Matadors can?t keep late lead, lose at Davis

Alonso Tacanga

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The Matadors were as accurate as they could be, but Quincy Amarikwa and UC Davis made that matter little.

CSUN (6-5-3, 2-1-2 Big West) scored two goals on two shots, but that was all the offense they could muster during a heartbreaking 3-2 loss at UC Davis (12-2-2, 4-1-2) Wednesday afternoon. The Matadors led the contest for the majority of its duration, but the Aggies’ attacking relentlessness was rewarded in the last 10 minutes of the game with two goals to give them a dramatic come-from-behind win against Northridge.

The Matadors led 2-1 up until the 80th minute of the game when senior Dylan Curtis found the back of CSUN goalkeeper Kevin Guppy’s net from 15 yards out for the equalizer. With the score knotted up at two in the last instances of the match, it seemed like Northridge would need its fourth straight overtime game if it wanted to come out with the win.

However, Aggie forward Quincy Amarikwa had other ideas.

Amarikwa, the Big West Conference’s leading scorer, headed in a cross from midfielder Ian Conklin in the 85th minute and gave the Aggies the lead for the first time in the game. The 3-2, for a Matador team that was playing on the road against the No. 10 team in the country with a man less due to the early ejection of defender Jeremy Hohn, was too much to overcome. The score wouldn’t move.

For the game, UC Davis had 16 shots, five of those were on goal.

The match couldn’t have started in better fashion for the Matadors. Just five minutes into the game, forward Camilo Rojas had the first of Northridge’s two shots for the whole contest and gave his team the lead. It was the third straight Matador goal scored by Rojas, who in just two games ballooned his score count up to five.

But then things began to go south for CSUN. Amarikwa tied the score 1-1 just six minutes after Rojas’ score. Then, in the 16th minute, Hohn was shown a red card. With only 10 men, the Aggies saw their opportunity to make a move and immediately showed their aggressiveness. They had a shot and a corner kick in the next two minutes.

However, Matador midfielder Sunghyun Kim made the most of CSUN’s only other chance at UC Davis goalkeeper Ryan McCowan’s goal and scored the second for Northridge in the 26th minute. The Aggies were in shock. It smelled like an upset.

Once the second half began, there was only one team creating scoring chances. That was UC Davis. The Aggies attacked insistently, but couldn’t break into the Matador box enough to make a difference. CSUN, on the other hand, just couldn’t get anything going offensively. If any kind of opportunity came along, they were called for being offsides.

Curtis eventually beat Guppy for the tie. Amarikwa followed five minutes from the end. The Matadors couldn’t hit them back and left for home with the sour taste of defeat.

Amarikwa’s two scores gave him 15 for the season. Kim’s goal gave him four. Forward Moy Gomez, who’s been out since suffering a torn ACL against UC Riversides, still leads the Matadors in scoring (8).

CSUN forward Cameron Sims, who made his comeback after being out for nearly a month recovering from an appendectomy, was ejected in the 87th minute. He will not play Saturday at home against Cal Poly. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.