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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CSUN unable to capitalize on visiting team’s red card

The CSUN men’s soccer team lost a physical battle to UC Davis 2-1, despite having a one-man advantage for most of the match Oct. 21 at Aggie Field.

Aggie defender Darren Hammond was red-carded and ejected from the game for dangerous play in the 37th minute to give the Matadors the advantage. The teams received seven yellow cards combined and several warnings for rough play.

“They’re not a dirty team,” said CSUN head coach Terry Davila. “They’re very physical. One guy just made a crazy foul.”

The loss drops Northridge to an even 5-5-5 on the season, while Davis improves to 8-6-2.

The Matadors were in the hole early, as Quincy Amarikwa and Sule Anibaba scored within five minutes of each other to give Davis a 2-0 lead. Hammond’s ejection slowed the Aggies’ offensive attack for the rest of the half, but the Matadors were unable to produce legimate scoring opportunities of their own.

For the second game in a row, the Matadors had far more shots than their opponents, but lost the game. Northridge out-shot Davis 22-9 in the contest, after out-shooting Cal Poly 18-7 in their 1-0 loss to the Mustangs on Oct. 18.

“We had a lack of focus in front of the net,” midfielder Taylor Canel said. “We weren’t getting the breaks we needed.”

The Matadors finally caught a break in the 80th minute when Aggie goalkeeper Charles Warne was issued a yellow card for a hard tackle inside the box, giving Northridge a penalty kick. Derek Hanks netted the kick to cut the Aggies lead in half. They couldn’t complete the comeback, however, and the Matadors dropped two games in a row for the first time since early in the season.

“We’ve learned something from the last two losses,” Canel said. “We have to play hard, even against teams we think we’re superior than. We can’t take days off.”

CSUN is currently in third place in the Big West Conference, after leading for most of the year. Despite their .500 record, the Matadors still control their own destiny. If they win their final four matches, they’re guaranteed to repeat as conference champions as well as earn another trip to the NCAA tournament.

A loss or tie would knock them out of contention for the title, but they could still get in the tournament with a little help from the selection committee.

“We’re not dead yet,” Davila said. “We still have a strong pulse.”

The Matadors won’t have much time to reflect on their situation, as they are back in conference action today against arch rival UC Santa Barbara at Harder Field. The Gauchos lead the Big West with a 5-2-0 record. They are looking to avenge the 5-0 dismantling they suffered at the hands of the Matadors on Sept. 27.

Momentum and history are both on the Gaucho’s side. UCSB is on a roll, winning their last three matches by shutout, including a 1-0 victory over Davis. Also, the Matadors haven’t won at Harder Stadium since 1999 and hold a 5-6-2 overall record in Santa Barbara.

“It’s our most important game of the year,” Davila said. “I just want to win a game. I don’t care where it is.”

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