September 9, 2009

Matadors to Face New Mexico, Kent State at UNM Nike Classic in Albuquerque

Sept. 9, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Back on the road for tests against Lobos, Golden Flashes

Having completed six matches already, the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-3) makes its final long roadtrip of the season this weekend when it heads to New Mexico to compete in the UNM Nike Classic. At the event, which will be played on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the Matadors will face the host Lobos on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. (MT), followed by a match against the Golden Flashes of Kent State on Sept. 13 at 10:30 a.m. (MT).

Last week, the Matadors split their two games. First on the docket was a tough trip to Omaha, Neb., to face the Creighton Bluejays. Northridge got on the board first, as Farryn Townley teamed with Jasmine Pratt and Kelley Ross to put CSUN ahead 1-0 after 15 minutes. However, the Bluejays would get goals in the 24th and 49th minutes to take the victory.

On Sunday, Northridge took a 1-0 victory over Vermont on another goal by Townley. This time, Desiree Cardenas and Sonia Espitia set up the junior for her team-leading third goal of the season. Kellie Drenner and Haley Hawes split time in net to each earn half a shutout with Drenner's four saves giving her the victory.

The meeting Friday with New Mexico will be the first ever between the two schools. The Lobos enter the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record after defeating Iowa, 1-0, and Oakland, 2-0, last weekend. Jennifer Williams already has five goals and three assists to lead the team with 13 points. On defense, Kelli Cornell has allowed only two goals in the five matches to post a 0.40 goals-against-average and a .900 save percentage.

On Sunday, the Matadors will face another first-time opponent in the Kent State Golden Flashes. Currently 2-2 on the season, Kent State took a 1-0, double-overtime decision over Youngstown State in its last match. Four different Flashes have scored on the year, with Kelly Heaton leading the team with three points. Kelly Sherwood has started all four games in net for Kent State, posting a 0.92 GAA and a .750 save percentage.

Things will be Great when You're Downtown-ley

Junior Farryn Townley tallied both of CSUN's goals last week, including the game winner in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Vermont. She is now tied for the conference lead with her three goals on the season and leads the team with six points. For her career, Townley has nine goals, tied for the eighth most in school history.

Sonia's Story

Junior Sonia Espitia picked up her first assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Vermont. For the season, Espitia already has a career-high five points, including two goals. She scored her first career goal against San Diego State and then followed it up with a goal against Loyola Marymount.

The Drenner Strikes Back

Junior Kellie Drenner made a triumphant return to the field in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Vermont. In her first start since Oct. 21, 2007, Drenner finished with four saves, picked up the win and earned half a shutout in the Matador victory. Despite missing all of the 2008 season due to injury, Drenner has returned strong and was named one of the team's captains before the start of the season.

Cardenas Transfers Talent to CSUN

Junior Desiree Cardenas has made quite an impact for Northridge in her first season after transferring from Cerritos JC. She scored the Matador goal in Northridge's loss to Oregon State and then picked up an assist on Farryn Townley's game-winning goal against Vermont. Her start against the Catamounts was the first of her Northridge career.

It Was All a Dream

It has not taken senior Niki Connolly much time to get acclimated to Northridge soccer team. She is currently tied for second on the team with her two goals. Connolly recorded the game-winner against San Diego State and then successfully converted a penalty kick against LMU. A transfer from UNLV, Connolly had nine goals and seven assists in her three season with the Rebels.

We Interrupt This Jets-Raiders Game

Sophomore Heidi Farran's has made quite a leap in her production from her freshman season. Farran already has a goal and an assist in the young 2009 season. She picked up her first career tally at San Diego State and then picked up her first career helper on Farryn Townley's goal against LMU.

Updating Matadors in Season Openers

The Matadors are now 8-6-1 in their 15 season-opening contests after the 3-0 loss to San Diego. The loss also dropped their all-time road opener record to a 7-7-1. With the 3-0 victory over LMU, CSUN now owns a 7-6-2 record all time in home openers.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Leading the Matadors on the pitch and practice field for the 2009 season will be the team's three captains: Kellie Drenner, Katie Fox and Jasmine Pratt. All three are juniors and have earned the respect of their teammates in receiving the distinction. Drenner returns to the squad after missing all of 2008 due to injury and will add depth and experience to CSUN's goalkeepers. Fox and Pratt are defenders who appeared in all 19 games for CSUN in 2008. Fox added a pair of goals to her haul in 2008, finding the net against Pac 10 powers Arizona State and USC.

Matadors 5th in Preseason Poll

A preseason survey of the Big West Conference women's soccer coaches predicted a fifth-place finish for the Matadors in 2009. In the poll, CSUN received 33 points, one more than sixth-place Cal State Fullerton. UC Santa Barbara received five first-place votes and 75 points to become the preseason favorite. Long Beach State was second with 67 points and Cal Poly was third with 65 points. As it turns out, the Matadors will host the top three teams during the 2009 season.

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