Men’s Soccer: Postseason Hinges on Experience

Gabe+Robinson%2C+sophomore%2C+defender+jumps+for+the+ball+in+to+take+control+of+the+play+during+the+teams+practice.+Photo+Credit%3A+Vincent+Nguyen%2F+The+Sundial
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Men’s Soccer: Postseason Hinges on Experience

Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

Vincent Nguyen

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Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

Gabe Robinson, sophomore, defender jumps for the ball in to take control of the play during the teams practice. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/ The Sundial

 

The Matador men’s soccer team are looking to strike back with full force this season, after a devastating loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall.

It’s a new season, but Head Coach Terry Davila is planning on making small tactical changes this season.

“Tactically, formation-wise, it’s going to go to a game-per-game decision,” Davila said.

Davila hopes to have a versatile enough team to produce goals and defend well. “Sometimes we’re going to play with two strikers high, or three strikers deep. It just really depends on what the team puts against us,” Davila said.

Speaking of strikers, the much anticipated return of the season comes with the much anticipated return of star striker Sagi Lev-Ari.

The senior registered 16 goals last season along with six assists in 23 games that earned him a spot on the All-American First team – the first CSUN athlete to do so since 2005.

This season, Lev-Ari is seeking to do better, and not just in the scoring department.

“[Lev-Ari] adds his teammates into the attack and he’s become a good focal point of the team and he’s doing a lot of things to add to our defense,” says Coach Davila.

 

For senior Tanner Snedigar, though, this new season will unfortunately be his last.

“My expectations is to go further than last year,”  the senior defender said. “It’s my last year so I got to lead the team.”

With Lev-Ari becoming a star on the field, Snedigar said the striker will become more of a target for defenders on the field.

But Snedigar says there’s plenty of promising strikers to help Lev-Ari out up top in the penalty box.

“We also have a lot of other weapons.  Martin [Arrieta] can put it in the net. So can Carlos Gonzalez. We got a lot of scorers.”

Snedigar said the Matadors are working hard in the grueling heat and is focusing on an extremely important aspect of the game, teamwork.

“Of course we come here with our individual skills and that helps a lot, but the more fluid the team is, the better,” Snedigar said.

The defender hopes the team can stay healthy this season, and that injuries can be avoided throughout the season.

A shortage of players is not giving Coach Davila a headache, as he looks forward to using players that have been patiently waiting for their place in the starting 11.

“People that have been waiting in the background and waiting for their turn like Nicholas Camacho, Shane Steffes, and Carlos Gonzalez have been waiting patiently for their turn,” Coach Davila said.

One of the new faces on the camp is Drew Walters. The freshman midfielder from Fresno is hoping that experience will be the key to his success.

The freshman wants to work with everyone, but said the talented senior class can benefit him with experience. “I know I can learn a lot from the seniors especially. “ Walters said.

“The experience and training is what I’m looking forward to the most. Whether it is 90 minutes or none at all, I’m just here to help the team out.”

Senior midfielder Yarden Azulay is also one of the coach’s top prospects this season after showing much promise in training, according to Coach Davila.

Some key match-ups this season include their season opener at home against No. 5 ranked New Mexico University Lobos on September 12th, and away games at UC Los Angeles and UC Santa Barbara.

Other exciting games include the Big West Conference home-opener against the Sacramento State Hornets on October 9, division battles against UC Davis Aggies and UC Riverside Highlanders in the same month, and games against UC Irvine Anteaters and Cal State Fullerton Titans in November.

Gabriel Dorame, sophomore, goalkeeper looks on as Tanner Snedigar, senior, defender heads the ball towards goal. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen

Gabriel Dorame, sophomore, goalkeeper looks on as Tanner Snedigar, senior, defender heads the ball towards goal. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen

Drew Walters, freshman, midlfielder player takes shot on goal during the Matador's practice scrimmage. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/The Sundial

Drew Walters, freshman, midlfielder player takes shot on goal during the Matador’s practice scrimmage. Photo Credit: Vincent Nguyen/The Sundial