Sept. 3, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Off to the best start in the program history, the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-0-0) hosts UNLV Friday afternoon at the Matador Soccer Field at 4:30 p.m. The Matadors have already scored nine goals in 2008, just under half of what they scored in the entire 2007 season.
Two seniors have paced the CSUN attack thus far, as Tinamarie Lutizetti and Kristal Phillips lead the team with two goals and five points. The totals also represent second place in the Big West Conference in both categories.
For Lutizetti, the sudden onslaught of goals has been a welcome surprise for a player who entered the year with 0 career goals.
"I have been trying to make a difference when I am out there and the best way to do that is to find goal," said Lutizetti. "It is nice to see all the hard work I have put in paying off and I want to credit my teammates for their support so far. The team chemistry is great."
With the two goals and five points, Phillips has started to climb the CSUN career charts. She now stands in a tie for ninth in school history with her eight career goals and her 24 career points place her in eighth in school history.
In all, 10 different Matadors have recorded a point this season. In fact, in the 5-2 win over Southern Utah, three Matadors (Lutizetti, Katie Coulas and Erin Kelly) all scored the first goals of their CSUN careers. Additionally, freshmen Brielle Slepicoff and Nancy Avesyan lead the team and the conference with three assists apiece.
On defense, sophomore Leah Elliott continues to reward the coaching staff for their confidence in placing her in an unfamiliar position. She posted her first career shutout against Cal State Bakersfield on Aug. 31 without having to make a single save. She ranks fifth in the Big West Conference with a 0.95 goals-against-average.
Like CSUN, UNLV enters the weekend with a perfect mark in the season thus far at 3-0-1. The Runnin' Rebels have already knocked off two Big West teams, downing Pacific and UC Irvine. Ashleigh Shoughro leads the team with three goals and five other players have found the back of the net.
Alicia Lugo has started all four games in net for UNLV and owns a 0.26 GAA and a .929 save percentage. Katherine Mertz is in her fourth year as the head coach of the program and has guided the team to either the Mountain West Regular Season or Tournament Championship in all three of her seasons.
The Game will also be a Red Rally contest sponsored by y the Union Program Council and the University Student Union. The first 150 CSUN students with a valid CSUN I.D. will receive a free Red Rally T-Shirt.
Next week, Northridge heads to Moraga, Calif., to participate in the Saint Mary's Fall Classic. At the tournament, the Matadors will face California (9/12, 2 p.m.) and Saint Mary's (9/14, 2:30 p.m.).