Big West Champion CSUN Heads to SDSU for NCAA Tournament Opening Round

Matadors Make First NCAA Appearance at Future League Member 

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (11-4-6) will face San Diego State in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. The Matadors will be making their first-ever appearance in the 64-team field and will travel to meet up with a future Big West Conference opponent in the Aztecs. The game will feature live stats and internet-only live audio available at GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check CSUN Athletics' official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates. 

Last week, CSUN captured its first Big West Championship with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 4. The Matadors withstood numerous waves of attack from the Titans and then saw CSUF place a penalty kick against the post early in the second half. 

With the game deadlocked, the teams headed to overtime looking for a winner. About 90 seconds into the period, Marissa Miller played a pass to a streak Melissa Fernandez who promptly buried a bending shot into the far-side netting for the championship-winning goal. For her efforts in CSUN's two victories in the tournament, Fernandez was named MVP. In net, Cynthia Jacobo made five saves and the team was credited with one as Northridge handed Cal State Fullerton its first shutout of the season. 

Northridge now sets its sights on San Diego State. The Aztecs, who are in their final season of competition as a member of the Mountain West Conference, finished the season 19-1-1 overall and on a 12-match winning streak. SDSU captured both the MWC regular season and tournament title and have outscored its opponents 41-11 for the season. Megan Jurado leads the squad with 14 goals, nine assists and 37 points. Hannah Keane and Sarah Halverson each have five goals and while Haley Locker has four goals and six assists. 

In net, Rachel Boaz has played all but 84 minutes this season and has posted a 0.49 goals-against-average. She has an .848 save percentage and made 56 saves on the season. CSUN has won the past three meetings with San Diego State, though the Aztecs hold a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo made five saves to help lead CSUN to the Big West Conference Title in the 1-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton. In her fourth year as a Matador, Jacobo has established a school record by posting 33 career victories and 27 shutouts in goal. Her school-record 27th shutout came in the victory over the Titans and she added four saves to help lead CSUN to a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly in the Big West Semifinal. Her school-record 30th win came after she made four saves in a 1-0 defeat of UC Davis. She received her second-straight Big West Goalkeeper of the Year honors and earned three Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards in 2012. Jacobo carries a 0.46 goals-against-average, 105 saves, 11 shutouts and a .913 save percentage into the NCAA Tournament. 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 appeared 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 was named the Most Valuable Players of the Big West Tournament after scoring the decisive goal in a 1-0 overtime victory over Cal State Fullerton. She added the winning goal in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Cal Poly in the Big West Semifinal. Fernandez earned All-Big West First Team honors and leads the squad with eight goals, five assists and 21 points on the season. She 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. She stands in second place in school history with 15 career assists and has moved into fifth in school history with 41 career points. For her career, Fernandez has 13 goals, 15 assists and 41 points. She also has 165 career shots, the most in school history.

Stephanie's Senior Season Celebration 

Senior Stephanie Galarze received All-Big West Second Team honors in 2012 after posting four goals, one assist and nine points through CSUN's first 21 games. She 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 was named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year in the 2012 season after helping lead the stout Northridge defense. McDaniel also received the final Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honor this season after helping lead the Matadors to a pair of shutouts and four road points in matches at UCI and LBSU. She earned one of the CollegeSoccer360.com Week-11 Primetime Players for that 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 provided the assist on Melissa Fernandez's goal in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Cal Poly on Nov. 1. She added a pair of assists in the Matadors' 6-1 victory over Pacific and now has five 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. 

It's Miller Time

Senior Marisa Miller picked up the game-winning assist, giving her a career-high five for the season, in the Matadors' 1-0 victory in the Big West Championship victory over Cal State Fullerton. She recorded her 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 seven career assists and one goal in her Matador career, which came during 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. 

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 only 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 19 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 25 shots through 21 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 overtime victory in the Big West Championship over Cal State Fullerton was the 14th overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those 14 overtime contests, CSUN holds a 3-4-7 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' overtime victories have come at Long Beach State (2012) and against Kansas (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 46 matches, out of a total of 77 (60%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 26-20 (.565) mark in those contests. In fact, 35 (45% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 22-13 (.629) mark. Among Big West schools, the 35 1-0 contests are 10 more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 13 such contests since 2009. 

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