Another road game, another ranked team

Alonso Tacanga

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The Matadors had a week’s rest after their latest game, a 2-2 tie against always-tough UC Santa Barbara on the road, and now head south to face a surprising UC Irvine squad who’s suffered only one loss this season after finishing in last place in 2007. The No. 19 Anteaters have turned their luck around behind their star duo of senior midfielder Matt Murphy and up-and-coming sophomore forward Spencer Thompson. The pair have combined to score more than half of UCI’s goals in 2008 and are also leaders in assists. Northridge will start Ben Cox at forward once again after the senior responded with a score last week at Santa Barbara. Cox couldn’t be happier about it and will shoot for a repeat performance. Forward Camilo Rojas is also back after serving a one-game suspension.

Date: Tonight
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Anteater Stadium, Irvine
Weather: Clear

Series: Matadors lead 16-11-3
Last Meeting: UC Irvine 1 @ Northridge 2
Fact: The Anteaters’ only loss of 2008 so far was at home and came at the hands of UCSB, a team the Matadors tied at Santa Barbara.

Anteater to watch:

Senior Matt Murphy, midfielder

After a scoreless afternoon in which UCSB handed his team its first of loss of the season, Murphy responded by netting two scores on the road in the next game. His seven goals in 2008 are helping him set a record at UC Irvine as he only needs two more to become the top scorer in school history.

What did he say?

‘We expect nothing but a win from this game. We wouldn’t be satisfied with a tie (like at UCSB last week). We’re no playing for a tie. As a team we’re going down there to get a win.’

Ben Cox, CSUN forward, on back-to-back road games against ranked opponents.

Matador to watch:

Sophomore Camilo Rojas, forward

He’s in debt. His ejection didn’t make Head Coach Terry Davila happy. With starting forwards Moy Gomez and Cameron Sims still ways away from returning to the lineup, much of the responsibility will land on Rojas to generate scoring opportunities and keep Northridge’s streak of positive result alive.

(8-1-3, 1-1-1)

(5-4-2, 1-0-1 Big West)