September 20, 2012

Northridge Returns to Action at No. 23 Santa Clara, against San Diego

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Matadors Starts Three-Game Swing vs. West Coast Conference Foes

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-1-3) returns to action this week with a pair of contests against talented squads from the West Coast Conference. On Friday, Sept. 21, the Matadors make the trip up the California coast to face No. 23 Santa Clara for the first time in school history in a 7:30 p.m. contest. Two days later, CSUN returns to Matador Soccer Field to face San Diego in a 6 p.m. contest. The Matadors  defeated the Toreros earlier this season, 3-0, in San Diego. 

The Matadors have had a lengthy break to recuperate after a pair of hard-fought draws with Tennessee and USC. The 0-0 draw with the Lady Vols was the first time in school history that CSUN had faced an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. In the match, Cynthia Jacobo made 11 saves, then a career high, to record her fourth shutout of the season and 20th of her career. 

Two days later, Jacobo made a career-high 15 saves as CSUN worked for a 1-1 draw with USC. Brittanie Sakajian scored her first goal of the season and seniors Stephanie Norton and Melissa Fernandez both recorded assists on the play. For her efforts, Jacobo was named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the second time in 2012 that she received the honors. 

This week, CSUN squares off with 23rd-ranked Santa Clara for the first time in school history. The Broncos carry a 4-2-3 record into Friday's contest after posting a 4-2 victory over UNC-Greensboro and a 1-1 draw with San Diego State last weekend. Sofia Herta and Olivia Klei lead the squad with three goals and six points while Lauren Matheson and Sarah Jackson each have five points. Andi Tostanoski has played the majority of minutes in net for Santa Clara and carries a 1.42 goals-against-average and a .735 save percentage in over 800 minutes in net. 

Following the battle with the Broncos, the Matadors return home to complete their season series with the San Diego. The Toreros carry a 3-6 record into the contest after losing a 3-2 decision to USC on Sept. 14. Emily Dillon leads the team with seven points and three assists while three players have scored two goals on the season. McKenna Tollack has played the majority of minutes in net and carries a 2.82 GAA and a .648 save percentage. The Matadors secured their second-straight win over USD on Aug. 19 as Amanda Smith, Wendy Warner and Stephanie Galarze scored in the victory. 

Next week, Northridge continues its tour of the WCC with a road test at Portland. The game between the Matadors and Pilots is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27. CSUN then returns home to open its 2012 Big West campaign with a home date against new league member Hawai'i at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Matador Soccer Field. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo earned her second Big West Defensive Player of the Week award after posting 26 saves in draws with Tennessee and USC. Against the nationally ranked Lady Vols, Jacobo stopped 11 attempts to set a new career high. Two nights later, she bested that performance with 15 saves, one off the school record, in a 1-1 draw with USC. The shutout against the Lady Vols was the 20th of her career, leaving her seven short of the school record. Jacobo added 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 seven matches in 2012, she is 3-1-3 with a 0.52 goals-against-average, 49 saves and a .925 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 recorded her team-leading fourth assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with USC. She added her third assist of the season, setting up Cori Deason's goal in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Michigan. With four helpers in 2012, Norton has already set a single-season career high and is tied for second in the conference. 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 six career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian scored her first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with USC, breaking a scoreless tie in the 71st minute. She headed home a cross from senior Stephanie Norton for her fifth career goal. 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.  

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez registered her third assist of the season and 13th of her career in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with USC. She now stands in second place in school history with the 13 career helpers. She scored the Matadors' goal in its 1-1 draw with Fresno State, the sixth goal of her career and picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' first two contests of 2012. 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 124 career shots, the fourth-most in school history. For her career, Fernandez has six goals, 13 assists and 25 points. 

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 five matches and has two shots. 

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 second on the team with four points on the season and is tied for 10th 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 12 shots through seven 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. 

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 USC on Sept. 9 was just the eighth overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those eight overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-2-5 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. 

Follow the Matadors Online

All home matches this season will include live stats coverage and selected matches will also feature a free audio broadcast on GoMatadors.com. For road contests related links to the game, inlcuding for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the match on the schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athetics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) for updates of matches in progress and news and notes throughout the week.