Nov 13, 2013 1:37 AM by Donovan Aird
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Despite a 16-15 advantage in shots, the Cal Poly men's soccer team fell to No. 25 Cal State Northridge in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament, 4-1, at Matador Soccer Field on Tuesday night.
CSUN (14-5-1) scored 37 seconds into the match, as David Turcios passed to Edwin Rivas, who proceeded to set up Sagi Lev-Ari for his 12th score of the season.
Senior forward Chris Bernardi nearly equalized for the Mustangs (10-9-2) in the 18th minute after corralling a rebound, but the shot sailed just over the top-right corner.
Cal Poly did net the equalizer, though, in the 32nd minute, as sophomore outside back Kip Colvey tallied his first goal of the season at an ideal time, with freshman forward John Chronopoulos assisting from the left side.
Just 57 seconds before the half, the Mustangs were whistled for a foul in the penalty area. CSUN's Brian Behrad converted the ensuing penalty kick, aimed inside the left post, to regain the Matadors the advantage, 2-1.
Senior forward Ronald Medrano Williams also placed a shot on goal in the first half for the Mustangs.
Wade Hamilton made three first-half saves for Cal Poly. The sophomore also repelled five shots in the second half.
Lev-Ari scored on a breakaway in the 62nd minute to provide the Matadors a 3-1 lead. In the 71st minute, Nicolas Camacho finalized the scoreline by putting away a rebound off a shot by Behrad that had been blocked.
Freshman winger Ari Lassiter accounted for two second-half shots on goal (one of which nearly went in on a header, but was barely high), and senior midfielder Mike Hocker and sophomore midfielder Matt LaGrassa also placed shots on target in the final 45 minutes.
The Matadors moved on to face No. 12 UC Santa Barbara in the semifinal round at 7 p.m. Friday.
Six Mustangs earned All-Big West honors Monday, including senior striker Mackenzie Pridham, who was named the conference offensive player of the year for the second season in a row after scoring 14 goals. Pridham recently brought his career goals total to 27, a school record.
Also named to the All-Big West First Team for the Mustangs were senior defender Connor Drechsler and LaGrassa. Additionally, senior midfielder George Malki was chosen for all-conference second-team accolades, while wingers Justin Dhillon and Lassiter were selected for all-freshman distinction.
Cal Poly, led by its class of eight seniors this season, came into the match leading all of Division I with 42 goals on the year, a single-season program record.
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