When it comes to holding soccer playoffs, the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. apparently feels that Cal State Northridge is the host with the most.
For the third consecutive year, CSUN's North Campus Stadium will be the site of a Division II playoff game between CSUN and two-time defending champion Seattle Pacific. The winner advances to the Final Four, Dec. 4-6 at a site to be determined.
Cliff McCrath, who has coached at Seattle Pacific for 18 years and has won four national titles, is miffed at the tournament selection committee's decision to award CSUN the home-field advantage for Friday night's Western regional final.
"You can never figure out tournament committees," McCrath said. "Hey, if they invite us to the party, we're not going to complain because we have to eat hors d'oeuvres in the basement instead of the penthouse."
CSUN (17-1-1) is ranked No. 1 and Seattle Pacific (18-1-1) is ranked fifth. Both teams suffered their only losses of the season Sept. 26 and both lost to NAIA schools. CSUN lost to Westmont, 3-1, and Seattle Pacific lost to Simon Fraser University, 2-0.
Seattle Pacific is led by All-American goalie Jeff Storrs, a junior who has allowed just 12 goals and recorded a school-record 14 shutouts. Senior forwards Mark Faller and Danny Machado lead the team in scoring with 15 and 12 goals.
Defender Chris McDonald, a 6-5, 205-pound junior, will mark CSUN's Joey Kirk, who has scored 30 goals.
CSUN Coach Marwan Ass'ad feels the third time will be the charm against Seattle Pacific, which defeated the Matadors, 2-1, last season and, 3-2, in 1985.
"It's not a revenge thing, it's a redeeming thing," Ass'ad said. "The last two years, they didn't beat us, we beat ourselves. They know they got lucky."
Surfers go home: The weather will be one of the main concerns among coaches and athletes at the NCAA Division II cross-country championships Saturday in Evansville, Ind.
The area was hit by its first snowstorm two weeks ago, but Mike Roeder, the assistant sports information director at host Southern Indiana University, claims there's nothing to worry about.
"It's perfect running weather," Roeder said by phone on Wednesday. "It's in the mid-40s and clear.
"That may be a little cold for you California boys. I mean, you might even have to wear long pants."
Not exactly beach weather, eh?
"Nope. Those baggy shorts ain't going to do you much good here."
When a reporter informed Roeder that he hadn't been to Indiana before, Roeder quipped, "Shooooot. You haven't lived until you've been to Evansville."
Shotgun offense?: Saturday the 14th was a day to remember for the Cal State Northridge football team, which lost to Portland, 38-22, in the Western Football Conference title game. Afterward, the team was eating at a buffet in Portland when a gunman attempted to hold up the restaurant. The holdup was foiled and a suspect was taken into custody. No one was hurt.
If only department: Cal Lutheran quarterback Tom Bonds probably wishes he could play against Azusa Pacific every week. In four games against the Cougars, Bonds completed 86 of 143 passes for 1,040 yards and 11 touchdowns. More than 13% of Bonds' 7,669 career passing yards has come against Azusa Pacific.
Rankings: Valley (8-2, 7-2), which defeated Victor Valley, 68-3, finished the regular season ranked 13th in the state and sixth in Southern California in rankings compiled by the JC Athletic Bureau. Moorpark (7-2, 4-2), which defeated Allan Hancock, 41-13, finished 19th in the state and 12th in Southern California.
Thanks, Hanks: Valley quarterback Barry Hanks had 1,786 yards in total offense to break the school record of 1,758 set by Dudley Schusterick in 1964. Hanks also became Valley's all-time passing leader with 3,377 yards, 30 touchdowns and a completion rate of 57.3%. Fred Grimes, who played at Valley in 1970-71 held the previous mark with 3,440 yards, 20 touchdowns and a completion rate of 55.9%.
No more for Moorpark: The Moorpark football team's last meeting of the season was, by far, its most difficult.
Coach Jim Bittner announced to his players Wednesday that Moorpark (7-2, 4-2) will not play in the Southern California Bowl. Glendale will represent the Western State Conference against Antelope Valley, winner of the Southern California Conference, on Dec. 5 at Antelope Valley.
"We're just a spectator again this year," Bittner said. "We thought Glendale wouldn't want to go to the bowl or something else would happen."
The Vaqueros won their last five games to salvage a 5-4 record and tie Bakersfield for the conference title. Moorpark's only losses were to Glendale and Bakersfield.
Making waves: Westlake High will be the site of Pepperdine's intrasquad basketball scrimmage tonight at 7 p.m. Marty Wilson, a senior from Simi Valley High, will start at guard for the Waves.