Forget the Minnesota Twins.
The toughest team to beat at home during the regular season is the Cal State Northridge soccer team, which rolled to a 5-1 win over Cal Poly Pomona in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. conference opener Wednesday night at North Campus Stadium. It was Matadors' 37th consecutive regular season home game without a loss.
"I would have liked it to be 5-0 because our team wants shutouts," CSUN Coach Marwan Ass'ad said. "We should need only one goal to win. We want to develop a reputation for killing other teams. Putting people away."
Joey Kirk's offense and the combined defense of Jim Hofferber, Thor Lee and Steve Lazarus helped CSUN (9-1, 1-0 in conference) put the Broncos away before a crowd of 610.
Kirk scored three goals and also had an assist. The three goals gave him a school-record 48 for his career.
"I was getting frustrated earlier in the season because I wasn't getting the ball where I wanted it," Kirk said. "But we've been working on that in practice and Marwan has really been stressing it to other players. We're starting to come together as a team now which is great."
Kirk, who scored five goals in last week's 8-1 win over Westminster of Utah, came into the game tied with Jose Perez for the career goals record at 45. Kirk broke the mark 5:28 into the first half on Andy Torres' first assist of the season.
The goal was set up by CSUN goalie Mike Caputo, who cleared a Pomona center-pass to Torres, dribbled about 50 yards up the left sideline and passed across the field to Kirk, who was 12 yards out and to the right of the goal.
Kirk was left to go one-on-one against Pomona goalie Timothy Miller. Mark one up for the home team. Kirk put the ball in the bottom left corner of the net and CSUN led, 1-0.
Torres scored his first goal of the season 13 minutes later when he took a deflected center-pass in front of the goal and slammed it into the net from 15 yards out to put the Matadors up, 2-0.
Pomona made the score, 2-1, at the 30:32 mark when Graham Vernon converted a direct kick from 19 yards out.
Kirk assisted Mark Zarkowski on the Matadors' next goal, and then added goals at the end of each half to pad to his growing school record. Pomona (4-5-2, 0-1 in conference) was outshot by Northridge, 26-5.
CSUN plays at Bakersfield on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.