CSUN Faces Cal Poly in Big West Tournament at Anteater Stadium

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

Matadors Meet Mustangs in Semifinal Contest

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (9-4-6 Overall, 6-1-2 Big West) will face the Cal Poly Mustangs Thursday at 5 p.m. at Anteater Stadium in a Big West Conference Tournament semifinal contest. The Matadors, who have earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament, face a rematch with the Mustangs after the two teams played to a dramatic 2-2 draw in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The contest will feature live stats, internet-only audio and Twitter updates all available at GoMatadors.com. 

Last week CSUN turned in two more impressive performances to earn its fourth-straight berth into the league's postseason tournament. At UCI, the Matadors and Anteaters played to a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes. Cynthia Jacobo made four saves in net to earn the shutout. Two days later, Northridge captured its biggest win of the season, defeating Long Beach State 1-0 in double overtime. Freshman Taylor Hobson scored her second game-winning goal of the conference season in the 104th minute to lift the visiting Matadors to their first victory at George Allen Field since 2004. 

Thursday's contest should be another riveting affair in the series between CSUN and Cal Poly. On October 12 the Mustangs raced out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals within six minutes. Undeterred, the Matadors rallied in the second half behind goals from Hayley Greep and Stephanie Galarze to earn a critical road point in the league campaign. Galarze's game-tying goal came with just two seconds left in regulation. 

For the year, Cal Poly is 9-6-3 and finished an identical 6-1-2 in the league standings. Elise Krieghoff leads the Mustangs and the Big West Conference with 11 goals on the season. Sara Lancaster, Cici Kobinski and Sara Epps all have four goals for Cal Poly while Kobinski ranks second in the conference with seven assists on the season. 

In net, Alyssa Giannetti has played all but 17 minutes in goal for the Mustangs in 2012. She has a .787 save percentage, 118 saves and a 1.70 goals-against-average on the season. 

Following the Matadors and Mustangs will be semifinal contest between Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. The winner of both contests will then advance to Sunday's conference championship which will air at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports PrimeTicket. The winner of the Big West Tournament receives the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo has established a school record by posting 31 career victories in goal for the Matadors. Her school-record 30th 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. Jacobo then picked up win 31 and shutouts 24 and 25 this past weekend in matches against UC Irvine and Long Beach State. She has earned three Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards in 2012 and carries a 0.51 goals-against-average, 96 saves and a .906 save percentage into this weekend's contests. Jacobo leads the Big West Conference in GAA, shutouts and save percentage and ranks fourth among all Division I goalkeepers in save percentage and 12th 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 20-7-3 (.717) record with 17 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' victories against Pacific and UC Davis. 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 nine Big West games, Fernandez amassed 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 earned Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping lead the Matadors to a pair of shutouts and four road points in matches at UCI and LBSU. She also earned one of the CollegeSoccer360.com Week-11 Primetime Players for her effort. She scored 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. McDaniel has started all 19 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. 

Cruz Control

Senior Nicole Cruz recorded her second assist of the season by setting up Taylor Hobson's game-winning goal at Long Beach State. She picked up her first career assist in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific. Cruz 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. 

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 now has two game winners after pushing the Matadors past Long Beach State in double overtime for a 1-0 victory. She scored her other 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. 

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' 1-0 double-overtime victory at Long Beach State was the 13th overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those 13 overtime contests, CSUN holds a 2-4-7 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' other overtime victory came in a 1-0 decision against 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 44 matches, out of a total of 75 (59%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 24-20 (.545) mark in those contests. In fact, 33 (44% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 20-13 (.606) mark. Among Big West schools, the 33 1-0 contests are eight more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 13 such contests since 2009.