August 28, 2012

Northridge Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend with Home Match against Michigan

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- 

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Matadors Meet Wolverines for First Time in School History

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (2--1-1) hosts the University of Michigan Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field. The match-up between the Matadors and Wolverines will be the first time the two schools have met on the soccer pitch and just the third time in school history that the Matadors will face an opponent from the Big 10 Conference. Both live stats and live audio (internet-only) will be hosted on GoMatadors.com for the contest. 

Last week, CSUN lost a tough 2-1 decision to Baylor, a team that carried a national ranking into the contest. The Matadors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Bear own-goal, but Baylor answered with a pair of set pieces that solved the Northridge defense and carried it to the 2-1 decision. 

Two days later, CSUN fired off a season-high 35 shots and put 14 on the frame but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Fresno State. For the fourth-straight contest of 2012, Northridge scored first as Melissa Fernandez recorded her first goal of the season seven minutes clear of halftime. However, Fresno State found a tying goal 20 minutes later and the teams traded chances for the rest of the match without either breaking the deadlock. 

This week, Michigan carries a perfect 4-0 record into Thursday's contest after sweeping a four-match homestand. The Wolverines defeated Fordham (5-0), Pittsburgh (1-0), Detroit (1-0) and Cal State Fullerton (2-1, overtime) during the stretch in Ann Arbor. Stacy Chambers-Garcia, who hails originally from San Clemente, Calif., leads the squad with two goals while Meghan Toohey has a team-high 11 shots. In net, Haley Kopmeyer has started all four contests and made 17 saves. 

Next week, CSUN's five-match homestand concludes with visits from Tennessee (Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.) and USC (Sunday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m.) The team then has a weekend off before splitting its next two contests between a road test at Santa Clara (Sept. 21, 7 p.m.) and a home meeting with San Diego (Sept. 23, 6 p.m.). 

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez scored the Matadors' goal in its 1-1 draw with Fresno State, the sixth goal of her career. She picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' first two contests of 2012, moving her into a tie for second in school history. In 2011, she earned All-Big West Conference Second Team honors after finishing with a career-high four goals and 12 points. In her junior season, she led the team with 53 shots, a total that ranked third in school history for a single season. Salso stands at 116 career shots, the fourth-most in school history. For her career, Fernandez has six goals, 12 assists and 24 points. 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo earned Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping lead CSUN to a pair of shutout victories in the 2012 season's opening weekend. Against ASU, Jacobo made five saves as the Matadors recorded their first win over a Pac-12 opponent since 1999. Two days later, Jacobo had four stops as CSUN posted a 3-0 victory at San Diego. Through four matches in 2012, she is 2-1-1 with a 0.71 goals-againt-average, 20 saves and a .870 save percentage. In 2011, Jacobo earned Big West Goalkeeper of the Year and All-Big West First Team honors after posting another spectacular season for the Matadors. Jacobo also earned two Big West Defensive Player of the Week awards and received All-Big West honors for the third-straight year. For her career, Jacobo ranks second in school history with 24 wins, second with 18 career shutouts and fourth with 185 career saves. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 14-6-1 (.690) record with 12 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.

Stephanie's Senior Season Celebration 

Senior Stephanie Galarze earned Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors after scoring a pair of goals in CSUN's two victories during the opening weekend of the 2012 season. In the season-opener against Arizona State, Galarze chipped a ball past the Sun Devil goalkeeper for her second career goal and second career game-winning strike. Two days later, Galarze capped off a 3-0 victory at San Diego with the game's third goal. She is tied for the team lead with four points on the season and is tied for third in the Big West with her two tallies.  

Sister Act

Junior Amanda Smith scored her first career goal, which stood as the game winner, in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Off a feed from Stephanie Norton, Smith chipped the ball over the Torero goalkeeper in the 18th minute. Smith has fired off seven shots through four matches in 2012 and has put five of those attempts on frame. In 2011, she tied for the team lead with four assists. For her career, Smith now has a goal, six assists and eight points. Her sister is No. 23 Amilee Smith, a sophomore midfielder.

