September 29, 2009

Matadors Open 2009 Big West Season at Home against Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara

Sept. 29, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Northridge concludes Homestand with Visit from Mustangs, Gauchos

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (4-5) embarks upon its 2009 Big West Conference season this week, opening the campaign with home matches against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. In order for the Matadors to be successful this weekend, it is imperative that they find a way to score goals. After a 2-0 loss to No. 3 UCLA last week, Northridge has scored only four goals in its last seven matches while posting a 2-5 record.

The Matadors' first opponent this week, Cal Poly, may be the hottest team in the Big West Conference and the nation. The Mustangs have rebounded for a slow start to win five of their past six, including four straight. Last weekend, Cal Poly defeated No. 7 California, 1-0, in overtime in Berkeley and then took a 3-0 decision over Arizona at home. The Mustangs have not allowed a goal in their past four matches, which has resulted in back-to-back conference Player of the Week honors for their goalkeeper, Coral Hoover. She is 6-1 on the season with the four shutouts and a 0.57 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage. On offense, Morgan Miller leads the Mustangs with eight points thanks to two goals and four assists. Cici Kobinski also has two goals on the season

On Sunday, CSUN hosts preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos play at UC Irvine on Oct. 2 before heading to the San Fernando Valley and bring a 3-6-1 record into the week. UCSB dropped its two games last weekend, suffering a 2-1 loss to Arizona and a 3-1 defeat to UCLA. The Gauchos have played a very tough schedule, already playing five ranked teams. On offense, Jacqui Simon leads UCSB with seven points and three goals. Kailyn Kugler and Erin Ortega have each scored two goals and three Gauchos have two assists. In net, Ali Cutler and Tammy Lenham have split time, with Lenham sporting a 0.65 GAA anda .800 save percentage and Cutler checking in at 2.13 GAA and a .636 save percentage.

The all-time series results for Northridge against Cal Poly and UCSB are very similar. CSUN is 1-5-2 all-time against Cal Poly, losing 1-0 last season in San Luis Obispo on a goal scored in the game's final 10 seconds. The Matadors' lone win in the series dates back to a 4-3 overtime victory in 2005 at Matador Soccer Field.

Against UCSB, Northridge enters Sunday with a 4-10 record, including a 3-0 loss to the Gauchos in Santa Barbara in 2008. The last Northridge win in the series dates back to 2007, when CSUN snapped a six-game losing streak to UCSB with a 1-0 victory at Matador Soccer Field.

Home Sweet Home

The Matadors wrap up their four-game homestand with the matches against Cal Poly (Oct. 2) and UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 4). Since 2004, the Matadors have posted a 30-12-3 (.700) record at home, including a 13-5-2 (.700) mark in conference.

Things Will Be Great when You're Downtown-ley

Junior Farryn Townley continues to pace the Matadors on the offensive side of the pitch. Against Hawai'i, Townley recorded her team-leading fourth goal of the season and second game-winning goal of the year. She currently ranks in a tie for sixth in the Big West Conference with the four goals and she is also tied for eighth with her eight points on the season. For her career, Townley now has 10 career goals, which ties her with Heather Schou (1995-97) for the seventh-most in school history.

The Drenner Strikes Back

Junior Kellie Drenner has now started the last three games for Northridge at goalkeeper and made 12 saves in CSUN's 1-0 victory to post her second win of the season. The 12 stops tied teammate Leah Elliott for the second-most saves in a single game in school history. For the season, Drenner is 2-2 with a 0.85 goals-against-average, a ..885 save percentage and 1.5 shutouts. Drenner missed the entire 2008 season due to injury, but due to her diligence in getting back out on the field, she was named a team captain prior to the start of the 2009 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 second on the team with her two goals and five points. Connolly picked up her first assist in a Matador uniform against Hawai'i, delivering a cross to Farryn Townley for the game-winning goal. A transfer from UNLV, Connolly had nine goals and seven assists in her three season with the Rebels.

Sonia's Story

Junior Sonia Espitia has certainly made a case for all-conference recognition based upon her play in the non-conference season. A devastatingly fast outside midfielder, Espitia has already scored her first two career goals and has a career-high five points. She also picked up an assist on Farryn Townley's game-winning goal against Vermont. She now has three career assists.

I Got It at Ross

Senior Kelley Ross leads the team and is tied for 10th in the conference with her two assists. One of three seniors on the CSUN roster, Ross has started all 10 games for Northridge in 2009 and is a team captain. For her career, she has two goals and three assists for seven points. Ross has appeared in 65 matches and made 39 starts.

Cardenas Transfers Talent to CSUN

Junior Desiree Cardenas has made quite an impact for Northridge in her first season since transferring from Cerritos JC. She scored the Matador goal in Northridge's loss to Oregon State and then picked up an assist on Farryn Townley's game-winning goal against Vermont.

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.

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.

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.

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