NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-6-2, 1-0-1 Big West) returns home to Matador Soccer Field for its first two home Big West Conference matches of the season. On Friday, Oct. 7, CSUN will face Cal Poly at 7 p.m. Two days later, Northridge will meet UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m.
Last week, Northridge opened the league portion of its 2011 schedule with a successful trip to Northern California. In the league opener, the Matadors rallied for a 1-1 tie at Pacific, the Matadors' first point in Stockton since the 2003 season. Heidi Farran collected a pass from Brielle Slepicoff and roofed the ball into the netting for her fourth goal of the season in the 83rd minute.
Two days later, CSUN posted a 3-1 victory over UC Davis behind goals from Farran, Melissa Fernandez and Jessa Yukihiro. The win was Northridge's fourth straight over the Aggies and Yukihiro's goal was the first of her Matador career. For Fernandez, the goal was her third of the season, setting a new career high.
In net, Cynthia Jacobo made 11 saves over the two contests, including a season-high seven stops against Pacific, to earn Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. The junior is now second in school history with 19 career wins and fourth in school history with 149 career saves.
This week, Northridge faces a pair of rivals from along the California coast. Cal Poly enters Friday's match with a 7-5-1 overall record and a 1-1 mark in league play. The Mustangs defeated Cal State Fullerton in their Big West opener before falling to Long Beach State at home last week. Tiffany Gummow is among the league leaders with seven goals and 15 points. Sara Lancaster adds five goals and 11 points while Christina Farrington has three goals and eight points.
In net, Brooke Gauvin has played all 1,229 minutes this year and carries a 1.76 goals-against-average, a .696 save percentage and 55 saves into Friday. The Matadors have won the past two meetings with Cal Poly, including a 3-2 victory at Matador Soccer Field during the 2009 season.
UC Santa Barbara, which will face UC Irvine Friday night, is 5-7-2 overall and 0-2 in Big West action. The Gauchos lost twice at home in overtime last week as the result of penalty kicks. Dyanne Anderson leads UCSB with four goals and eight points. Erin Ortega adds six points and Indiana Mead has two goals as well.
In net, Makenna Henry has played all 1,305 minutes and owns a 1.31 GAA, 40 saves and a .678 save percentage. The Gauchos have won the past five meetings with the Matadors. CSUN's last win in the series came at home in the 2007 campaign.
Jacobo & Myers - Big West Defensive PLayer of the Week
Junior Cynthia Jacobo was named Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week as she helped lead the Matadors to four important road points to start league play. Against Pacific, she made a season-high seven saves as CSUN rallied for a 1-1 draw and earned its first point in Stockton since the 2003 season. Two days later, she made four saves as the Matadors defeated UC Davis 3-1. The victory was the 19th of her career, moving her into second in school history. The 11 saves also raised her career total to 149, the fourth-most in school history. 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 11-3-1 record with nine shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.
We Interrupt this Jets-Raiders Game...
Senior Heidi Farran scored twice over the Matadors' opening weekend of Big West Conference play. Against Pacific, Farran scored the game-tying goal in the 83rd minute to help Northridge earn its first point in Stockton since the 2003 season. Two days later, Farran calmly converted a penalty kick in the 17th minute for her fifth goal of the season. For the year, she leads the team in goals and points (12) and is tied for ninth in points and eighth in goals among all Big West players. The two goals raised her career total to 10, tying her for the eighth-most in school history. In CSUN's victory over Princeton, Farran scored goals in the fifth and 21st minutes. The multi-goal performance was the first by a Northridge player since the 2006 season.
Fernandez Finds Finishing Form
Junior Melissa Fernandez picked up her career-high third goal of the season in the Matadors' victory at UC Davis. In the 13th minute of action, she headed home a cross from Amanda Smith. For the season, Fernandez has a career-high nine points on the three goals and three assists. She now has nine career assists, tied with four former Matadors for eighth in school history. She leads the team with 31 shots, a total that ranks ninth in the Big West Conference. Fernandez added a goal and an assist in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at LMU, her first career three-point performance.
We Need a Yuki-Hiro
Junior Jessa Yukihiro scored her first goal as a Matador in CSUN's 3-1 victory at UC Davis. After picking up the ball on a breakaway, Yukihiro was tackled from behind, resulting in two red cards for the Aggies and a free kick from roughly 20 yards clear of the frame. She then ripped the ball into the upper left corner of the net. For the season, Yukihiro four shots on goal.
