August 31, 2011

Northridge Hosts New Mexico and Princeton over Labor Day Weekend

Weekly Match Notes

Matadors Face Lobos and Tigers in Search of First Win in 2011

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (0-3) hosts New Mexico and Princeton in a pair of non-conference matches over Labor Day Weekend at Matador Soccer Field. On Sept. 2, the Matadors and Lobos will meet under the lights for a 7 p.m. showcase. Two days later, the Ivy League's Tigers come calling for the first time in program history.

Last week, Northridge suffered a pair of tough losses on the road in Texas. The Matadors dropped a 1-0 decision to Baylor and then fell 5-1 to Texas. CSUN picked up its first goal of the season in the match against UT, as Melissa Fernandez struck for her second career goal early in the second half. The game against the Longhorns was also the first women's soccer game to be broadcast on ESPN's Longhorn Network.

Now the Matadors must set their sights on a pair of tough opponents visiting the San Fernando Valley for the first time. New Mexico is 1-1-2 overall, but its loss was to Florida State and its ties have come against Saint Mary's and Alabama. The Lobos' win was a 4-0 shutout over Cal State Bakersfield. Jennifer Williams leads the team with two goals while Jael Fanning has three assists thus far.

Princeton has yet to play a match in 2011 and will open its season at Long Beach State on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. In 2010, the Tigers finished 9-6-1 overall and were 3-4 on the road. The Tigers' top two returning scorers, Caitlin Blosser (6 G, 7 A) and Jen Hoy (7 G), both return for the 2011 season.

Next week, CSUN travels all the way to Indiana for the Boilermaker Challenge in West Lafayette, on the campus of Purdue. The trip, in which Northridge will face the host Boilermakers and either Dayton or Kansas, represents the furthest east the team has ever played in the program's history.

Quick Kicks

>> Melissa Fernandez scored her second career goal in the match at Texas

>> The Matadors appeared in the first women's soccer game broadcast on ESPN's Longhorn Network

>> Stephanie Norton picked up her first career assist and point in match at Texas

>> CSUN is 9-7-1 all-time against the Mountain West Conference and 0-1 all-time against the Ivy League

>> Northridge plays seven teams that participated in 2010 NCAA Tournament, a figure that could increase to eight if CSUN faces Dayton at the Boilermaker Challenge

>> Brielle Slepicoff became the first field player in school history to earn All-West Region Second Team Honors (2010); she also earned Academic All-West Region First Team honors in 2010

>> Amanda Smith (No. 2) and Amilee Smith (No. 23) are Sisters

>> Northridge is 11-5 in Big West Play over the Past Two Seasons, including a Current Six-match Home Winning Streak

Scheduling Story

CSUN faces a formidable schedule in the 2011 season, featuring several prominent fixtures at home throughout the course of the year. Among the non-conference slate, NCAA perennial powers UCLA, New Mexico, Portland and San Diego all come calling to Matador Soccer Field. On the road, the Matadors head to Indiana for a tournament at Purdue where they'll face the host Boilermakers and either Kansas or Dayton. In league action, CSUN will host four of the top five teams from the 2011 Big West Coaches' Poll, including 2010 NCAA Tournament participants UC Irvine and Long Beach State. Senior Day festivities will be focused around a match with CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 30.

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Junior Melissa Fernandez picked up the first goal of the season for the Matadors in their loss at Texas on Aug. 28. Just 14 seconds after the Longhorns scored to increase their lead to 3-0 in the 47th minute, Fernandez marched down the field thanks to a few passes and blasted the ball past the UT goalkeeper. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors in 2010 after finishing the season with a goal and a team-high five assists. Fernandez leads the team with nine shots thus far and finished 2010 with 33 shots, putting 19 on target.

We Interrupt this Jets-Raiders Game...

Senior Heidi Farran recorded her first assist of the season on Melissa Fernandez's goal at Texas. The helper was the second of her career and Farran is the team's top goal scorer, having tallied five strikes during her career at Northridge. She earned All-Big West Honorable Mention honors following a four-goal, nine-point season in 2010.

One of these days Norton...

Junior Stephanie Norton posted her first career point and assist in the Matadors' loss at Texas. Norton has appeared in 18 matches in her CSUN career and is a key reserve along the defensive backline.

Brie all that you can Brie

Senior Brielle Slepicoff enters her final season at CSUN hoping to duplicate the success she found in the 2010 season. Slepicoff, one of the team's fastest players, earned All-Big West First Team and NSCAA All-West Region Second Team honors for her work on the defensive back line in 2010. She was also recognized for her work in the classroom, receiving NSCAA Academic All-West Region First Team honors as a biology major. After compiling a goal and an assist in 2010, Slepicoff now has two goals, six assists and 10 points for her career.

Jacobo & Myers

Junior Cynthia Jacobo enters her third season with the Matadors in 2011. In her first two seasons, Jacobo has amassed a 16-10 record with 12 shutouts, 120 saves and a 0.89 goals-against-average. She has earned All-Big West Second Team honors following each of the last two seasons and was Big West Freshman of the Year in 2009. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 10-3 record with nine shutouts and a 0.38 goals-against-average against league opposition in the regular season. During the 2010 season, she finished 11-9 with a 1.07 GAA and 92 saves in 1,844 minutes of action. In school history, she ranks third in wins, tied for fifth in saves, second in shutouts and owns the best GAA.

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