Cal State Northridge wins first title

[BIG WEST TOURNAMENT] A first-half goal by Sagi Lev-Ari was enough to give Cal State Northridge a 1-0 win at UC Davis for the Matadors' first Big West Conference Tournament championship. Northridge punched its first ticket to the NCAA Tournament since 2005.

"You have to work hard in this sport. We've had a couple of rough seasons recently but being on the top now is a wonderful feeling," said Northridge head coach Terry Davila. "We've had excellent support from our administration, our fellow coaching staffs, their student-athletes and our team."

CSUN scored on its first shot in the 16th minute when midfielder Chris Smith played the ball up the middle to Lev-Ari at the top of the box, and he then created space between himself and the defender and fired a shot that rang the underside of the crossbar and went over the line for a goal.

Smith almost made it 2-0 as a curling shot from a set piece hit the crossbar and stayed out of the goal.

Northridge goalkeeper Michael Abalos was tested for the first time in the 41st minute, making sprawling saves on back-to-back shots by Eric Budniewski and Brian Ford.

In the second half, the Aggies continually sent waves of attackers forward, and Abalos recorded three more saves in the second half to preserve the win.

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