September 6, 2012

Northridge Squares Off with No. 22 Tennessee, USC in Home Matches

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

Matadors Meet Lady Vols, Women of Troy in San Fernando Valley

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-1-1) hosts the University of Tennessee (Sept. 7, 7 p.m.) and USC (Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.) in a pair of non-conference matches at Matador Soccer Field this weekend. The Matadors' match with the 22nd-ranked Lady Vols will be the first time CSUN has faced an opponent from the powerful Southeastern Conference (SEC). Two days later, Northridge renews its local rivalry with USC, a team it has not seen since the 2008 season. 

Last Week, CSUN recorded a 1-0 shutout victory over the University of Michigan at Matador Soccer Field. The victory over the Wolverines marked the program's first win ever over an opponent from the Big Ten Conference and it came in dramatic fashion. 

Late in the second half, redshirt freshman Cori Deason collected a lob pass from senior Stephanie Norton and one-timed a shot past the Wolverine goalkeeper for the contest's only goal. The tally was the first of Deason's career and the assist was Norton's team-leading third helper of the season. In net, senior Cynthia Jacobo made three saves, including a fantastic stop on a one-on-one opportunity, to record her third shutout of the season and 19th of her career. 

The Lady Volunteers of Tennessee carry in a 5-0 record and a +12 goal differential (13-1) in those contests. Amy Harrison leads the club with four goals on the season while Caroline Brown has two goals and four assists to also post eight points thus far.  In net, Julie Eckel has started all five matches and has a .923 save percentage and a 0.21 goals-against-average. 

Two days later, USC comes to the San Fernando Valley for the first time since the 1996 season. The Trojans are 2-3 on the season after dropping a pair of 2-1 decisions in their home tournament last weekend. Jordan Marada has two goals, four assists and eight points on the season while Megan Borman adds two goals as well. In net, Caroline Stanley has seen the majority of time and carries a 2.39 GAA and a .667 save percentage. 

CSUN gets some time off next weekend before beginning a three-game stretch against West Coast Conference opponents. On Sept. 21, CSUN plays a road match at Santa Clara followed two days later by a home rematch with San Diego. The Matadors then make their only trip out of California for a match on Sept. 27 against a nationally ranked Portland squad. After Northridge meets the Pilots, it opens its 2012 Big West Conference season with a home match against Hawai'i on Sept. 30. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo made three saves to record her third shutout of the season and 19th of her career as CSUN defeated Michigan, 1-0, on Aug. 30. Jacobo has already earned Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping lead CSUN to a pair of shutout victories in the 2012 season's opening weekend. Against ASU, Jacobo made five saves as the Matadors recorded their first win over a Pac-12 opponent since 1999. Two days later, Jacobo had four stops as CSUN posted a 3-0 victory at San Diego. Through five matches in 2012, she is 3-1-1 with a 0.57 goals-against-average, 23 saves and a .885 save percentage. In 2011, Jacobo earned Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, All-Big West First Team honors and two Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards. For her career, Jacobo ranks second in school history with 25 wins, second with 19 career shutouts and third with 199 career saves. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 14-6-1 (.690) record with 12 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.

One of these Days Norton ... 

Senior Stephanie Norton picked up her team-leading third assist of the season, setting up Cori Deason's goal in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Michigan. With three helpers in 2012, Norton has already set a single-season career high and is tied for the conference lead. She picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' two victories during the opening weekend of the 2012 season, earning College Sports Madness Big West Conference Player of the Week honors. She was also named one of the CollegeSoccer360.com Week-1 Primetime Players for her efforts. Both helpers came in Northridge's first-ever victory at San Diego. She assisted on Amanda Smith's goal in the 18th minute and then again on Wendy Warner's first career goal in the 34th minute. She now has five career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Tis the Deason

Redshirt freshman Cori Deason recorded her first career goal in dramatic fashion by helping lift CSUN to a 1-0 victory over Michigan. In the 79th minute of the contest, Deason collected a lob from Stephanie Norton and one-timed the ball past the Wolverine goalkeeper into the cage. Thus far in 2012, she has appeared in three matches and has two shots. 

