CSUN Knocks off Hawai'i 2-0 in Big West Opener

NORTHRIDGE, Cailf. ---

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (4-3-4, 1-0 BWC) defeated Hawai'i 2-0 Sunday evening at Matador Soccer Field in both team's Big West Conference opener. Seniors Nicole Cruz and Melissa Fernandez each had goals and Cynthia Jacobo made three saves as the Matadors shut out the Rainbow Wahine.

It did not take long for the Matadors to get on the scoreboard Sunday. Cruz's first goal of the season and third of her career came just 90 seconds into the contest. Fernandez recovered a loose ball to the left of the goal mouth and fired a shot that was saved on the line by a Hawai'i field player. However, the rebound fell right to Cruz who buried it into the netting for her second career game-winning goal.

The assist was Fernandez's fourth of the season and 14th of her career. She leads all active Big West players with the 14 career assists.

CSUN continued to press for a second goal throughout the first half and nearly had one off the head of Leandra Walker. However, a Hawai'i field player was there again to clear the line and preserve the 1-0 scoreline. In the first half, CSUN out-shot Hawai'i 10-4.

In the second half, the Rainbow Wahine amped up their offensive pressure and did a good job in possesion early in the half. However, the Matadors' defense held firm and kept them away from dangerous chances.

The Matadors doubled their lead in the 63rd minute. Brittanie Sakajianexecuted some nifty footwork and fired a shot that Hawai'i was able to save. The rebound fell to Fernandez who chipped it into the far-side netting for her second goal of the season and seventh of her career. 

Fernandez now has a team-high eight points (2 goals, 4 assists) on the year. Sakajian picked up her second assist and now has four points (1 goal, 2 assists) in her sophomore campaign.

Jacobo had to make three saves, all of which came in the first half, to earn her fourth win of the season and 26th of her career. She now has 21 career shutouts and is 15-6-1 with 13 shutouts in her career against league opposition.

For the game, CSUN out-shot Hawai'i 19-6 and the teams comibued for only 12 fouls. Chloe McDaniel and Krystal Pascua each saw the yellow card in the contest.

Northridge returns to action next week with a pair of Big West home matches. On Friday, Oct. 5, the Matadors host Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m., followed two days later by a match with UC Riverside at 5 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.