CSUN Faces Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara in Tough Road Tests


NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---

Matadors Look for Away Points at Mustangs, Gauchos

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (5-4-4, 2-1 Big West) faces a pair of stiff tests as it hits the road for the first time in Big West Conference play. On Friday, Oct. 12, the Matadors travel to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to face league-leading Cal Poly in a 7 p.m. tilt. Two days later, the Matadors pay a visit to Harder Stadium to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in a 1 p.m. contest. 

Last week CSUN split its two contests at Matador Soccer Field, suffering a 1-0 overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton before rebounding with a 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. Against the Titans, a corner kick and failed clearance created the scoring opportunity and helped CSUF snap a four-match losing streak to CSUN. 

Two days later, the Matadors scored three times in the opening half en route to a 3-1 victory over the Highlanders. Melissa Fernandez, Kendall Moskal and Chloe McDaniel all found paydirt in the opening 45 minutes while Fernandez, Stephanie Galarze, Amanda Smith and Cori Deason recorded assists. In net, Cynthia Jacobo made three saves and earned the victory, the 27th of her career, while Cynthia Tafoya made her first official appearance as a Matador by playing the second half. 

This week offers a chance for the Matadors to earn some crucial road points in the chase for the Big West title. Cal Poly has won its first four league games and won in overtime both at UC Irvine and Long Beach State last weekend. Sara Epps had two goals, including the game winner, against the 49ers and has four goals, two assists and 10 points on the season. Elsie Krieghoff leads the team with eight goals and 16 points on the year. In net, Alyssa Giannetti has played the majority of minutes and owns a 1.72 goals-against-average and .781 save percentage. The road team has won the last two meetings in the series between the two schools.  

On Sunday evening, the Matadors will look for their first win at the home of the Gauchos since the 1999 season. Northridge defeated UCSB 1-0 last year at Matador Soccer Field. Sara Feder leads the team with four goals and eight points while Madison Beckley, Miranda Cornejo and Angelisa Cortez all have two goals on the season. In net, Makenna Henry has played the majority of minutes and owns a 1.68 GAA, a .742 save percentage and two shutouts. The Gauchos host Hawai'i on Friday before entertaining the Matadors on Sunday.  

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 third Big West Defensive Player of the Week award in 2012 after helping lead CSUN to a draw at Portland and a 2-0 victory over Hawai'i in the Big West opener. The shutout over UH was the 21st of Jacobo's career, moving her into the Big West's Career Top 10. She received her second weekly 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. 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 11 matches in 2012, she is 5-4-4 with a 0.59 goals-against-average, 77 saves and a .906 save percentage. For her career, Jacobo ranks second in school history with 27 wins, second with 21 career shutouts and third with 253 career saves. Jacobo appears to save her best for the conference portion of the schedule, carrying a 16-7-1 (.688) record with 13 shutouts against league opposition in the regular season.

Fernandez Finds Finishing Form

Senior Melissa Fernandez recorded her second 3-point performance in three Big West games by finishing with a goal and an assist in the Matadors' win over UC Riverside. She also had a goal and an assist in the Matadors' 2-0 victory over Hawai'i, the team's first 3-point performance of the season. She now stands in second place in school history with 15 career helpers and has moved into sole possession of seventh in school history with 31 career points. Fernandez picked up her third assist of the season in the Matadors' 1-1 draw with USC. She scored the Matadors' goal in its 1-1 draw with Fresno State and picked up a pair of assists in the Matadors' first two contests of 2012. Among Big West players in 2012, Fernandez ranks in the Top 10 in shots, assists and points. For her career, Fernandez has eight goals, 15 assists and 31 points. She also has 141 career shots, the most in school history. 

Old McDaniel Had a Farm 

Junior Chloe McDaniel scored her second career goal in the Matadors' 3-1 victory over UC Riverside, heading home a corner kick in the 36th minute of action. McDaniel has appeared in all 13 matches thus far in 2012 and has served as a team captain since the start of her sophomore campaign. Her first career goal came in a 2-2 draw at Purdue and her assist helped CSUN topple Long Beach State during the 2011 season. 

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. She then added her first career assist on Chloe McDaniel's goal against UC Riverside. Thus far in 2012, she has appeared in 11 matches and has three points. 

Stephanie's Senior Season Celebration 

Senior Stephanie Galarze picked up her first assist of the season and third of her carer in the Matadors' 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. Earlier this season, she 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 recorded her second career goal and second career game-winning strike. Galarze then capped off a 3-0 victory at San Diego with the game's third goal. She is second on the team with five points on the season and has three goals, three assists and nine points for her career. 

Kendall Kicks

Freshman Kendall Moskal scored the first goal of her Matador career in CSUN's 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. In the 25th minute of action, Moskal cleaned up a cross into a wide open net for what would be the game-winning goal. So far in her rookie season, Moskal has appeared in 10 matches and has nine shots. 

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 third 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 now has six career assists after picking up two helpers in the 2011 season. 

Cruz Control

Senior Nicole Cruz scored her first goal of the season in the Matadors' 2-0 victory over Hawai'i. After Melissa Fernandez's shot was saved, Cruz buried the rebound into the open net for her third career strike. In 2011, Cruz tallied her the first two goals of her career, scoring at LMU and recording the game winner against UC Santa Barbara. 

Sister Act

Junior Amanda Smith picked up her first assist of the year in CSUN's 3-1 win over UC Riverside. She added her first career goal, which stood as the game winner, in the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego. Smith chipped the ball over the Torero goalkeeper in the 18th minute. Smith has fired off 18 shots through 13 matches in 2012. For her career, Smith now has a goal, seven assists and nine points. Her sister is No. 23 Amilee Smith, a sophomore midfielder.

Sakajian's Saga

Sophomore Brittanie Sakajian picked up her second assist of the season in the Matadors' victory over Hawai'i. She recorded 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. 

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 and one goal in her Matador career, which came during the 2011 season. She has appeared in all 13 matches in 2012 and has 10 shots for the season. 

Back to the Draw-ing Board

The Matadors' 1-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton was the 11th overtime match CSUN has played in since the start of the 2009 season. In those 11 overtime contests, CSUN holds a 1-4-6 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 (2011), Santa Clara (2012), Cal State Fullerton (2012) and UC Irvine (2010) 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 25-1-1 mark in those contests since the start of the 2008 season. That record includes the Matadors' 3-0 victory at San Diego, 2-0 win over Hawai'i and 3-1 triumph over UC Riverside. 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 17-0 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 41 matches, out of a total of 70 (59%), that were decided by one goal, owning a 21-20 (.512) mark in those contests. In fact, 30 (43% of all games played since 2009) have been 1-0 affairs in which CSUN owns a 17-13 (.567) mark. Among Big West schools, the 30 1-0 contests are seven more than the next squad, UC Riverside, while Big West newcomer Hawai'i has played only 12 such contests since 2009. 

Follow Your 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.