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez scored the Matadors' goal in its 1-1 draw with Fresno State, the sixth goal of her career. She picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' first two contests of 2012, moving her into a tie for second in school history. In 2011, she earned All-Big West Conference Second Team honors after finishing with a career-high four goals and 12 points. In her junior season, she led the team with 53 shots, a total that ranked third in school history for a single season. She also stands at 120 career shots, the fourth-most in school history. For her career, Fernandez has six goals, 12 assists and 24 points. 

Stephanie's Senior Season Celebration 

Senior Stephanie Galarze earned Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors after scoring a pair of goals in CSUN's two victories during the opening weekend of the 2012 season. In the season-opener against Arizona State, Galarze chipped a ball past the Sun Devil goalkeeper for her second career goal and second career game-winning strike. Two days later, Galarze capped off a 3-0 victory at San Diego with the game's third goal. She is tied for the team lead with four points on the season and is tied for fifth in the Big West with her two tallies.  

Sister Act

Junior Amanda Smith scored her first career goal, which stood as the game winner, in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Off a feed from Stephanie Norton, Smith chipped the ball over the Torero goalkeeper in the 18th minute. Smith has fired off eight shots through five matches in 2012 and has put six of those attempts on frame. In 2011, she tied for the team lead with four assists. For her career, Smith now has a goal, six assists and eight points. Her sister is No. 23 Amilee Smith, a sophomore midfielder.

Wendy Provides Food for Thought

Junior Wendy Warner scored the first goal of her Northridge career in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Off a corner kick from Stephanie Norton, Warner head the ball home in the early seconds of the 34th minute of the match. Primarily a defender in her first two seasons at Northridge, Warner has seen her time at forward in two matches in 2012 thus far and has three shots on the season. 

It's Miller Time

Senior Marisa Miller added her first assist of the season on Melissa Fernandez's goal in CSUN's 1-1 draw with Fresno State. She now has three career assists, all of which have come in the last two seasons. Miller found the back of the net in CSUN's exhibition at LMU when she buried a cross from Amanda Smith. A team captain in 2012, Miller scored the first goal of her collegiate career in the Matadors' 3-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield near the end of the 2011 campaign. In her junior season, Miller appeared in 14 matches while recording seven shots and one assist. The assist, the second helper of her career, came in the Matadors' victory over Princeton. 

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian made a spirited return to the pitch in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with Fresno State, her first action with the squad in over a year. Against the Bulldogs, Sakajian not only earned the starting nod but picked up an assist on Melissa Fernandez's goal in the 52nd minute. Sakajian returns to the squad after missing all of the 2011 season with a knee injury. In her freshman season (2010), Sakajian recorded four goals, two assists and 10 points.  

Russ to the Rescue

Senior Katie Russ was named to the Preseason All-Big West Team by the league's coaches prior to the start of the 2012 season. In 2011, Russ earned All-Big West Second Team honors after anchoring the Matadors' defensive line for the third-straight season. Russ picked up her first assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Long Beach State. Russ then scored her first goal of the season and second of her career in the Matadors' victory at LMU. 

Old McDaniel Had a Farm 

Junior Chloe McDaniel will be counted upon once again to play a prominent role for the Matadors. In 2011, McDaniel posted her first career goal and assist as she appeared in all 19 matches for the Matadors. Her first career goal came in a 2-2 draw at Purdue and her assist helped CSUN topple Long Beach State. 

Back to the Draw-ing Board

The Matadors' 1-1 draw with Fresno State on Aug. 26 was just the sixth overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those six overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-2-3 record. During the 2011 campaign, the Matadors recorded two draws (at Purdue and at Pacific) and the result with the Boilermakers was Northridge's first tie in 49 contests. The overtime losses were to Portland and UC Irvine while the Matadors' last overtime victory came in a 1-0 decision over Kansas in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sept. 10, 2010. 

Good Things come in Twos and Threes

The Matadors have put together quite a record when they score two goals, posting a 23-1-1 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. That record includes the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego on Aug. 19, the program's first-ever victory at the home of the Toreros. 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 16-0 when they score at least three goals in a match. CSUN's last loss when scoring at least three goals came at UC Davis on October 16, 2005.

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Since the start of the 2009 season, Northridge has played in 38 matches, out of a total of 64 (59%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 21-17 (.553) mark in those contests. In fact, 27 (42% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 17-10 (.630) mark. Among Big West schools, the 27 1-0 contests are six more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 11 such contests since 2009.