One of these Days Norton ... 

Senior Stephanie Norton had a pair of assists in the Matadors' two victories during the opening weekend of the 2012 season, earning College Sports Madness Big West Conference Player of the Week honors. She was also named one of the CollegeSoccer360.com Week-1 Primetime Players for her efforts. Both helpers came in Northridge's first-ever victory at San Diego. She assisted on Amanda Smith's goal in the 18th minute and then again on Wendy Warner's first career goal in the 34th minute. She now has four career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Wendy Provides Food for Thought

Junior Wendy Warner scored the first goal of her Northridge career in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Off a corner kick from Stephanie Norton, Warner head the ball home in the early seconds of the 34th minute of the match. Primarily a defender in her first two seasons at Northridge, Warner has seen her time at forward in two matches in 2012 thus far and has three shots on the season. 

It's Miller Time

Senior Marisa Miller added her first assist of the season on Melissa Fernandez's goal in CSUN's 1-1 draw with Fresno State. She now has three career assists, all of which have come in the last two seasons. MIller found the back of the net in CSUN's exhibition at LMU when she buried a cross from Amanda Smith. A team captain in 2012, Miller scored the first goal of her collegiate career in the Matadors' 3-0 victory over CSU Bakersfield near the end of the 2011 campaign. In her junior season, Miller appeared in 14 matches while recording seven shots and one assist. The assist, the second helper of her career, came in the Matadors' victory over Princeton. 

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian made a spirited return to the pitch in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with Fresno State, her first action with the squad in over a year. Against the Bulldogs, Sakajian not only earned the starting nod but picked up an assist on Melissa Fernandez's goal in the 52nd minute. Sakajian returns to the squad after missing all of the 2011 season with a knee injury. In her freshman season (2010), Sakajian recorded four goals, two assists and 10 points.  

Russ to the Rescue

Senior Katie Russ was named to the Preseason All-Big West Team by the league's coaches prior to the start of the 2012 season. In 2011, Russ earned All-Big West Second Team honors after anchoring the Matadors' defensive line for the third-straight season. Russ picked up her first assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Long Beach State. Russ then scored her first goal of the season and second of her career in the Matadors' victory at LMU. 

Old McDaniel Had a Farm 

Junior Chloe McDaniel will be counted upon once again to play a prominent role for the Matadors. In 2011, McDaniel posted her first career goal and assist as she appeared in all 19 matches for the Matadors. Her first career goal came in a 2-2 draw at Purdue and her assist helped CSUN topple Long Beach State. 

Back to the Draw-ing Board

The Matadors' 1-1 draw with Fresno State on Aug. 26 was just the sixth overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those six overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-2-3 record. During the 2011 campaign, the Matadors recorded two draws (at Purdue and at Pacific) and the result with the Boilermakers was Northridge's first tie in 49 contests. The overtime losses were to Portland and UC Irvine while the Matadors' last overtime victory came in a 1-0 decision over Kansas in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sept. 10, 2010. 

Good Things Come in Twos and Threes

The Matadors have put together quite a record when they score two goals, posting a 23-1-1 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. That record includes the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego on Aug. 19, the program's first-ever victory at the home of the Toreros. 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 16-0 when they score at least three goals in a match. CSUN's last loss when scoring at least three goals came at UC Davis on October 16, 2005.

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Since the start of the 2009 season, Northridge has played in 37 matches, out of a total of 63 (59%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 20-17 (.541) mark in those contests. In fact, 26 (41% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 16-10 (.615) mark. Among Big West schools, the 26 1-0 contests are five more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 11 such contests since 2009. 

Ticket Information

Tickets for all home men's matches are available through the CSUN Associated Students Ticket Office. Adults are $8, while youth 17 and under and seniors 60 and older are $5. There is also a $5 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.

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