The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (6-9-2, 4-3-1 Big West) lost 3-1 at UC Riverside Thursday night in its final Big West Conference match of the year. An early Matador goal did not stand up and now Northridge must await the weekend's results to see whether or not they will participate in next week's Big West Tournament.
Heading into the evening, the Matadors needed a tie or a win to clinch a berth in the Big West Tournament. Conversely, UCR could not lose to maintain its hope of a postseason bid. And it was the Highlanders who took the three points on their senior night.
Melissa Fernandez opened the game's scoring, delivering her fourth goal of the season in the eighth minute of action. She would later see the yellow card in the first half.
However, the lead would be short lived as the Highlanders responded with two goals of their own within four minutes of Fernandez's tally. Kristy Adcock blasted in a 35-yard free kick and 68 seconds later, Shelly Brumbaugh put the home team ahead.
In the second half, Northridge fell victim to another own goal, its second in two matches. That came in the 59th minute and CSUN could not muster a rally beyond that.
Part of the reason was due to an abundance of cards the Matadors received throughout the night. Four Matadors (Fernandez, Brielle Slepicoff, Amanda Smith, Chloe McDaniel) were cautioned and the Matador bench, who saw a yellow in the first half, received a red card in the 62nd minute. UC Riverside had three players booked and there was a total of 10 cards issued in the match.
CSUN's playoff hopes certainly take a hit with the defeat, but the Matadors remain in contention. Northridge finished the league season with 13 points. UC Riverside improved to 10 points with the win and finish up the year at No. 21 UC Irvine, the only team to have clinched a berth, on Sunday afternoon.
Also in contention are Long Beach State, UC Davis and Pacific. The 49ers, who have 12 points at 4-2, host both squads with the Aggies (4-1-1, 13 points) on Friday and the Tigers (2-3-1, seven points). Pacific has to defeat both Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton to finish with 13 points. UC Davis also plays Cal State Fullerton this weekend.
In the Big West Tournament, the top seed hosts the fourth seed and the second seed hosts the third seed on Thursday, November 3. On Sunday, Nov. 6, the highest remaining seed hosts the championship game where the winner receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Northridge closes out the regular season Sunday with a home contest against CSU Bakersfield. The Matadors and Roadrunners will kick off at 6 p.m. The women's soccer program will honor its four seniors prior to the match.