Northridge, Calif. – Cal State Northridge, ranked 15th in the nation, will take its 8-3 record this weekend (Feb. 23-24) to the two-day, four-game UC Irvine Invitational.
The tournament will draw 16 teams including top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Stanford, #2 USC, #3 UCLA, #4 California, #5 Arizona State, #6 UC Irvine, #7 San Diego State, #8 Hawaii, #9 San Jose State, #13 UC Santa Barbara, #14 UC Davis, #15 Cal State Northridge, #16 Loyola Marymount, #17 UC San Diego, and #18 Pacific.
The UCI Invitational will be played at two pools; at UC Irvine and at Corona Del Mar High School.
Cal State Northridge will draw fifth-ranked Arizona State in a first round game on Saturday (2/23/13) at 12:45 pm at Corona Del Mar High School. The CSUN/ASU winner will play at 4:30 pm on Saturday against the winner of the California/Loyola Marymount contest. The two losers will play 5:45 pm.
CSUN will be facing Arizona State (9-1) for a second time this year. In the season opener (1/26/13) at the UCSB Invitational, the Sun Devils recorded a 12-6 victory over the Matadors. Five different Matadors scored at least one goal with Jenny Jamison leading the way with two goals. Alicia Brightwell leads the Sun Devils attack with 25 goals. Brightwell scored six goals in ASU's 12-6 win over CSUN earlier this year.
Three CSUN players are ranked in the Big West Conference Top-10 in scoring. Lindsy Nelson has 25 goals, ranked third in the conference behind UCSB's Samantha Murphy (30 goals) and SDSU's Amber Pezzolla (29 goals). Jenny Jamison has 20 goals, sixth-best in the conference while Marisa Young has 19 goals, eighth-best in the league.
Goalkeeper Kiernan Davis has 89 saves, fourth-best in the conference. Rachel Mitchell of San Diego State is the league leader with 153 saves.
Cal State Northridge is averaging 11.09 goals per game, second-best in the Big West Conference. Hawaii leads the league with 12.33 goals per game. The Matador defense is giving up 7.64 goals per game, fourth-best in the league. The league leader is Long Beach State, a team that is giving up only 6.57 goals per game.
All eight water polo teams in the Big West Conference are nationally-ranked … That includes #6 UC Irvine, #7 San Diego State, #8 Hawaii, #10 Long Beach State, #13 UC Santa Barbara, #14 UC Davis, #15 Cal State Northridge and #18 Pacific … CSUN started the year ranked 16th in the nation followed by three straight weeks ranked 17th … For the last two weeks, CSUN has been ranked 15th nationally … UC Irvine will host this season's Big West Tournament on April 26-28.