November 16, 2012
Toreros swipe past Matadors
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –Connor Brandt scored in the 104th minute to give San Diego a come from behind 2-1 win over Cal State Northridge in the NCAA Tournament First Round at Matador Soccer Field Thursday night,
The Toreros (12-8) advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. San Diego will face UCLA on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. The Matadors end their season at 15-7, matching a school best for single-season victories in the program's Division I history..
As the rain started to fall at Matador Soccer Field, the teams played a conservative first half. Each team had a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes but goalkeepers Michael Abalos for CSUN and Drew Ilijevski for San Diego made saves to eliminate the threat.
Northridge came closest to scoring in the 30th minute when sophomore striker Sagi Lev-Ari took a left-footed shot that struck the left post and stayed out.
Rene Anguiano nearly put the Matadors ahead in the 49th minute but his rising shot missed wide of the left post.
A dangerous sequence for the Toreros almost resulted in a goal in the 53rd minute when three shots were taken in quick succession. The first rolled wide to the right but was kept in by Sergio Lopez, whose shot was saved by Abalos near the right post. The follow-up attempt by Patrick Wallen went to the right of the goal and out of play.
Lev-Ari made the breakthrough, however, in the 73rd minute with some help from Abalos. Abalos collect a San Diego cross and sent a long punt upfield that took a bounce 30 yards from goal. Ilijevski and a defender both went toward the ball but collided, leaving Lev-Ari with a clear path to the open net.
Lev-Ari easily put home the shot for his 15th goal of the season, a figure that ties for ninth in school history for a single season. Abalos was credited with his first career assist on the play.
With time winding down the Toreros were able to level the score. Off of a free kick in the 89th minute, Dan Delgado sent a curling ball into the area that went untouched and into the left side netting for his ninth goal of the year.
Delgado was then instrumental in setting up the winner, finding Brandt in the box on the left side in the 104th minute. Brandt then slid a shot through a group of defenders on the wet surface and into the net.