The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN keeps hopes alive

The CSUN men’s soccer team further kept its NCAA playoff hopes alive, defeating the Oregon State Beavers 2-1 Tuesday afternoon at Matador Soccer Field.

Forward Ryan Rossi provided the game winner, as his header off a cross pass from defender Sean Franklin beat Beaver goalkeeper Jason Mariner at the left post in the 75th minute. It was Rossi’s fifth goal of the season.

“I saw the ball go out to Sean Franklin and everybody was running in, so I decided to make an opposite run, so I ran back post and I just happened to find it, so I just touched it left post,” Rossi said of his goal.

Despite the fact that Oregon State was 5-10-2 heading into Tuesday’s match, beating a Pac-10 Conference team, regardless of its record, could prove to be very valuable to the Matadors when seedings for the NCAA College Cup Tournament are announced this coming Monday.

“They give a lot of teams trouble,” head coach Terry Davila said of Oregon State. “They’re a tough team to beat and they don’t go away.”

CSUN, just as it was against California State University, Fullerton last Saturday, was aggressive on offense from the start. Forward Michael Clegg actually got the ball into the back of the net in the game’s opening stages, but the goal was waived due to a handball violation.

CSUN eventually got that first goal courtesy of forward Sunghyun Kim in the sixth minute. Franklin sent a cross from the far right, which went to Kim at the top of the box. Kim then sent the ball past Mariner into the back net for the first goal of the game.

Oregon State, however, found its way back into the game in the11th minute. The Beavers had the ball deep inside Matador territory. Daniel Leach touched the ball to Lucas Engewall, who then touched it to Bryan Jordan at the top of the box. Jordan fired the ball from 30 yards out, which beat goalkeeper Kevin Guppy at the left post for Jordan’s fifth goal of the year and, more importantly for Oregon State, a 1-1 tie.

CSUN had several good looks over the course of the first half. A Beaver foul set up a free kick at the far left for CSUN. Forward Taylor Canel sent the ball into the right side of the Beaver box toward defender Derek Hanks. Hanks got the shot off, but was denied by Mariner. Oregon State had a chance to take the lead, but a shot attempt by Mason Webb ricocheted off the crossbar.

CSUN got another chance later on when forward Michael Clegg took the ball around midfield and made the long run toward the Oregon State goal. Clegg charged into the box and got a shot off, but it was saved by Mariner. The ball actually went loose and Clegg tracked it down, but Clegg could only get off a slow rolling shot that was easily cleared by the Oregon State defense. The Matadors got two more looks toward the end of the first half, but a clean look by forward Moy Gomez just went off to the right and a shot by Johannes Demarzi just sailed over the post.

The Matadors had plenty of chances in the second half prior to Rossi’s game winner. Kim led a CSUN break and attempted a shot that bounced off an Oregon State defender, but the ball went to Clegg, who immediately took a shot at the goal, but instead shot off to the right. Then, shortly after the goal kick, Gomez won a loose ball at midfield and immediately made a run at the goal. Gomez ran, then fired, but was off to the right. Oregon State’s best and only look at another goal came when Brett Gardner crossed the ball to Robbie Findley in the CSUN box, but Findley’s header went over the goal.

The Matadors attempted eight shots apiece in each half, out-shooting Oregon State 16-8 the entire afternoon.

“We were pretty direct to the forwards today,” Davila said. “We felt we could get behind them quite easily and we did, we created a lot of good opportunities, we should’ve scored a couple more (goals) and we created enough opportunities to win the game.”

The Matadors (7-6-5) will close out the 2006 season against the UC Irvine Anteaters Saturday afternoon at Matador Soccer Field. The game is a huge one for CSUN, as it could determine whether or not the Matadors are participants in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. Saturday’s game will also mark the final home game for Matador seniors Canel, Hanks, Rossi and defender/midfielder Ronny Shields. All four Matadors will be honored prior to Saturday’s game, which will start at 1 p.m.

We gotta be prepared,” Canel said. “Physically, (we) will be prepared and hopefully, mentally prepared, we will be. Its our senior day, it’s our last home game and we need to win. Its our biggest game of the year.”

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