September 7, 2011

Northridge Heads to Indiana for Boilermaker Challenge

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Matadors Travel to Midwest in Longest Roadtrip of Keith West Era

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (1-4) ventures over 2,100 miles for its next two matches as it heads to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the Boilermaker Challenge on the campus of the Big 10 Conference's Purdue. At the event, the Matadors will square off against the host Boilermakers on Sept. 9 and then face a challenge from either the Flyers of Dayton or the Jayhawks of Kansas on Sept. 11.

Northridge enters the weekend fresh off its first victory of the season, a 3-1 win over Princeton. In the match, senior Heidi Farran recorded the first Matador multi-goal game in nearly five years as she found the net in the fifth and 21st minute of action. She now has seven career goals and leads CSUN with five points on the season. Fellow senior Brielle Slepicoff added a goal and an assist for Northridge against Princeton and now stands at three goals, seven assists and 13 points for her career. Finally, Melissa Fernandez, Amanda Smith and Marisa Miller all recorded their first assists of the season in the match against Princeton.

This week, CSUN faces yet another still challenge in its pair of games at the Boilermaker Challenge. Although Purdue carries a 2-4 record into Friday's contest, two of those losses came against ranked opponents (West Virginia, Oregon State) and the Boilermakers lost in overtime to USC in their last game. Alex Hairston leads the club with two goals and five points while Clara Kridler has played all but one minute in net and has compiled a .767 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against-average.

Kansas has been red hot lately, having won its last five contests by a combined score of 14-6. That streak includes victories over Southern California perennial powers USC and San Diego. Ingrid Vidal leads the club with four goals and is tied for the team lead at 11 points with Whitney Berry, who has a team-high seven assists thus far. In net, Kat Liebetrau and Kaitlyn Stroud have spent a nearly equal amount of time in net and both earned a start for the Jayhawks last week.

Finally, Dayton enters the week at 4-1 overall after dropping its first contest of the season in a 3-1 loss at Wisconsin. The Flyers have been flirting with the national rankings and are led by Colleen Williams, who has a team-high four goals and 12 points.

We Interrupt this Jets-Raiders Game...

Senior Heidi Farran connected in the fifth and 21st minute to help lead CSUN to a 3-1 victory over Princeton on Sept. 4, the Matadors' first victory of the season. Farran now leads the team with those two goals and five points and with seven career goals, stands just two shy of tying two former Matadors for ninth in school history. The multi-goal performance was the first by a Northridge player since the 2006 season and Farran also ranks tied for eighth in the league with two goals and is tied for ninth in league with her five points. Farran also had an assist, the second of her career, against Texas.

Brie All That You Can Brie

Senior Brielle Slepicoff had a goal and an assist in the Matadors' victory over Princeton. She provided the game-winning assist on Heidi Farran's goal in the 21st minute and then worked a nifty give-and-go with Amanda Smith in the second half to record her third career goal. One of the team's fastest players, Slepicoff earned All-Big West First Team and NSCAA All-West Region Second Team honors for her work on the defensive back line in 2010. She was also recognized for her work in the classroom, receiving NSCAA Academic All-West Region First Team honors as a biology major.

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Junior Melissa Fernandez recorded her first assist of the season in the Matadors' victory over Princeton, helping set up Heidi Farran's first goal in the early moments of the game. She also picked up the first goal of the season for the Matadors in their loss at Texas on Aug. 28. This year, she ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with a team-leading 15 shots. Fernandez earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2010 after finishing the season with a goal and a team-high five assists. Fernandez leads the team with nine shots thus far and finished 2010 with 33 shots, putting 19 on target.

Lending a Helping Hand

Several Matadors have earned their first assists of the season over the Matadors' past three games. Junior Stephanie Norton picked up her first career assist in the Matadors' loss at Texas. Against Princeton, junior Marisa Miller recorded her second career helper on Heidi Farran's first goal and sophomore Amanda Smith registered her third career assist on Brielle Slepicoff's second half goal.

Jacobo & Myers

Junior Cynthia Jacobo made two saves in the Matadors' victory over Princeton on Sept. 4. In her first two-plus seasons, Jacobo has amassed a 17-14 record with 12 shutouts and 126 saves. She has earned All-Big West Second Team honors following each of the last two seasons and was Big West Freshman of the Year in 2009. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 10-3 record with nine shutouts and a 0.38 goals-against-average against league opposition in the regular season. During the 2010 season, she finished 11-9 with a 1.07 GAA and 92 saves in 1,844 minutes of action. In school history, she ranks third in wins, tied for fifth in saves, second in shutouts and owns the best GAA.

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