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September 18, 1997

Half full: The Cal State Northridge men's soccer team must be comprised of eternal optimists.

The Matadors, probably playing their final soccer season, are 1-4. Nevertheless, Coach Marwan Ass'ad and at least one player insist the team is playing well.

"Early on [this season] I would get angry and demand things from [the players] in an ugly way," Ass'ad said. "But I have hope because with this team every goal we've allowed, we could have stopped."

Danny Ortega, a sophomore midfielder, sees things much the same way.

"We just need to tighten up a few things and I have a very strong feeling that by the end of the season we'll be going to the [NCAA Division I] playoffs," Ortega said.

For that to happen, Northridge must win the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. That would seem to be a tall order.

Dating to last season, the Matadors have won twice in 15 games.

Allowed to play: Tight end Brandon Alvarado of Glendale College, arrested last weekend on suspicion of assault, does not face disciplinary action from Coach John Cicuto.

Alvarado, a former defensive back at Saugus High, was arrested early last Saturday after he allegedly punched a former high school classmate.

Alvarado played Saturday night in Glendale's 28-7 loss to Santa Monica. He caught one pass for three yards. Cicuto said he was unaware of Alvarado's arrest until Sunday.

Splashy start: Ventura College (9-2), which opened Western State Conference water polo play Wednesday with a 20-6 victory over Pierce, is ranked fourth in the state.

Goalie Curtis Tolmie leads the state with 105 saves. Chris Parrish leads the state with 21 assists and is fourth in scoring with 26 goals.

Pipeline: Five volleyball players from five graduating classes at Highland High are on Pierce's men's team.

Tom Haight (class of 1997), Brandon Kimball ('96), Mark Cruz ('95), Scott Packer ('94) and Seth Wilson ('93) were among 15 players selected Wednesday to play for the Brahmas.

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