April 19, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team has released its 2011 schedule, Matador head coach Keith West announced Tuesday. The Matadors will play a total of 19 matches during the 2011 campaign, including 10 contests at Matador Soccer Field.
CSUN has put together another challenging slate of non-conference contests in addition to the annual rigors of Big West Conference play. The Matadors will play seven matches against teams who participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, a figure that could rise to eight if Northridge faces Dayton on a neutral field at a tournament in Indiana.
In fact, a glance at the Matadors' non-conference schedule shows that their opponents' average RPI was 65 last season. That figure includes Portland (4), UCLA (15), Dayton (19), New Mexico (35), Texas (39), LMU (55), Baylor (62) and Princeton (63).
"This is a challenging schedule that features some of the best programs in the nation, but that what our players have come to Northridge to do: compete against great programs both on the road and at home," West said.
Taking advantage of the new lighting system that was installed prior to the 2010 season, West and the Matadors will play eight of their 10 home contests at 7 p.m. during the season. Last year, CSUN was 8-2 at Matador Soccer Field, including a perfect 4-0 home mark during league play.
Northridge opens the 2011 season at home against UCLA on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. The Matadors and Bruins met in 2010 with UCLA scoring a 4-1 victory.
Following the meeting with UCLA, Northridge travels to the Lone Star State of Texas for a pair of tests against the Big 12 Conference. On Aug. 26, CSUN faces Baylor and then heads to the stare capitol to face Texas on Aug. 28.
After facing the Bears and Longhorns, CSUN returns home to host to matches to start the month of September. The Matadors will host New Mexico on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m., and then face Princeton in an afternoon matinee on Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.
The game against the Tigers of the Ivy League represents CSUN's last home match for a while as the squad hits the road for several trips. First up is a tournament on the campus of Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. On Sept. 9, the Matadors will square off against the host Boilermakers, and depending on the results, face either Dayton or Kansas on Sept. 11 at the event.
After the visit to Purdue, CSUN gets a chance to enjoy a shorter trip in the form of a Sept. 23 contest at LMU on Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. The Matadors defeated the Lions 3-0 in the last meeting between the two squads.
Northridge then returns home for a non-conference contest against Portland on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. This will mark the second-straight season that the Matadors and Pilots will meet on the pitch. Portland took a narrow 2-1 decision over Northridge in front of a program-record 1,496 fans at the debut of the lighting system on Aug. 22, 2010.
Northridge remains on the road for its next two matches following the game against the Pilots, opening its 2011 Big West season in Northern California. On Sept. 30, the Matadors take on the Tigers of Pacific at 7 p.m., and then face UC Davis on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m.
CSUN closes out its 2011 regular season with six of its last eight matches at Matador Soccer Field. Northridge hosts Cal Poly on Oct. 7 and then faces UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 9 with both games starting at 7 p.m. The next weekend, the Matadors welcome in Long Beach State for a 7 p.m. match on Oct. 14 and then take a break from its league schedule to host the University of San Diego on Oct. 16 also at 7 p.m.
Over the final two weeks of the season, Northridge plays twice at home and twice on the road as it works to secure a berth in the Big West Tournament. On Oct. 20, CSUN travels to Orange County to face Cal State Fullerton on 7 p.m. The Matadors return to home to face the league's other OC school, UC Irvine, on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
The final week of the season has CSUN drawing UC Riverside for its final league game of the season, an Oct. 27 match in Riverside at 7 p.m. The Matadors close out the regular season with a visit from Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
"It is a fantastic opportunity to have such a great slate of teams coming to Matador Soccer Field," West added. "Our home schedule represents a great opportunity for the community to come out and see some outstanding competition."
The Big West Tournament semifinals are set for Nov. 3 and the Big West Championships are on Nov. 6. The conference's top four teams will advance to the event, with the top seeded teams hosting the semifinals and championship match. CSUN has participated in the last two Big West Tournaments.
As a team, CSUN returns several standout players from a year ago when the team finished 12-9 overall and 5-3 in league play. Leading the way will be defender Brielle Slepicoff, who earned All-Big West First Team and All-West Region Second Team honors in 2010. Slepicoff is one of four seniors (Katie Coulas, Heidi Farran and Alexis Barbara) who will competing in the final season of their collegiate careers.