Matadors Fall 2-0 to Long Beach State in Big West Semifinals

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (7-10-2) lost 2-0 to Long Beach State in a Big West Conference Semifinal match Thursday afternoon at George Allen Field. The 49ers' Nadia Link and Nicole Sweetman scored second-half goals roughly 20 minutes apart as the Matadors saw their season end.

It was a tale of two halves for the Matadors, who came into the contest having defeated LBSU 1-0 earlier in the season. The first half was an even affair that ended scoreless with Northridge recording four shots to the 49ers' seven. The teams combined for only one corner kick and six fouls and neither team generated any truly dangerous chances.

The second half proved to be an entirely different story as Long Beach State dictated the pace and physical nature of the match. In addition to the two goals, LBSU was whistled for 12 fouls to CSUN's five in the final 45 minutes.

Link opened the game's scoring in the 55th minute. Nicole Hubbard played a nice diagonal ball to Nicole Sweetman, who then crossed inside for Link to one-time into the netting. Sweetman's goal came after CSUN had trouble clearing its lines. The Matadors' attempt was deflected and fell to Sweetman's feet, where she easily buried it.

Melissa Fernandez led the Matadors with five shots, putting one on goal that force the 49ers' Kaitlyn Gustaves to make a diving save late in the second half. Brielle Slepicoff had three shots, including two on goal in the first half.

In net, Cynthia Jacobo made six saves for the Matadors. Gustaves had four stops to earn the shutout.

The loss ends the 2011 season for the Matadors and represents the final college game for the team's four seniors: Slepicoff, Heidi Farran, Alexis Barbara and Katie Coulas. Farran led the team in scoring in her senior campaign, finishing with seven goals, two assists and 14 points.

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