Cal State Northridge Hosts San Diego In NCAA Tournament First Round
Files associated with this release:
2012 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Bracket
Men's Soccer Release No. 13
Big West Tournament champion Cal State Northridge earned a hosting role in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship against San Diego on Thursday, Nov. 15. Kickoff time is set for 7:00 p.m. (PST).
The Matadors (15-6-0) make their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance as a member of the Big West Conference. They participated in four consecutive NCAA postseasons from 2002-05 and amassed a 1-3-1 record. The Toreros, champions of the West Coast Conference, won its first league title since 2009.
CSUN defeated San Diego, 5-0, at Torero Stadium on Sept. 20. Sophomore Sagi Lev-Ari and junior Beto Velasquez each scored two goals and senior netminder Michael Abalos made four saves for the shutout.
With an overall record of 15-6-0, the Matadors have tied the mark for most wins in the 14 seasons of Terry Davila's tenure as head coach. CSUN, the South Division No. 1 seed, won its first Big West Tournament title last week with a 2-0 home victory against Cal Poly and 1-0 road triumph versus UC Davis to gain the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA's.
Lev-Ari, the 2012 Big West Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Big West with 14 goals and 28 points. His seven game-winning strikes are tied for second-most all-time in Big West history. He claimed Big West Tournament MVP honors after notching the winning goal in both matches.
Abalos, the 2012 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, is 14-6-0 on the year with a 0.89 goals against average. He tops the Big West in GAA and shutouts (8).
Davila, who earned Coach of the Year plaudits for the fifth time in his career, took the Matadors to the Sweet 16 in 2005. His 122 total victories as a Big West coach rank fourth in conference history.
The winner of the Cal State Northridge-San Diego match takes on No. 6 national seed UCLA at Drake Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5:00 p.m. (PST) in a second round contest.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
• Cal State Northridge’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance as a member of the Big West is the second-most among current league institutions, second only to UC Santa Barbara (10).
• Since 2002, the Big West has won at least one NCAA Tournament game, a streak of 11 straight seasons. The conference has won four straight games in the NCAA First Round, with the last setback occurring in 2007.
• The Matador offense, which leads the Big West in top categories like goals, assists and points this season, hasn’t had the same success with scoring in the NCAA Tournament. CSUN was shutout three times in its five previous games, and held to one goal in another. The program’s lone NCAA victory came when it outscored UC Santa Barbara 3-2 in the Second Round in 2005.
• Sophomore Sagi Lev-Ari tops the Big West with 14 goals, and that total ties for the 10th-most all-time in school history. It is also the most goals scored by a Matador since the 16 from Willie Sims in 2004.
• CSUN senior goalkeeper Michael Abalos ranks among the Big West career top 10 in several categories. He is ninth in saves (265) and shutouts (22), tied for sixth in goalie wins (30), and fourth in minutes (6506) and matches in goal (72). The eight shutouts Abalos owns in 2012 is tied for second in CSUN single-season history and only two shy of tying for 10th in Big West annals.
• The Matadors enjoyed one of their finest offensive outbursts this season in a 5-0 victory against upcoming NCAA Tournament First Round opponent San Diego. In addition to that win on Sept. 20, CSUN had another 5-0 uprising on Sept. 14 against Army. Prior to those two games, the most goals the Matadors had scored in a match was six – against Detroit on Aug. 31, 2007.
• CSUN’s 44 assists are tied for No. 8 in a Big West single-season.
• The Matador three-headed monster of Sagi Lev-Ari, sophomore Edwin Rivas and junior Beto Velasquez have combined for 30 of the team’s 40 goals, or 75 percent of the total offense.
• CSUN head coach Terry Davila, in his 14th season as the mentor, has coached 12 of those years in the Big West. He ranks among the top five coaches in various categories in the Big West record book. His 122 overall victories rank fourth while his 62 conference wins are second. Davila also sits sixth in overall winning percentage (.586) and fifth in conference winning percentage (.594).
• In every year but one (2010), the Matadors have had at least one player named to the all-conference first team. Three first-team selections this year give CSUN multiple choices in all but two years (2010 & 2011).