The No. 19 Matador men’s soccer team had a successful weekend in Northern California, going 1-0-1 against two Pac-10 teams in the Adidas/Cal Legacy Classic. The Matadors are now 3-0-1 to start the 2005 season.
The Matadors opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Sept. 9.
Junior forward Willie Sims scored his fourth goal of the season, three and a half minutes into the contest, with an assist from Daniel Paladini.
Sims continued to pressure the Cardinal throughout the game, registering a total of six shots, four of them on goal.
The Cardinal had several chances to even the score, but freshman goalkeeper Kevin Guppy made four saves, including two point-blank shots. Northridge out-shot Stanford 15-12 in the match.
The shutout was CSUN’s third in three games this season. The loss dropped Stanford to 0-2-1 on the year, but the Cardinal defeated Vanderbilt on Sunday to get the team’s first win.
On Sunday, the Matadors played No. 8 California to a 1-1 tie. After a scoreless first half, senior forward Alec de Mattos scored in the minute 61, booting in a cross-pass from freshman Devon Deldo, to give CSUN a 1-0 lead. The goal was de Mattos first of the season.
The lead was short-lived, as Cal’s Luke Sassano scored a fluke goal in minute 76, with a shot striking the post, ricocheting off of Guppy’s back, into the goal.
The goal ended the Matadors shutout streak of 346 minutes. Neither team was able to break the tie in regulation. The game went into sudden-death overtime.
Guppy came up with a big save in the second overtime – his sixth and final save of the match.
A last-second chance for CSUN failed, as a pass from Ryan Rossi sailed just out of the reach of Sims, resulting in the final whistle and a game-ending tie.
For the match, Cal out-shot Northridge, 13-11, but nine of CSUN’s shots were on goal, compared to only seven for the Golden Bears. Cal moved to 3-0-1 on the season.
In addition to Deldo and Guppy, other Matador newcomers continued to showcase their skills over the weekend. UCLA transfer Taylor Canel had three shots against Stanford and one against Cal.
Sophomore transfer Ferguson Agwu attempted two shots on goal against Stanford. Freshman defender Chad Borak played a key role in the Matador defense in both matches.
Matador freshman goalkeeper Kevin Guppy was named Big West Player of the Week after recording two shutouts last week and a season total 0.24 goals against, coupled by a .933 save percentage.
The honor is the second consecutive for the Matadors as Sims received the accolade the previous week.
Guppy was also named to the Adidas/Cal legacy Classic All-Tournament team.
The Matadors will look to preserve their undefeated season this weekend in Corvallis, Oregon, at the Oregon State Diadora Classic.
On Sept. 16, the Matadors will face the No. 1 team in the nation and defending national champion, Indiana Hoosiers. The following day the team will match up against the Rebels of UNLV. Both matches are at 1p.m.
Dylan Boggs can be reached at email@example.com