UCR men’s soccer playoff hopes halted with a loss at CSUN

Matt Hong/HIGHLANDER
Matt Hong/HIGHLANDER

October 28, 2015

Matadors 2 – Highlanders 1

The UC Riverside men’s soccer team lost to CSU Northridge (CSUN), 2-1 last Wednesday, October 28. This loss came on the heels of the Highlanders’ thrilling overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton a week prior. A win would have given UCR enough points in the Big West for the second or third playoff seed as they sat only four points behind UC Irvine in third and final spot, but the Highlanders failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

The first goal Wednesday night came from UCR less than four minutes into the match when midfielder Ricardo Ruiz scored from 25 yards away. Things were looking promising for the Highlanders until defender Trevor Morley of CSUN scored off a penalty kick just 11 minutes later.

The game remained tied, 1-1, well into the second half. where unfortunately, none of UCR’s shots would reach the back of the net. CSUN on the other hand, did score in the 74th minute of regulation. A perfectly placed throw in from defender Gabe Robinson allowed forward Papir Diouf to head the ball in, giving them the lead. The Highlanders desperately tried to tie the game up with seven second-half shots attempts compared to CSUN’s five, but could not score for the remainder of the evening.

October 31, 2015

Titans 2 – Highlanders 0

The UC Riverside men’s soccer team faced CSU Fullerton on Saturday, October 31, losing 2-0 for their final game of the season. This win helped CSUF notch their first-ever Big West Conference title.

The first goal came quickly as CSUF looked to avenge a bitter overtime loss they suffered to the Highlanders earlier in the year. The number one seeded Titans used Ross McPhie in the 9th minute to score a header into the left post. The Highlanders, on three separate occasions in the first half, had a chance to score but were stopped by Fullerton goalkeeper David Rodriguez Elias. Elias would later record the 11th shut out game of the season.

It was not until the third minute of the second half when CSUF would score again. The Titans’ defender Carlos Troncoso took an assist from Robert Coronado to run the score up  to 2-0. UCR would kick the ball from the corner seven times and have possession for the last 20 minutes but could not manage a goal.

With the Highlanders closing out the season, the fans and the team said goodbye to senior leaders Ashkan Khorsravi, Eric Gonzalez, Phillip Dominique, Michael Salazar and Norberto Ochoa. Men’s soccer now must reload as they look towards next season.

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