NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
CSUN Begins Defense of Big West Title against Sun Devils, Bruins
The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team starts its 2013 campaign this week with a pair of road matches at Pac-12 foes Arizona State and No. 3 UCLA. On Friday, Aug. 23, the Matadors travel to Tempe, Ariz., to face the Sun Devils in a 7 p.m. contest. The match with the Sun Devils will feature live online video available at GoMatadors.com. Two days later, CSUN returns to California with a 6 p.m. primetime match-up against the third-ranked Bruins on the Pac-12 Network. Fans are also encouraged to check with the CSUN Athletic Department's official Twitter account (@GoMatadors) for in-game updates throughout the weekend.
Coming off a Big West Tournament Championship and the program's first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament, the Matadors return five starters and 17 lettterwinners to the squad in 2013. The Matadors have assembled another challenging schedule that features four matches against Pac-12 opponents, a home-and-home series with San Diego and another trip to Texas to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock. Additionally, the women's program will team with the CSUN men's side to host four doubleheader dates featuring both units under the lights at Matador Soccer Field.
Headlining the group of returning players is senior Chloe McDaniel. A center back from Palmdale, Calif., McDaniel was named to the Preseason All-Big West Conference Team and is serving as a team captain for the third-straight campaign. She was the 2012 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year and also received NSCAA All-West Region Third Team honors. Recently, McDaniel was named one of 30 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, the second-straight season the Matadors have been represented on the initial list of 30 candidates.
Joining McDaniel are three other seniors looking to leave their mark in their final season with the club: Wendy Warner, Amanda Smith and Haley Chee. The team also has several talented juniors (Leandra Walker, Brittanie Sakajian, Hannah Wissler) and a strong sophomore class that has a year of seasoning under their belt. Finally, the team has a host of newcomers joining the program for their first taste of NCAA Division I soccer.
The Sun Devils are coming off a 10-9-2 season in 2012 that saw them tie for fourth in the Pac-12 and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. ASU returns sophomore forward Cali Farquharson, who finished with 10 goals, four assists and 24 points and senior forward Devin Marshall, who posted nine goals, two assists and 20 points in 2012.
UCLA, under the guidance of first-year head coach Amanda Cromwell, enter the season as the Pac-12 favorite and ranked third in the nation. Sophomore Taylor Smith is the team's top returning scorer after posting eight goals and 20 points in 2012. UCLA returns nine starters from last season's squad that finished 18-3-2 overall. The match will be aired live at 6 p.m. (PT) on the Pac-12 Network with JB Long and Krista Blunk calling the action.