August 27, 2010

Matadors Resume Non-Conference Schedule with Match against Saint Joseph's

Aug. 27, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge to Meet Hawks on Pitch for First Time in School History

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (0-2) has a relatively light schedule in the week ahead, hosting Saint Joseph's at Matador Soccer Field on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. in its only match of the weekend. Despite a pair of tough setbacks in their opening week of play, confidence remains high for the Matadors as they prepare to meet the Hawks for the first time in program history.

After a 2-0 loss and disappointing effort in the season opener at UC Santa Barbara, the Matadors responded with a much stronger effort against Portland. Although the Pilots escaped with a 2-1 victory, CSUN pushed to the final moments of the game in search of an equalizer. Sonia Espitia scored Northridge's first goal of the season in the 58th minute of the match, her third career goal.

The match against the Pilots also served as the introduction to the new lighting system at Matador Soccer Field. A program record 1,496 fans came out to see the match between the Matadors and Pilots.

Last season, Saint Joseph's finished 7-9-3 overall and 4-6-1 in the Atlantic 10. Maggie Lupinski is the team's top returning scorer, having recorded six goals in 2009. Senior Lauren Sawyer also returns after scoring four goals and three assists a season ago. The Hawks open their 2010 season on Aug. 27 with a match at UC Santa Barbara.

Lights, Camera, Action

Sunday's contest against Portland was the inaugural match under the new lights at Matador Soccer Field. The fixtures were installed in the summer of 2010 and will reintroduce the San Fernando Valley to nighttime Division I soccer. A program record 1,496 fans came out to see the Matadors battle the fifth-ranked Pilots. Although CSUN lost 2-1, the Matadors nearly overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit, hitting the crossbar with under two minutes left in regulation.

The women's program will play a total of seven of their 10 home matches at 5 p.m. or later, including contests against Pepperdine, Penn and San Diego. The men's team will play its first under the lights on Aug. 27 in an exhibition contest against San Diego State. CSUN played nighttime soccer at its North Campus Stadium until the 2001 season and this match will be the first under the lights at Matador Soccer Field.

Sonia's Story

Senior Sonia Espitia has scored the Matadors' lone goal of the 2010 season. In the 58th minute of CSUN's match with Portland, Espitia laced a shot that deflected off a Pilot defender and into the net. The goal was the third of Espitia's career, with the first two coming in the 2009 season. She earned All-Big West Second Team honors for her play in 2009, which also included two assists.

Jacobo & Myers

Sophomore Cynthia Jacobo has not missed a beat since returning for her sophomore season between the pipes for the Matadors. Although the results have not been ideal, Jacobo has done her part to give CSUN a chance in both contests. Against UCSB, she had five saves, including a few point blank stops on headers and a one-on-one breakaway. In the match with Portland, Jacobo stopped a penalty shot in the 79th minute to keep the score at 2-1. For the year, Jacobo has 11 saves and a .733 save percentage.

Cardenas Transfers Talent to CSUN

Senior Desiree Cardenas has been one of the of more active Matadors through two matches. She has seen time both in the midfield and on the backline and has been a source of energy for CSUN. In 2009, her first season with the Matadors, Cardenas had two goals and two assists for six points.

Things Will Be Great When You're DownTown-ley

Senior Farryn Townley enters her final season at Northridge on the cusp of setting several new school records. After tying a school record with nine goals in 2009, Townley sits at 15 career tallies, four shy of tying Erin Broadwell for the most in school history. For her career, Townley has scored 33 points, the sixth-most in school history. That figure is 12 points shy of matching Kristy Krohn for the most in school history. An All-Big West First Team selection in 2009, Townley had nine goals, two assists and 20 points in her junior season. That point total was tied for the third-most in school history for a single season. Townley also led the Big West Conference with five game-winning goals in 2009, giving her eight game winners over the past two seasons.

We Interrupt This Jets-Raiders Game

Junior Heidi Farran put together a very successful sophomore season in 2009. Farran finished the year with four goals, one assist and nine points for the year, helping her earn All-Big West Honorable Mention honors. Against league opponents, Farran had three goals, two of which were game winners (against UC Irvine and Long Beach State). She scored her first career goal at San Diego State on Aug 23, 2009.

Brie All That You Can Brie

Junior Brielle Slepicoff earned All-Big West Honorable Mention in 2009 after finishing the season with two assists. A devastatingly fast outside back, Slepicoff is one of the anchors of the defense and enters the year with one goal, five assists and seven points for her career. She is also likely to see time at outside midfield and could even play striker for the Matadors, giving head coach Keith West versatility.

Russ to the Rescue

Sophomore Katie Russ did an outstanding job anchoring the Matador defense from her center back position. Now with a year of experience under her belt, Russ will be counted upon even more for her tenacity and leadership. In 2009, she picked up her first career point in CSUN's victory over Long Beach State, assisting on Heidi Farran's game-winning goal. Her season took an interesting turn when she played an unexpected role in the Matadors' 3-2 victory over Cal Poly. After injuries knocked out CSUN's top two goalkeepers, Russ left her center back position and assumed the duties in net. In the process, she earned the victory for the Matadors, playing the final 28 minutes and allowing only one goal.

Hawaiian Punch

Senior Jasmine Pratt enjoyed a breakout season in 2009, serving as a team captain and recording the first two assists of her career. She helped set up Heidi Farran on the game-winning goal against UC Irvine and had her first career helper at Creighton on Sept. 4. An outstanding defensive player, Pratt is expected to see time at both outside back, center back and at outside midfield. With at least 20 games on the schedule in 2010, Pratt, who enters the season with 57 career appearances, could set a new school record in the category.

Matadors in Season Openers

The Matadors are 8-7-1 in their 16 season-opening contests. CSUN owns an all-time road opener record of 7-8-1 and a 7-7-2 record all time in its home openers.

Matadors 5th IN Preseason Poll (Again)

A preseason survey of the Big West Conference women's soccer coaches predicted a fifth-place finish for the Matadors in 2010. The Matadors received 45 points in the poll to place fifth for the second-straight year. UC Santa Barbara, whom CSUN plays twice this season, was the preseason favorite for the second-straight year as well, receiving four first-place votes and 75 points overall. In the 2009 poll, CSUN received 33 points, but went 6-2 on the year to finish second in the league.

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