NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's soccer program placed six members on the 2011 All-Big West Women's Soccer Team as voted upon by the league's coaches, the conference office announced Tuesday. Senior Heidi Farran and junior Cynthia Jacobo earned All-Big West First Team honors, while Melissa Fernandez, Brielle Slepicoff, Katie Russ and Alexis Barbara were also honored on the team.
For CSUN, the 2011 All-Big West Team marks the third-straight season that the Matadors have placed six student-athletes on the all-conference team. Not surprisingly, Northridge qualified for its third-straight Big West Tournament in 2011, finishing in third with a record of 4-3-1 for 13 points.
Jacobo became just the third Matador in school history to receive a player of the year award after being named Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011. The junior from Arleta, Calif., started 18 matches in net in 2011, posting a 1.47 goals-against-average, 60 saves and a .698 save percentage.
She added four shutouts during the year and appeared to save her best performances for conference competition. This year she was 4-3-1 with a 1.41 GAA, 32 saves and a .744 save percentage. For her career, Jacobo is 14-6-1 (.690) with 12 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.
"It feels amazing to receive this award and I am thrilled to see my teammates recognized for their hard work," Jacobo said. "I want to thank my defense for all their hard work in front of me, blocking shots and stopping chances before they could even reach me. They are as equally deserving in this award as I am."
Farran was the other Matador to earn First Team honors in 2011, finishing with a team-high seven goals and 16 points in her senior campaign. She ended her career with 12 career goals, tied for sixth in school history and the seven goals in 2011 tied her with several other Matadors for the sixth-most in a single season.
Against league competition, Farran finished with four goals, including two game-winning strikes. Perhaps her most memorable goal of the year came in the 89th minute in a 1-0 victory over Long Beach State at Matador Soccer Field on Oct. 14.
"Scoring that goal against Long Beach State was one of the best feelings of my life," Farran said. "Receiving this award makes me realize that all the hard work, all the summers I spent working out in Northridge, was all worth it."
Three Matadors were named to the All-Big West Second Team: Fernandez, Russ and Slepicoff. Fernandez finished the 2011 season with a career-high four goals and 12 points. She added four assists to raise her career total to 10, tying her for the fifth-most in school history. Fernandez also led the squad with 53 shots on the year, the third-most in school history for a single season.
Slepicoff capped off a distinguished career with her Second Team award, the third-straight season she has been recognized by the league's coaches. She ended the season with one goal, three assists and five points and leaves Northridge with nine career assists, tying her for ninth in school history. Finally, one of the team's most reliable players, Slepicoff appeared in 78 career matches, tying her for the second-most in school history.
A formidable force on defense, Russ earned Second Team honors for the first time in her career. She had a goal and an assist while appearing in 18 matches. She scored her second career goal in the Matador's first-ever victory at LMU and assisted on Farran's game-winning goal against Long Beach State.
Barbara was the sixth and final Matador to be recognized, earning Honorable Mention honors. She had a career-high two assists while appearing in all 19 matches in her senior season.
"All of our student-athletes were well-deserving in receiving the recognition," CSUN head coach Keith West said. "It is nice to see them recognized after another successful season."
The Matadors finished the year with a 7-10-2 overall record and a 4-3-1 mark in the Big West Conference.