Aug. 4, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's soccer program opened its 2010 training camp Wednesday, Aug. 4 with high aspirations. After finishing 2009 with a 6-2 mark in the Big West Conference, the Matadors have their sights set on a return to the playoffs and the first league title in school history.
One source for the optimism abounding from the Matadors is the experience the team returns. In addition to five seniors, Head Coach Keith West has 13 other student-athletes entering at least their third season with the team. That familiarity has West, the 2009 Big West Coach of the Year, entertaining even grander heights for the coming year.
Before the Matadors open their 2010 league season against UC Davis on Oct. 1, they will have to navigate a series of tough fixtures that West has arranged in the preseason.
On Aug. 20, the Matadors will travel to face league rival UC Santa Barbara in a non-conference contest, the third meeting between the schools in less than a calendar year. The two teams will meet again in Santa Barbara later in the season during the league schedule.
Two days later, the Matadors will reintroduce nighttime soccer to the San Fernando Valley when they host the Portland Pilots. The 7 p.m. match at Matador Soccer Field is sure spark the interest of the community not only due to the novelty of the lights, but because of the quality of the Pilots, a program with two national championships in its history.
Among the other squads West has lined up to challenge CSUN are Texas A&M, San Diego, Kansas, UNLV and Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Matadors will travel down the 405 to face UCLA in Westwood on Sept. 5.
Townley enjoyed one of the finest seasons in school history in 2009, tying a school record with nine goals and finishing the year with 20 points, the third-most in school history for a single season. She also led the Big West with five game-winning goals and earned a spot on the All-Big West First Team.
Pratt, a feisty defender, recorded the first two assists of her career in her junior campaign. A member of the starting 11 since she arrived from Hawai'i, Pratt enters the season with 57 career appearances and were she to play in all 20 matches on the 2010 schedule, she would set a new school record for career appearances.
Hawes is a standout goalkeeper who saw action in three games for the Matadors in 2009. She earned half a shutout in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Vermont, making three saves in the contest. She had a career-high six saves at Pacific on Oct. 9.
Among the other returning letterwinners for West are senior Sonia Espitia, juniors Brielle Slepicoff and Heidi Farran and sophomore Cynthia Jacobo, all of whom earned All-Big West honors following the 2009 season.
Espitia finished 2009 with a career-high two goals and six points en route to All-Big West Second Team honors. Slepicoff added two helpers in 2009 and proved to be one of the fastest players in the conference. Farran finished second on the team with four goals and one assist, adding game-winning goals over UC Irvine and Long Beach State in league play.
Jacobo burst onto the scene for CSUN in 2009, starting the last seven games of the season and posting a 5-1-0 record. She recorded five-straight shutouts, all against Big West rivals, to start her career and finished with a 0.30 goals-against-average for the season. For her work, Jacobo was named the 2009 Big West Freshman of the Year, the first Matador in school history to receive the award.
Jacobo also enjoyed a successful summer, helping guide her Woodland Hills U-19 team to the 2010 AYSO National Title. Jacobo was named the tournament's MVP after recording seven shutouts, including two overtime shootout victories.
Tickets for all home women's matches are available through the CSUN Associated Students Ticket Office. Adults are $5, while youth 17 and under and seniors 60 and older are $3. There is also a $3 discounted rate ticket for CSUN Faculty/Staff, Military Service Personnel and CSUN Alumni Association Members with their respective identification cards.
CSUN students receive free admission to all home games with their CSUN I.D. Groups of 10 or more people may purchase $3 tickets, but tickets must be purchased a minimum of 24 hours in advance. For more information, call the A.S. Ticket Office at 818-677-2488.