Aug. 23, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Three different players scored their first career goals as Matadors as the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (1-1) defeated San Diego State (1-1), 3-1, Sunday afternoon at the SDSU Sports Deck. Heidi Farran, Niki Connolly and Sonia Espitia collected goals while Kelley Ross and Marie Hirsch added assists and Leah Elliott had eight saves for Northridge.
The Matadors did not waste much time against the Aztecs. Farran scored her first career goal at 1:03 to give CSUN an early lead. Making just her second career start, Farran blasted a 25-yard strike past the SDSU goalkeeper's right.
"I got a nice pass from Sonia, turned inside and went for the far post" Farran said. "We came out with good energy and I was able to feed off that. Coach West also gave me some good advice before the game and I was lucky to be there."
Northridge picked up its first yellow card of the season when senior Niki Connolly went into the referee's book in the 29th minute. However, she would respond quickly, netting the first goal of her Northridge career in the 31st minute off an assist by fellow senior Kelley Ross.
"Kelley sent me a nice cross from the left side and I was able to beat the keeper to the right," Connolly said. "I feel like I've blended well with this team and it is always great to contribute to the team's success."
The Aztecs would respond with a goal of their own in the 43rd minute. Following a corner kick, Michaela DeJesus to make the score 2-1 at halftime.
However, Espitia reestablished CSUN's two-goal lead with her first career tally in the 73rd minute. Taking a pass from Hirsch, Espitia blasted the ball past the goalkeeper's right side. She now has a goal and two assists in her Northridge career and it was the first career helper for Hirsch.
"It was very exciting to get that goal," Espitia said. "It gave us a good boost to finish the game and secure the victory."
The Matadors finished with seven shots compared to the Aztecs' 21. Farran had a team-high two shots for CSUN. In net, Elliott is now 1-1 on the season with a 2.00 goal-against-average, a .750 save percentage and 12 saves.
"We fought and played extremely hard today and we never gave up," Head Coach Keith West added. "It may not have been the most beautiful game, but we kept playing and got the win."
In addition to Connolly's booking, sophomore Megan Zahnow and redshirt freshman Katie Russ saw the yellow card for CSUN, going into the books in the 29th and 74th minute, respectively. The San Diego State bench also went into the books, seeing the yellow in the 60th minute of action.
Redshirt freshmen Stephanie Norton, Emily Geckle and Hirsch all made their first career appearances for the Matadors in the match. Freshman Stephanie Galarze made her first career start while Russ started her second-straight game on the backline.
The Matadors return home for their next two matches, beginning with an Aug. 27 meeting against Loyola Marymount at 5 p.m. On Aug. 31, CSUN hosts Oregon State at 1 p.m. Both matches are at the Matador Soccer Field and CSUN students receive free admission with their student I.D.