Despite winning their final three games of the season, including a 1-0 win over No. 21 UC Irvine, the CSUN men’s soccer team must still watch conference rival UC Santa Barbara Gauchos walk away with the Big West Championship and the only playoff berth in the conference.
For the second consecutive year, the Anteaters received the short end of the stick, only this time the Matadors did the spoiling. This time last year, the Matadors secured their Big West Championship with some help from the Gauchos, when they defeated UC Irvine 2-0. This year, CSUN defeated the Anteaters, knocking them out of the playoff picture and helping UC Santa Barbara secure the Big West title.
The Matadors’ season came to an end, but they managed three impressive wins to close out their season. With playoff hopes still intact, after suffering a loss to UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 25 that capped off a three-game losing streak, CSUN pulled itself together and defeated Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State and UC Irvine. They outscored their opponents 6-1 in those final three games as well as out-shot their opponents 48-31. Solid defense allowed for only six save attempts as well by goalkeeper Kevin Guppy.
Ryan Rossi and Michael Clegg paved the way for the Matadors with two goals apiece in their final three games.
Earlier in the season, the Matadors defeated the Gauchos 5-0 at home.
UC Santa Barbara will open up tournament play against San Diego State Nov. 11.