Final Weekend Sends CSUN to UC Riverside before Hosting CSU Bakersfield on Senior Day

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Matadors Will Honor Senior Class before Sunday Contest against Roadrunners

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (6-8-2, 4-2-1 Big West) close out the 2011 regular season with a pair of matches this weekend. On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Matadors venture to the Inland Empire to face UC Riverside in their league regular season finale. Three days later, the team will honor its four senior student-athletes before a non-conference contest against CSU Bakersfield. 

Last week, the Matadors split their two conference matches. Northridge picked up a 1-0 victory at Cal State Fullerton behind a goal from Heidi Farran in the eighth minute. The senior now leads the team with seven goals and 16 points on the season and has scored four times in the seven league contests. In net, Cynthia Jacobo was credited with only one save, but it was a huge stop that preserved the shutout and secured the three points.

However, the euphoria would be short-lived as CSUN then dropped a 4-0 contest to UC Irvine on Oct. 23. The Anteaters' Natalia Ledezma recorded a hat trick and Northridge was the victim of an own goal as they dropped a battle of the two top teams in the Big West Conference.

Now the Matadors must regroup quickly and set their sights on the Highlanders. Northridge needs points to secure a berth in the Big West Tournament, where the top four teams advance to fight it out for the league's automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. 

UC Riverside is 7-8-2 overall and 2-3-1 in the Big West Conference entering Thursday's contest. The Highlanders have been especially tough at home, owning a 5-2-1 mark at UCR Soccer Stadium. Andrea Morales leads the team with four goals and eight points on the season. Kayde Hensley and Deborah Musa each have seven points on the season and three other UCR players have at least two goals on the season. In net, Sarah Slaughter, Jessica Olafsen and Jessica White have all seen action. Slaughter started the Highlanders' past two games and made 11 saves in a 1-0 loss to Long Beach State. 

Northridge has won the last two meetings with UC Riverside, producing 1-0 results in both contests. In fact, Northridge has won four of the last five against UCR and five of the past seven meetings between the two clubs.

Sunday, the Matadors host CSU Bakersfield in the final match of the regular season. The Roadrunners are 3-12-1 on the season and have dropped nine of their past 11 contests by a cumulative score of 25-10. Sam Pena leads the squad with four goals and nine points  while Emily Noethe and Kassi Massey each have three goals on the year.

Kym Gause has played all 1,476 minutes in net for the Roadrunners thus far in 2011 and owns a 2.20 goals-against-average, 86 saves and a .705 save percentage. Northridge won the last meeting between the schools, a 2-1 victory in Bakersfield during the 2010 season. CSUB took a 1-0 victory over CSUN in their last contest in the San Fernando Valley. 

We Interrupt this Jets-Raiders Game...

Senior Heidi Farran picked up her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the Matadors' victory at Cal State Fullerton. She also produced the game's only goal as Northridge defeated Long Beach State, 1-0, on Oct. 14. Farran also scored twice over the Matadors' opening weekend of Big West Conference play and has four goals in the seven conference contests. For the year, she leads the team in goals and points (16) and is tied for eighth in points and sixth in goals among all Big West players. The seven goals have raised her career total to 12, tying her for the sixth-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.  

Brie all that you can Brie

Senior Brielle Slepicoff recorded her third assist of the season on Heidi Farran's goal in the Matadors' victory over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 20. Slepicoff also had a goal and an assist in the Matadors' victory over Princeton. For her career, Slepicoff has three goals, nine assists and 15 points. 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.

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Junior Melissa Fernandez recorded her team-leading fourth assist of the season in the Matadors' victory at Cal State Fullerton. She now has 10 career assists, tied with three former Matadors for fifth in school history. Fernandez picked up her career-high third goal of the season in the Matadors' victory at UC Davis. For the season, Fernandez has a career-high 10 points and she leads the team with 45 shots, a total that ranks sixth in the Big West Conference. In school history, the 45 shots are one shy of tying for the third-most in a single season. Fernandez also added a goal and an assist in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at LMU, her first career three-point performance. 

Jacobo & Myers

Junior Cynthia Jacobo made a spectacular save to help lead the Matadors to a 1-0 victory at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 20. She also produced three saves to help lead CSUN to a 1-0 victory over Long Beach State on Oct. 14, earning Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. Jacobo made five saves to post her second shutout of the season and help the Matadors to their first victory over UC Santa Barbara since 2007. Jacobo was also named Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 as she helped lead the Matadors to four important road points to start league play. For her career, Jacobo ranks second in school history with 22 wins, second with 16 career shutouts and fourth with 164 career saves. 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 14-5-1 (.725) record with 12 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.

Russ to the Rescue

Junior Katie Russ picked up her first assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Long Beach State. She headed a long throw-in from Chloe McDaniel towards the goal mouth for Heidi Farran to clean up in the 89th minute. 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. 

Old McDaniel Had a Farm 

Sophomore Chloe McDaniel earned her first career assist in the Matadors' victory over Long Beach State on Oct. 14. She started the play with a long throw-in that Katie Russ was able to head toward the goal and which Heidi Farran cleaned up in the 89th minute to secure the victory. McDaniel also tallied her first career goal during the 2011 season, heading in a goal off a corner kick in CSUN's 2-2 at Purdue on Sept. 9. 

Cruz Control

Junior Nicole Cruz scored the match's only goal in Northridge's 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara for her second goal of the season and of her career.  So far in 2011, Cruz has made a triumphant return to the pitch. 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 LMU. 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. 

Sister Act

Sophomore Amanda Smith recorded her third assist of the season in the Matadors' victory over UC Santa Barbara. From her right midfield position, Smith cut to her left foot and delivered a cross that Nicole Cruz slotted into the far post. Smith is now tied for second on the team in assists with Brielle Slepicoff and also had helpers in wins against Princeton and UC Davis. For her career, Smith now has five assists. Her sister is No. 23 Amilee Smith, a freshman midfielder.  

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 year, Yukihiro has four shots on goal.

Lending a Helping Hand

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. 

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Since the start of the 2009 season, Northridge has played in 35 matches, out of a total of 55 (64%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 19-16 (.543) mark in those contests. In fact, 25 (45% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 15-10 (.600) mark. Among Big West schools, the 25 1-0 contests are five more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while UC Irvine has played in a league-low 12 such results. 

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. 

Ticket Information

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.