The CSUN men's soccer team (9-7-5) lost 1-0 to Pacific Thursday evening at Matador Soccer Field in the First Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Tariq Branche broke a scoreless tie in the 77th minute with his first career goal to lift the visiting Tigers over the Matadors and send Pacific to fifth-seeded Stanford on Sunday. Kevin Marquez
made four saves for the Matadors, including a penalty kick save with his feet, and Juan Fernando Samayoa
had the Matadors' best chance on the evening, but the Big West South Division and Tournament Champions saw their season come to a close with the loss.
With the teams scoreless and less than 15 minutes to play, Branche one-timed a pass from Tyson Fox just out of the reach of Marquez to break the deadlock. The Matadors pressed for an equalizer and nearly had one moments later, but Emmanuel Usen Jr.
's shot sailed just right of the post and out for a goal kick.
Marquez stood firm for CSUN all night, stopping a penalty kick in the 27th minute with a kick save. A streaking Tiger attacker drew Marquez off his line and the senior ended up fouling him and setting up the spot kick. However, Pacific's Julio Cervantes sent a shot straight down the middle and although he dove to his left, Marquez anchored his feet and stopped the shot. The Big West Goalkeeper of the Year finished the season with 99 saves, a 1.11 goals-against average and a .798 save percentage in over 2,022 minutes this season.
Samayoa, a First Team All-Big West honoree, hit a blistering volley from just outside the 18-yard box in the 56th minute, but Pacific's Curtis Goldsmith was able to get a hand to it and punched it out for a corner kick. Samayoa led the Matadors with six goals, six assists and 18 points on the season.
Bar Shem Tov
also had a shot on goal for the Matadors and the team finished with eight in the contest plus four corner kicks. Pacific totaled 14 shots and five on frame while adding two corner kicks. CSUN committed 15 fouls and Patrick Hickman
, Papi Diouf
and Samayoa all saw a yellow card. Pacific committed 10 fouls and had three yellow cards as well.
The match represented the final contest for six CSUN seniors: Hickman, Marquez, Samayoa, Gabe Robinson
, Shane Steffes
and Richard Martinez
. Hickman was the Big West Defender of the Year and Robinson earned Honorable Mention All-Big West honors this season.
CSUN won the Big West South Division and then captured the Big West Tournament Championship in dramatic fashion, staging a comeback that culminated in a double-over time goal. In his 18th season in charge of CSUN, Terry Davila
won his sixth Big West Conference Coach of the Year award.