NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Brittanie Sakajian and Amanda Smith scored second-half goals to lift the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (3-5) to a 2-1 victory at Fresno State Sunday afternoon in a non-conference match. Trailing 1-0 after nine minutes of action, the Matadors scored in the 51st and 70th minute to down the Bulldogs and have now won three of their last four matches.
On the road for the sixth time already this season, CSUN captured its first road victory of the season behind a spirited second half. Northridge posted eight shots and all four of its corner kicks over the final 45 minutes of action.
Minutes after the teams opened the second half, the Matadors were able to tie the contest. Breanna McCallum sent a long ball over the Fresno State defense that set-up a 1-on-1 situation between Sakajian and a Bulldog defender. The Fresno State player lost her footing and Sakajian converted the breakaway for her second goal of the year.
The goal was Sakajian's seventh of her career and she now has 21 career points.
Northridge got the game winning goal just under 20 minutes later. Catching the Bulldogs on the counterattack, Lyndsey Preston corralled the ball deep in the offensive area and drew the Bulldogs' goalkeeper off her line. Preston then sent the ball to Smith, who chipped the goalkeeper from approximately 20 yards.
The goal was Smith's first of the season and second of her career. The assist was Preston's first of the season and second of her career.
For CSUN head coach Keith West, the win came as a result of the Matadors' determination.
"Today's win was a result of all we've been through so far this season. Maybe some other teams would have folded, but we never stopped fighting and battling" West said. "We came out hard in the second half and played with much better quality."
In net, Cynthia Tafoya made five saves to earn her third win of the season. Fresno State's Morgan Castain scored an unassisted goal in the ninth minute to open the contest. Tafoya now sports a 1.77 goals-against average and a .727 save percentage.
CSUN out-shot Fresno State 13-8 and the teams combined for just 12 fouls over the 90 minutes. With the win, the Matadors improved to 5-1-1 against the Mountain West Conference since the 2008 campaign.
Northridge opens a three-match homestand next week with contests against Tulsa (9/20) and San Diego (9/22). Both matches are part of CSUN Soccer doubleheaders that will feature the Matador men's program in action as well.
On Friday, Sept. 20, the women's team will face Tulsa at approximately 7:30 p.m. after a men's match against UNLV at 5 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 21, the women's team will face San Diego at 1 p.m., followed by a men's match with UCLA at 7 p.m.