The California State University, Northridge men’s soccer team played against the University of New Mexico Lobos on Sept. 11, but this was far from a regular game at Matador Soccer Field.
The Matadors may have lost the game 1-0, but if the energy level on display before and during the game was any indication, CSUN games will be filled with plenty of noise and emotion throughout the season.
The university hosted a Fan Fair in parking lot F5 before the match, putting fans in the right mood to cheer on the Matadors. Free frozen yogurt and popsicles helped students and fans stay cool in the triple-digit temperature.
“The popsicles were the most perfect thing to hand out in this heat,” said CSUN student Dalila Pena, 19.
Students gathered in front of the dorms at the north end of campus at 5:30 p.m. to participate in a spirit parade, marching together to the Fan Fair. The first 75 students received free T-shirts and all students received free tickets to the match, as they do every home game. Matty the Matador also participated, leading the parade with the CSUN Matador Band.
Fan Fair attendees played games and received all kinds of prizes and giveaways, such as T-shirts, pens, laundry bags, and candy. The first 500 fans received free thunder sticks — popular noisemakers that are welcome at CSUN soccer matches.
“I liked playing the games and winning all the cool prizes,” said CSUN freshman Jennifer Cardona, 17. Her friend Cindy Tovar, 17, also a CSUN freshman, said she liked the free temporary tattoos most.
The match started at sundown to resounding cheers from Matador fans. After remaining scoreless on both sides throughout the match, New Mexico scored its winning goal on a penalty kick in overtime. Still, the loss failed to dampen the spirits of the CSUN crowd.