Highlanders at Matador soccer field on Wednesday afternoon, as a second-half goal by defender Chad Borak tied the game at one, and both teams made sure it stayed that way, as the Matadors and Highlanders played to a 1-1 draw.

“We gave up a soft goal and had to play catchup the whole time,” head coach Terry Davila said. “We got a little frantic, but we came back, and that’s the positive.”

Borak’s goal came with 13:09 left in regulation. Borak had the ball inside the left side of the Riverside box and with Riverside goalkeeper Charles Alamo out of position, Borak quickly shot a high straight shot that fortunately missed the crossbar and grazed the inside top par of the net.

“I took a touch by the guy and saw the goalie not towards his left post, I just took a shot at left post and it went in,” Borak said.

Riverside’s goal came with 23:21 left in the first half. A Riverside throw-in was deflected off several Matador and Highlander players. The ball went to Jeremy Clay, who was standing at the right side of the goal, and Clay quickly fired left past a diving Kevin Guppy and into the net, giving Riverside the early lead.

“We let an easy goal go in,” Borak said.

Following CSUN’s goal, the Matadors had several chances to go ahead. On a Matador attack, forward Michael Clegg crossed a pass to midfielder Taylor Canel at the left, but Canel’s shot was off to the right. Clegg later led a Matador fast break. Clegg ran the ball to deep into Highlander territory, quickly gave the ball to midfielder Fergie Agwu, who returned it to Clegg, who quickly fired a shot, only to have the ball deflect off a Highlander defender and cleared. Clegg had one more shot later on, but shot over the net.

But perhaps the Matadors best chance to end the game in regulation came toward the very end. Forward Ryan Rossi led another CSUN break and had the ball at the left side of Highlander territory. Rossi crossed the ball into the Highlander box and Derek Hanks frantically charged in on the box, but Hanks’ header instead went high over the net.

In the two overtime sessions, the Matadors were the aggressors, attempting a combined six shots to the Highlanders’ two, but both teams couldn’t provide the golden goal to get them that first conference win. The Matadors’ first chance came in the opening sage of the first overtime. Midfielder Devin Deldo had the ball at the left side and crossed the ball to defender Matt Tracy, but Tracy’s header, like Hanks’, went high. Then, on the ensuing goal kick by Alamo, Clegg intercepted the kick with his left foot near midfield and quickly charged toward the goal. Clegg ran left, then gave the ball up to Agwu, but Agwu shot off to the left. Forward Sunghyun Kim also had two good looks, but his first attempt missed the goal, and the second, perhaps his best chance, was saved by Alamo just to the left side.

CSUN again was aggressive on offense, out-shooting the Highlanders 24-13 in the game. Goalkeeper Guppy made five saves, but Alamo was better with eight.

“I’m happy with the comeback, but I’m disappointed with the soft goal,” Davila said. “We just have to get a little more mature up front, we got a little wild up front, but we’ll get better.”

CSUN had a chance to get better Sept. 23 when it went up the central coast to San Luis Obispo for a matchup with the Cal Poly Mustangs.

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