Brie All That You Can Brie
Senior Brielle Slepicoff had a goal and an assist in the Matadors' victory over Princeton. She provided the game-winning assist on Heidi Farran's goal in the 21st minute and then worked a nifty give-and-go with Amanda Smith in the second half to record her third career goal. One of the team's fastest players, Slepicoff 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.
Junior Nicole Cruz made a triumphant return to the pitch by scoring her first career goal in the Matadors' victory at LMU. After sitting out the 2010 season, Cruz had not appeared in any matches until being called upon as a substitute in the first half against the Lions. She found the back of the net by sliding home a loose ball off a corner kick to give Northridge a 2-0 lead at the time. Two days later, Cruz nearly doubled her total but was denied at close range twice by the Portland goalkeeper.
Russ to the Rescue
Junior Katie Russ scored her first goal of the season and second of her career in the Matadors' victory at LMU. She collected a loose ball off a Melissa Fernandez free kick and blasted it into the far post. One of CSUN's most reliable defenders, Russ has started eight of nine matches for the Matadors at center back and is one of the team's top free kick specialists.
Lending a Helping Hand
Several Matadors have earned assists over the Matadors' past six games. Sophomore Amanda Smith recorded her second assist of the season and fourth of her career on Melissa Fernandez's goal at UC Davis. Junior Stephanie Norton picked up her second assist of the season on Nicole Cruz's goal in the victory at LMU and had her first career assist at Texas. Senior Alexis Barbara also has two assists in 2011, picking up a helper on Melissa Fernandez's goal at LMU and adding the second of her career in the Matadors' draw with Purdue. Against Princeton, junior Marisa Miller recorded her second career helper on Heidi Farran's first goal.
Finally, a Tie (or Two)
The Matadors' 2-2 draw with Purdue on Sept. 9 was CSUN's first double-overtime tie with an opponent since a scoreless affair at UC Irvine on Oct. 23, 2008, a span of 49 matches. Now, CSUN has two draws in the 2011 season after a 1-1 tie at Pacific in both team's conference opener. In fact, the Matadors have only reached overtime on five occasions since the start of the 2009 campaign and are 1-2-2 in those games. The Matadors went the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons without a draw. That is fewest draws among all Big West teams since the start of the 2009 season.
Good Things Come in Twos and Threes
The Matadors have put together quite a record when they score two goals, posting a 21-1-1 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. That record includes CSUN's 3-1 victory at UC Davis and 3-0 victory at LMU on Sept. 23, the program's first-ever victory at the home of the Lions. The only blemishes on the record are a 3-2 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 4, 2009 and a 2-2 draw with Purdue at the Boilermaker Challenge during the 2011 campaign. In fact, under Coach West, the Matadors are a perfect 14-0 when they score at least three goals in a match. Northridge's cumulative score in those 14 contests is 51-13. CSUN's last loss when scoring at least three goals came at UC Davis on October 16, 2005, when current Northridge men's soccer head coach Terry Davila was in charge of both programs.
CSUN Shines in Shootout
The Matadors got to participate in an exhibition shootout in their time at the Boilermaker Challenge. After managing a 2-2 draw with Purdue, the nature of the tournament stipulated that a winner be decided to see whom would advance to the championship match of the competition. In the event, Shannon Ward, Heidi Farran and Katie Russ all found the back of the net and Cynthia Jacobo made two saves to send the Matadors through, where they eventually lost 1-0 to Dayton. NCAA soccer does not start using shootouts to break ties until postseason tournaments and even then, if a game were to be decided by a penalty kick shootout, the game is still scored as a draw for both sides.
San Diego Match Cancelled
The Cal State Northridge women's soccer match against San Diego on October 16 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled in the 2011 season.
Tickets for all home men'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.
Live By the Sword, Die By the Sword
Since the start of the 2009 season, Northridge has played in 32 matches, out of a total of 50 (64%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 16-16 (.500) mark in those contests. In fact, 22 (44% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 12-10 (.546) mark. However, Northridge has lost six of its last seven games that finished 1-0, including four such results in the 2011 campaign. Among Big West schools, the 22 1-0 contests are three more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while UC Irvine has played in a league-low 10 such results.