CSUN Travels to UC Irvine, Long Beach State for Final Weekend of League Play

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

Matadors face Anteaters, 49ers Looking to Secure Playoff Berth

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (8-4-5 overall, 5-1-1 Big West) hits the road for a pair of important Big West Conference matches as the regular season comes to a conclusion. The Matadors and Anteaters will tangle on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium. Two days later, CSUN will face Long Beach State in the regular season finale at 2 p.m. at George Allen Field. Both games will feature live stats available at GoMatadors.com and in-game updates will be available on CSUN's Official Twitter handle (@GoMatadors). 

Last week CSUN closed out the home portion of its schedule with victories over Pacific and UC Davis. In the 6-1 victory over the Tigers, Northridge posted its most goals since the 2006 season as five different players rattled the cage. Senior Melissa Fernandez, who subsequently earned Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, had two goals in the first 20 minutes of the contest. 

Two days later, Fernandez scored again as the Matadors held off the Aggies for a 1-0 victory on Senior Day. Fellow senior Marisa Miller had the assist on the play, giving her a career-high four on the season. In net, senior Cynthia Jacobo made four saves to earn her 30th career victory and set a new school record. 

This week Northridge travels for a pair of tough tests. The Anteaters are 9-8-1 overall and 5-1-1 in Big West play. UCI defeated Long Beach State last week, 1-0 in double overtime, and its only conference loss came at the hands of Cal Poly. Rachel Wood and Natalia Ledezma lead the squad with 11 points while Laura McGrail has 10 points and Dana Sanderlin adds nine more in the attack. In net, Corey Tobin has a 1.24 goals-against-average and a 5-2-1 record on the year. 

Long Beach State offers a equally tough challenge for Northridge. The 49ers, who will host Hawai'i on Oct. 26, enter the week 11-6 overall and 4-3 in Big West play. Nadia Link leads the squad with seven goals, eight assists and 22 points. Eileen Maes adds eight goals, three assists and 19 points in attack. Marinna Meyers has played nearly the entire season in goal for LBSU and carries a 1.19 GAA, 69 saves and a .767 save percentage. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo has set a school record by posting her 30th career victory in goal for the Matadors. The win came after she made four saves in a 1-0 defeat of UC Davis, her seventh shutout of the year and 23rd of her career.  She has earned three Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards in 2012 and carries a 0.58 goals-against-average, 91 saves and a .901 save percentage into this weekend's contests. Jacobo leads the Big West Conference in GAA, shutouts and save percentage and ranks fifth among all Division I goalkeepers in save percentage and 23rd in GAA.  Jacobo was also one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, one of the most prestigious honors in NCAA Division I athletics. She is believed to be the first nominee in school history to make the initial list of candidates. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 19-7-2 (.714) record with 15 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez earned Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors after finishing with three goals and two game winners in the Matadors' two victories last week. Fernandez became just the third Matador since 2007 to  finish with two goals in a game as she scored twice in the opening 20 minutes against Pacific. Her second game winner came two days later when she scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over UC Davis. In CSUN's seven Big West games,  Fernandez has five goals, two assists and 12 points. For the season, she leads the team with six goals, five assists and 17 points. Among Big West players, Fernandez ranks in the Top 10 in shots, assists and points. She stands in second place in school history with 15 career assists and has moved into a tie for sixth in school history with 37 career points. For her career, Fernandez has 11 goals, 15 assists and 37 points. She also has 151 career shots, the most in school history.

Stephanie's Senior Season Celebration 

Senior Stephanie Galarze scored her fourth goal in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific, setting a new career high in the process. She picked up her third goal of the season in dramatic fashion, tapping in the game-tying goal at Cal Poly with two seconds left in regulation. She picked up her first assist of the season and third of her carer in the Matadors' 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. Earlier this season, she 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. She is second on the team with nine points on the season and has five goals, three assists and 13 points for her career. 

Old McDaniel Had a Farm 

Junior Chloe McDaniel scored her second goal of the conference season in the 6-1 victory over Pacific. She recorded the game-winning assist in the Matadors' win at UCSB, setting up Taylor Hobson in the 84th minute of action. She scored her second career goal in the Matadors' 3-1 victory over UC Riverside, heading home a corner kick in the 36th minute of action. McDaniel has started all 17 matches in 2012 and has served as a team captain since the start of her sophomore campaign. She has three goals, two assists and eight points in her career.

