September 2, 2009

CSUN Women's Soccer Heads to Creighton Friday before Hosting Vermont Sunday

Sept. 2, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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MATADORS' SUNDAY MATCH VS. CATAMOUNTS PART OF NORTHRIDGE SOCCER DOUBLEHEADER

After four games, the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team find itself sitting at an even 2-2. This week, CSUN will split its two games, first traveling to Omaha, Neb., to face Creighton on Sept. 4, and then returning to Matador Soccer Field to host Vermont on Sept. 6. The match against the Catamounts will be part of a Northridge Soccer doubleheader, as the men's team will host its home opener against LMU after the conclusion of the women's match.

Last week, the Matadors split their first two games at Matador Soccer Field in 2009. On Aug. 27, Northridge struck for three second-half goals to down LMU, 3-0. Sonia Espitia, Farryn Townley and Niki Connolly all scored against the Lions, with Heidi Farran adding an assist. On Aug. 30, the Matadors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead against Oregon State on Desiree Cardenas' first career goal in the 37th minute. However, the Beavers responded with three goals in the final 20 minutes to earn a 3-1 victory.

The meeting Friday with Creighton will be the first ever in the all-time series between the two schools. The Bluejays are currently 4-0 after recording a 3-0 victory over UMKC on Aug. 30. Creighton has already scored 13 goals on the season while not allowing one on defense. Both Brittney Neumann and Kyla Hoskins have registered three goals for the Bluejays in the young season.

On Sunday, the Matadors will play another team for the first time, the Vermont Catamounts. Currently, Vermont owns a 0-0-1 record after a 2-2 draw against Central Connecticut State on Aug. 30. The Catamounts also took a 3-2, overtime victory over the University of Montreal, though the victory does not count toward their season stats. Gabby Bonfigli totaled five points in the two matches, finishing with a goal and three assists in the two matches.

SONIA'S STORY

Junior Sonia Espitia has exploded out of the gates in the 2009 season. Against LMU, she recorded her second goal in as many games for CSUN, the first two tallies of her career. She is tied for the conference and team lead with the two goals and also is tied with Niki Connolly for the team lead with four points. Espitia also owns two career assists, which she collected in the 2008 season.

IT WAS ALL A DREAM

It has not taken senior Niki Connolly much time to get acclimated to Northridge soccer team. She is currently tied for the team and conference lead with her two goals. She recorded the game-winner against San Diego State and then successfully converted a penalty kick against LMU. A transfer from UNLV, Connolly had nine goals and seven assists in her three season with the Rebels.

WE INTERRUPT THIS JETS-RAIDERS GAME

Sophomore Heidi Farran's has made quite a leap in her production from her freshman season. Farran already has a goal and an assist in the young 2009 season. She picked up her first career tally at San Diego State and then picked up her first career helper on Farryn Townley's goal against LMU. She is also tied with Niki Connolly for the team lead with four shots on goal.

THINGS WILL BE GREAT WHEN YOUR DOWNTOWN-LEY

Junior Farryn Townley picked up her seventh career goal and first of the season in the Matadors' 3-0 victory over LMU. She is now one goal shy of moving into a tie for 10th place in school history in career goals.

ELLIOTT STEPS INTO GOALKEEPER POSITION WITH SUCCESS

Junior Leah Elliott has started all four games for Northridge in the 2009 season, posting 21 saves with a .750 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against-average. She posted her fourth career shutout in CSUN's 3-0 victory over LMU now has 134 saves for her career, the fourth-most in school history.

A YEAR OLDER AND A YEAR WISER

Several of the Matadors redshirt freshmen have already seen playing time in 2009, their first official action with Northridge. Katie Russ (D) has started all four games on the backline for CSUN while Emily Geckle (D), Marie Hirsch (MF) and Stephanie Norton (D) all made their first appearances as subs against SDSU. Hirsch took it a step further in her first game, registering an assist on junior Sonia Espitia's goal in the 73rd minute. Marisa Miller (F) made her official debut against Oregon State, finishing with one shot.

UPDATING MATADORS IN SEASON OPENERS

The Matadors are now 8-6-1 in their 15 season-opening contests after the 3-0 loss to San Diego. The loss also dropped their all-time road opener record to a 7-7-1. With the 3-0 victory over LMU, CSUN now owns a 7-6-2 record all time in home openers.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN

Leading the Matadors on the pitch and practice field for the 2009 season will be the team's three captains: Kellie Drenner, Katie Fox and Jasmine Pratt. All three are juniors and have earned the respect of their teammates in receiving the distinction. Drenner returns to the squad after missing all of 2008 due to injury and will add depth and experience to CSUN's goalkeepers. Fox and Pratt are defenders who appeared in all 19 games for CSUN in 2008. Fox added a pair of goals to her haul in 2008, finding the net against Pac 10 powers Arizona State and USC.

MAJORING IN SOCIALIZATION

The Matadors have jumped headfirst into the realm of social networking. The Cal State Northridge athletics department is now on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. All three sites will allow Matador fans greater access to information, scores and updates surrounding the 20 Division I programs hosted by the university. For more information on the sites, refer to www.gomatadors.com.

MATADORS 5TH IN PRESEASON POLL

A preseason survey of the Big West Conference women's soccer coaches predicted a fifth-place finish for the Matadors in 2009. In the poll, CSUN received 33 points, one more than sixth-place Cal State Fullerton. UC Santa Barbara received five first-place votes and 75 points to become the preseason favorite. Long Beach State was second with 67 points and Cal Poly was third with 65 points. As it turns out, the Matadors will host the top three teams during the 2009 season.