September 10, 2008

Northridge Travels to Face Golden Bears, Gaels at Saint Mary's Fall Classic

Sept. 10, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Facing its first true road trip of the season, the Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (4-0-0) heads to Moraga, Calif., to face California and Saint Mary's at the Saint Mary's Fall Classic. Northridge has been very balanced on offense, as seven different Matadors have scored in 2007, including seniors Tinamarie Lutizetti, Kristal Phillips and Tryna Tafoya and sophomore Farryn Townley each have two scores.

In action last week, Northridge grabbed a 2-1 victory over UNLV, the defending Mountain West Conference champions. In the 47th minute, Townley took a loose ball at midfield, broke through the Rebel defense and slid the game-winning score past the charging goalkeeper.

Earlier in the game, Tafoya deposited her second goal of the season off a rebound from a shot by Kelley Ross. The Matadors have already scored 11 goals this season after finishing 2007 with 17. Ross became the 11th Northridge player to get a point this season, picking up an assist on the Tafoya goal.

Another key to the Matadors' fast start has been their defense and goalkeeping. Senior Nalena Betancourt, who tallied the game winner in the season opener against San Diego State, and sophomore Katie Fox have not missed a minute of action this season. Fox picked up her first career point, an assist, in the victory over Southern Utah.

Junior Sydney Vermillion and sophomore Jasmine Pratt have started all four games on the CSUN back line and rookie Nicole Cruz has bolstered the defensive corps. In net, sophomore Leah Elliott continues to perform well. She currently stands at third in the Big West Conference with a 0.96 goals-against-average.

Hailing from the powerful Pac 10 Conference, the Golden Bears of California enter the weekend with a 3-1-0record. The team defeated Missouri, 3-0, in its most recent match and its only loss of the season came at the hands of Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, on Aug. 29.

California boasts two players who have already reached double-figures in points this season, as Lisa Kevorkian has scored five goals and recorded an assist for 11 points while Alex Morgan has four goals and two assists for 10. The Bears have used three different goalkeepers during the year, with Gina Pellegrini appearing in three matches.

The host school for the weekend's festivities, Saint Mary's currently stands at 3-2-0. The Gaels have already played two Big West Conference opponents, as they picked up a victory over UC Davis in overtime, 2-1, before falling to Cal State Fullerton, 2-0.

Stefani Rocco leads the team with two goals and four points while Alex Ciliento has a goal and an assist. Tara Larson has started all four games in net for Saint Mary's, posting a 1.16 GAA and a .793 save percentage.

Next week finds Northridge on the road again, this time with the Matadors heading to the Grand Canyon State. On Sept. 19, the Matadors will face Arizona State at 7 p.m. before heading to Tucson to face Arizona on Sept. 21 at 1 p.m.

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