After being shut out a week ago by Nevada Las Vegas, a Division I school, Cal State Northridge took out its aggression on Division III.
The Matadors ran circles around visiting Claremont College on their way to a 3-0 victory Saturday night in front of 1,600.
The win, which was the Matadors'last preseason game, improved their record to 6-1. The Matadors are ranked sixth in the nation and first in the western region.
CSUN forward John Tronson, the team's leading scorer, scored his sixth goal of the season. In the middle of the second half, Tronson was fighting for the ball in front of the Claremont goal and in heavy traffic. The 6-4 junior tried to head the ball but missed. The ball landed in the worst possible place for the Stags--at Tronson's feet. In one swift kick, the Matadors were ahead, 3-0. It was Tronson's first score since he hit a game-winner against San Diego State last week.
"We tried to define our offense this week and I think it is clearer thanever," CSUN Coach Marwan Ass'ad said. "We're going more to Tronson's feet, where before we were concentrating on getting it to his head.
"I think we have also bettered our timing in collecting the ball from him."
The inexperienced Stags spent much of the game on defense, growing weary because of the potent CSUN offense. Early in the first half, Mike McAndrews dribbled downfield and passed to Tronson, who shot and missed. Freshman fullback Rick Gora rebounded and fired from 25 yards for his second goal of the season.
Four minutes later, forward Frank Cubillos scored when his penalty shot flew between the left post and diving Claremont goalkeeper Cam Tredennick. To Tredennick's credit, he did have eight saves.
"I think we created a lot of scoring chances and so did they," Ass'ad said. "But their scoring chances were not because our defense played poorly. In fact, I think they played very well considering we have two freshmen playing defense."
Phil Heaver, who until last week had not been scored against, was once again lonely in the crease. The junior goalkeeper did not have to make a save before the half. Heaver's first and only save came five minutes into the second half. It was Heaver's fifth shutout of the season.