Matadors Rebound with 3-1 Victory over Highlanders

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (5-4-4, 2-1 Big West) defeated UC Riverside 3-1 Sunday evening in a Big West Conference match at Matador Soccer Field. Melissa Fernandez, Kendall Moskal and Chloe McDaniel all scored for the Matadors, who improve to 2-1 in Big West play.

Two days after a tough 1-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton in overtime, CSUN came out firing on all cylinders against UCR. The Matadors struck first in the eighth minute of action as Stephanie Galarzefound Melissa Fernandez open in the middle of the field where she subsequently launched a shot over the Highlander goalkeeper's head for her team-leading third goal of the season.

For Fernandez, the goal was the eighth of her career. Galarze picked up the assist, her first of the season. She has two 3-point games in three Big West contests thus far in 2012.

CSUN doubled its lead in the 25th minute as Fernandez set up the score with her fifth assist of the season. Amanda Smith sent in a cross that Fernandez flicked past the UCR goalkeeper and onto the foot of Moskal for her first career strike.

The assist was Fernandez's 15th of her career and gives her 31 career points, which is the seventh-most in school history. The assist was Smith's first of the season and seventh of her career.

CSUN concluded its scoring on the day in the 36th minute of action. Cori Deason swung in a corner kick that McDaniel headed home for her first career goal. The assist was the first of Deason's career as well.

Northridge finished the contest with 21 shots and were it not for several outstanding saves by UCR's Nicole Ragano, could have had more than the three goals. Brittanie Sakajian, Stephanie Galarze and Hayley Greep each had quality attempts thwarted by the UCR goalkeeper.

The Highlanders spoiled the Matadors' bid for a shutout in the 80th minute as Crystal Lopez scored on a feed from Jessica Cortez off a free kick.

Despite the goal, Cynthia Jacobo earned her sixth win of the season by playing the opening 45 minutes. She made three saves in the first half and now has 27 career victories, two off tying the school record.

Cynthia Tafoya played the second half for the Matadors, making her first official appearance. She made one save in those 45 minutes of action.

For the game, CSUN had four corner kicks to one for UCR while the Matadors held a slight edge in fouls 8-7. Taylor Hobson and UCR's Ashley Graves each saw the yellow card in the match.

With the win, CSUN improved to 25-1-1 when scoring at least two goals since the start of the 2008 season.

The Matadors hit the road for their next two contests, traveling up the California Coast for matches at Cal Poly (10/12, 7 p.m.) and UC Santa Barbara (10/14, 1 p.m.). The Matadors' next home games is against Pacific at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19.