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian had a pair of assists in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific, giving her four for the season. She picked up her second assist of the season in the Matadors' victory over Hawai'i. She recorded her first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with USC, breaking a scoreless tie in the 71st minute. Sakajian made a spirited return to the pitch in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with Fresno State, picking up an assist on Melissa Fernandez's goal in the 52nd minute. Sakajian returned 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. 

One of these Days Norton ... 

Senior Stephanie Norton recorded her fifth assist of the season in the Matadors' 6-1 win over Pacific. She added her  assists in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Michigan and 1-1 draw with USC. With five helpers in 2012, Norton has already set a single-season career high and is tied for fifth in the conference. She picked up a pair of assists, both coming in a 3-0 win at San Diego, in the Matadors' two victories during the opening weekend of the 2012 season, earning one of the CollegeSoccer360.com Week-1 Primetime Players for her efforts. She now has seven career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Rookie Sensations

Freshmen Kendall Moskal, Hayley Greep and Taylor Hobson have all scored the first goal of their Matador careers since the start of Big West Conference play. Moskal found the netting first, scoring in CSUN's 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. In the 25th minute of action, she cleaned up a cross into a wide open net for what would be the game-winning goal. At Cal Poly, Greep scored minutes after halftime to draw the Matadors' within one goal in what turned into a 2-2 draw. Finally, Hobson scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute of action to give CSUN its first win at UCSB since the 1999 season. 

It's Miller Time

Senior Marisa Miller recorded her career-high fourth assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-0 win over UC Davis. She had two assists in the Matadors' 2-2 draw at Cal Poly. She picked up her first assist of the season on Melissa Fernandez's goal in CSUN's 1-1 draw with Fresno State. She now has six career assists and one goal in her Matador career, which came during the 2011 season. 

Tis The Deason

Redshirt freshman Cori Deason scored her second goal of the season in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific, successfully converting CSUN's first penalty kick attempt of the year. She scored her first career goal in dramatic fashion by helping lift CSUN to a 1-0 victory over Michigan. Deason added her first career assist on Chloe McDaniel's goal against UC Riverside. Thus far in 2012, she has appeared in 15 matches and has five points. 

Cruz Control

Senior Nicole Cruz picked up her first career assist in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific. She scored her first goal of the season in the Matadors' 2-0 victory over Hawai'i. After Melissa Fernandez's shot was saved, Cruz buried the rebound into the open net for her third career strike. In 2011, Cruz tallied her the first two goals of her career, scoring at LMU and recording the game winner against UC Santa Barbara. 

Sister Act

Junior Amanda Smith picked up her first assist of the year in CSUN's 3-1 win over UC Riverside. She added her first career goal, which stood as the game winner, in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Smith chipped the ball over the Torero goalkeeper in the 18th minute. Smith has fired off 18 shots through 13 matches in 2012. For her career, Smith now has a goal, seven assists and nine points. Her sister is No. 23 Amilee Smith, a sophomore midfielder. 

Back to the Draw-ing Board

The Matadors' 2-2 draw at Cal Poly was the 12th overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those 12 overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-4-7 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 (2011), Santa Clara (2012), Cal State Fullerton (2012) and UC Irvine (2010) while the Matadors' last overtime victory came in a 1-0 decision over Kansas in 2010.

Good Things come in Twos and Threes

The Matadors have put together quite a record when they score two goals, posting a 26-1-2 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. That record includes the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego, 2-0 win over Hawai'i, 3-1 triumph over UC Riverside and 6-1 victory over Pacific. The only blemishes on the record are a 3-2 loss to UC Santa Barbara and 2-2 draws at Purdue and Cal Poly. In fact, under Coach West, the Matadors are a perfect 18-0 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 43 matches, out of a total of 74 (58%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 23-20 (.535) mark in those contests. In fact, 31 (42% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 19-13 (.594) mark. Among Big West schools, the 32 1-0 contests are seven more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 13 such contests since 2009. 

Follow Your 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, including 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 Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) for updates of matches in progress and news and notes throughout the week.