September 25, 2012

CSUN Travels to No. 21 Portland Before Hosting Hawai’i in League Opener

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

Matadors face Pilots, Rainbow Wahine in Pivotal Contests

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-3-3) splits its two games this week, making its only trip out of the state of California before opening the 2012 Big West Conference campaign. On Thursday, Sept. 27, CSUN travels for a match at No. 21 Portland and a 7 p.m. kickoff. Three days later, Northridge returns to the San Fernando Valley for its league opener, a Sept. 30 contest with Hawai'i at 6 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field. 

Last week, CSUN suffered a pair of 1-0 defeats at the hands of two West Coast Conference programs, Santa Clara and San Diego. Against the nationally ranked Broncos, the Matador defense repealed the Santa Clara attack for 98 minutes before finally surrendering the game-winning goal in overtime. In the second leg of a home-and-home series with San Diego, the Matadors saw Torero goal early in the second half stand up as the game winner. 

This week, CSUN squares off with the 21st-ranked Portland Pilots, another talented program out of the West Coast Conference. The Pilots carry a 6-2-1 record in to Thursday's contest, though they dropped a 3-1 decision to Denver in their last outing. Amanda Frisbie and Kaila Camell each have six goals on the season and Frisbie's 15 points lead the squad. Erin Dees has played the majority of minutes in net for Portland and the squad carries a 0.76 goals-against-average this year.

Following the battle with the Pilots, the Matadors return home to open their 2012 Big West Conference season with a match against league newcomer Hawai'i. The Rainbow Wahine, who play at CSU Bakersfield on Friday, enter the week with a 5-3-2 record. Tiana Fujimoto leads the club and Big West Conference with six goals and 13 points on the season. Four other players have two goals and five others have scored once to give Hawai'i 19 goals on the year. Kanani Taaca has played all the minutes in goal for Hawai'i and has a 1.60 GAA and a .660 save percentage with one shutout on the year.  

Next week, Northridge remains at home for a pair of pivotal Big West Conference contests. On Friday, Oct. 5 the Matadors host Cal State Fullerton at Matador Soccer Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Two days later, CSUN takes on UC Riverside for a 5 p.m. contest. CSUN then hits road for league games at Cal Poly (10/12, 7 p.m.) and UC Santa Barbara (10/14, 1 p.m.). 

Jacobo & Myers  

Senior Cynthia Jacobo is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, one of the most prestigious honors in NCAA Division I athletics. She is believed to be the first nominee in school history to make the initial list of candidates. She earned her second Big West Defensive Player of the Week award after posting 26 saves in draws with Tennessee and USC. She topped an 11-save performance against the Lady Vols by finishing with 15 saves, one off the school record, in a 1-1 draw with USC. The shutout against the Lady Vols was the 20th of her career, leaving her seven short of the school record. Jacobo also 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. Through nine matches in 2012, she is 3-3-3 with a 0.61 goals-against-average, 61 saves and a .910 save percentage. For her career, Jacobo ranks second in school history with 25 wins, second with 20 career shutouts and third with 237 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.

One of these Days Norton ... 

Senior Stephanie Norton recorded her team-leading fourth assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with USC. She added her third assist of the season, setting up Cori Deason's goal in the Matadors' 1-0 victory over Michigan. With four helpers in 2012, Norton has already set a single-season career high and is tied for second in the conference. She picked up 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 six career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian scored her first goal of the season in the 1-1 draw with USC, breaking a scoreless tie in the 71st minute. She headed home a cross from senior Stephanie Norton for her fifth career goal. 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.   

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez registered her third assist of the season and 13th of her career in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with USC. She now stands in second place in school history with the 13 career helpers. She scored the Matadors' goal in its 1-1 draw with Fresno State, the sixth goal of her career and picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' first two contests of 2012. 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. She also stands at 124 career shots, the fourth-most in school history. For her career, Fernandez has six goals, 13 assists and 25 points.  

Tis The Deason

Redshirt freshman Cori Deason recorded her first career goal in dramatic fashion by helping lift CSUN to a 1-0 victory over Michigan. In the 79th minute of the contest, Deason collected a lob from Stephanie Norton and one-timed the ball past the Wolverine goalkeeper into the cage. Thus far in 2012, she has appeared in five matches and has two shots. 

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 second on the team with four points on the season and is tied for 10th 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 12 shots through seven matches in 2012 and has put six 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.

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. 

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 USC on Sept. 9 was just the eighth overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those eight overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-2-5 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 40 matches, out of a total of 66 (61%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 21-19 (.525) mark in those contests. In fact, 29 (44% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 17-12 (.586) mark. Among Big West schools, the 29 1-0 contests are six more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 11 such contests since 2009. 

Follow the Matadors Online

All home matches this season will include live stats coverage and selected matches will also feature a free audio broadcast on GoMatadors.com. For road contests related links to the game, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the match on the schedule page of GoMatadors.com. Fans are also encouraged to check the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department's official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) for updates of matches in progress and news and notes throughout the week.

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