After three frustrating games, the CSUN men’s soccer team finally registered three points to its total, as the Matadors easily defeated the Cal State Fullerton Titans 3-0 Oct. 28 at Matador Soccer field.
Forward Michael Clegg supplied most of the offense, scoring two goals, both in the second half, and midfielder Dylan Riley got the Matadors going with a first half goal off a corner kick in the 43rd minute.
“We got two goals off forward play, one was lucky, but we finally got some luck,” head coach Terry Davila said. “It’s the first time we’ve had some luck.”
The win snaps CSUN’s three-game losing streak, which included a scoreless tie at UC Riverside back on Oct. 14 and keeps them alive in the NCAA playoff chase.
“We knew we had to come out hard,” forward Taylor Canel said. “It’s like our playoffs started now.”
The Matadors came out firing right from the onset. In the seventh minute, defender Matt Tracy tracked down a free kick and fired toward the goal, but was denied by Titan goalkeeper Brent Douglas. The Matadors had another chance two minutes later when forward Sunghyun Kim sent a corner kick into the Titan box. The ball went to Riley, but his shot attempt was denied by Douglas. The ball, though, went to defender Sean Franklin, who soon launched the ball near the top, only to have the ball ricochet off the top crossbar.
The Titans soon got their chances. Yaron Shlomi sent a shot attempt from the far left toward the Matador goal. The ball went over Guppy, but also went off the crossbar, just like Franklin’s attempt. Three more chances by the Titans also failed to produce results. Chances like a Eugene Brooks shot attempt that went wide left, a long-ball that was sent out by Skyler Thuresson toward the Matador box that was chased down by a Titan, only to have Guppy send the ball back out, and a shot attempt by Thuresson that was saved by Guppy.
The Matadors finally broke through with two minutes left in the first half. Midfielder Taylor Canel sent a corner kick into the Fullerton box. Riley swooped into the Titan box and sent the ball into the net for CSUN’s first non-penalty kick goal in four games.
The Matadors didn’t let up on the Titans in the second half. Just moments after the half started, forward Ryan Rossi led a Matador fast break at the right and gave up the ball to forward Moy Gomez, who was at the far-left. Gomez charged in, but his shot attempt was stopped by Douglas. Moments later, Agwu led another Matador charge and gave the ball up to Kim, but his shot deflected off a group of Fullerton defenders. Rossi continued to give the Matadors more scoring chances, and had the ball at the far-right side of the Fullerton box. Rossi then sent a cross into the Titan box, but was sent out by Douglas. The ball, though, went to Gomez, who had an empty-net look, but Gomez shot high. Rossi then led another CSUN charge and passed off to Agwu, but Agwu shot off to the left.
It took a while, but the Matadors finally registered that second goal in the 76th minute. Franklin had the ball at the far-left side of Fullerton territory and crossed the ball into the Titan box. Clegg got to the ball at the top of the box and fired the ball past Douglas into the goal, giving CSUN a two-point cushion.
Clegg then put the game away in the 84th minute. Clegg had the ball just outside the Titan box and took on a Titan defender one-on-one inside the box. Clegg took a shot that deflected off the defender. However, Douglas couldn’t recover the ball and an alert Clegg quickly raced to the ball and fired toward the left post into the unguarded net.
“(It was) a little battle,” Clegg said. “I got around him, he snuck his foot in and I tried to battle it back to get it.”
CSUN was aggressive, outshooting the Titans 24-10, including a 13-4 advantage in the second half. Matador goalkeeper Guppy was hardly threatened throughout the afternoon, and had to leave the goal line very few times and made just one save in 84 minutes of work.
CSUN looks to keep the momentum going when they host Pac-10 opponent Oregon State this afternoon at 1 p.m.