Matadors Take on a Pair of Formidable WCC Opponents
The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (1-5-1) return to action after a 12-day layoff with a non-conference match-up at Loyola Marymount on Friday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. Two days later, the Matadors host No. 25 Portland at Matador Soccer Field at approximately 2 p.m. in the second game of a Northridge Soccer doubleheader. The CSUN men's soccer team hosts Seattle University at 11 a.m. before the Northridge-Portland contest.
Northridge last saw action at the Boilermaker Challenge on the campus of Purdue. At the event, Northridge jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the host Boilermakers after first-half goals by Heidi Farran and Chloe McDaniel. However, Purdue would answer with two goals in the second half to send the two team to overtime and eventually a 2-2 draw. The tie was the Matadors' first since the 2008 season.
However, due to the nature of the tournament, the teams competed in an exhibition shootout to determine whom would advance to the championship game. In the end, Shannon Ward, Katie Russ and Heidi Farran scored and Cynthia Jacobo made two saves and got a friendly carom off the post to propel CSUN to the tournament title tilt.
In the Boilermaker Challenge Final, the Matadors dropped a tough 1-0 decision to Dayton. The Flyers got on the board early in the game and held on to make it stand up in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the soccer pitch. Following the game, Ward, Farran and Russ were named to the all-tournament team.
This week, CSUN tackles a pair of tough squads that hail from the West Coast Conference. On Friday, CSUN heads into Los Angeles to face the Lions at Sullivan Field, a place where Northridge has never won in six chances. The closest the Matadors have come close to defeating the Lions on their home turf was the last time they were there, as LMU scored in the final minute of action to snag a 1-0 victory on Oct. 3, 2008. However, the last time these two met, CSUN posted a 3-0 shutout at Matador Soccer Field on Aug. 27, 2009.
On Sunday, the Matadors host No. 25 Portland as part of a doubleheader at Matador Soccer Field. Following the CSUN men's match with Seattle, Northridge faces the Pilots for the second-straight season. Last year, Portland escaped the San Fernando Valley with a 2-1 victory on Aug. 22 as the new lighting system for Matador Soccer Field was introduced. A record crowd of 1,496 people were in attendance as Northridge rallied from a 2-0 deficit to nearly tie the game in the waning moments. A live broadcast featuring Geoff Herberg and Cal State Northridge men's soccer head coach Terry Davila will be available on GoMatadors.com.
Following the meetings with the Lions and Pilots, Northridge opens its 2011 Big West Conference season with a pair of road contests. CSUN opens with an Sept. 30 at Pacific, followed two days later with a match-up at UC Davis.
We Interrupt this Jets-Raiders Game...
Senior Heidi Farran earned all-tournament honors at the Boilermaker Challenge after scoring a goal against Purdue and finishing with a season-high six shots against Dayton. Farran now has three goals in her past three games and is up to eight for her career, one shy of tying two former Matadors for ninth in school history. In CSUN's victory over Princeton, Farran scored goals in the fifth and 21st minutes. The multi-goal performance was the first by a Northridge player since the 2006 season. She leads the team with seven points and 21 shots on the season. She ranks tied for sixth in the league with three goals and is tied for seventh in the league with her seven points.
Fernandez Finds Finishing Form
Junior Melissa Fernandez recorded her team-leading second assist of the season in the Matadors' draw with Purdue, helping set up Heidi Farran's 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 20 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.
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. To read a feature story on Brielle Slepicoff, click here.
Lending a Helping Hand
Several Matadors have earned their first assists of the season over the Matadors' past five 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. In the trip to Indiana, senior Alexis Barbara picked up her first assist of the season and second of her career in the Matadors' draw with Purdue.
Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword
Since the 2009 season, Northridge has played in 31 matches, out of a total of 48 (65%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 16-15 (.516) mark in those contests. In fact, 21 (44% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 12-9 (.571) mark. However, Northridge has lost five of its last six games that finished 1-0, including three results in 2011.
Finally, a Tie
The Matadors' 2-2 draw with Purdue on Sept. 9 was CSUN's first double-overtime tie with an opponent since a scoreless affair at UC Irvine on Oct. 23, 2008, a span of 49 matches. The Matadors went the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons without a draw. That is fewest draws among all Big West teams since the start of the 2009 season. In that span, UCR has recorded eight draws and Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific and Cal State Fullerton all have six ties. In fact, the Matadors have only reached overtime on three occasions since the start of the 2009 campaign and are 1-1-1 in those games.
Good Things come in Twos and Threes
The Matadors have put together quite a record when they score two goals, posting a 19-1-1 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. The only blemishes on the record are a 3-2 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 4, 2009 and a 2-2 draw with Purdue at the Boilermaker Challenge during the 2011 campaign. In fact, under Coach West, the Matadors are a perfect 12-0 when they score at least three goals in a match. Northridge's cumulative score in those 12 contests is 45-12. CSUN's last loss when scoring at least three goals came at UC Davis on October 16, 2005, when current Northridge men's soccer head coach Terry Davila was in charge of both programs.
CSUN Shines in Shootout
The Matadors got to participate in an exhibition shootout in their time at the Boilermaker Challenge. After managing a 2-2 draw with Purdue, the nature of the tournament stipulated that a winner be decided to see whom would advance to the championship match of the competition. In the event, Shannon Ward, Heidi Farran and Katie Russ all found the back of the net and Cynthia Jacobo made two saves to send the Matadors through, where they eventually lost 1-0 to Dayton. NCAA soccer does not start using shootouts to break ties until postseason tournaments and even then, if a game were to be decided by a penalty kick shootout, the game is still scored as a draw for both sides.
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.
Tickets for all home men's matches are available through the CSUN Associated Students Ticket Office. Adults are $5, while youth 17 and under and seniors 60 and older are $3. There is also a $3 discounted rate ticket for CSUN Faculty/Staff, Military Service Personnel and CSUN Alumni Association Members with their respective identification cards. CSUN students receive free admission to all home games with their CSUN I.D. Groups of 10 or more people may purchase $3 tickets, but tickets must be purchased a minimum of 24 hours in advance. For more information, call the A.S. Ticket Office at 818-677-2488.