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

Oct. 8, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (5-5-1) embarks upon its 2008 Big West Conference schedule this weekend, traveling to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly for matches Friday and Sunday, respectively. Despite picking up a pair of losses in their two matches last week, the Matadors remain confident as they open play at the Gauchos and Mustangs.

Last week, Northridge suffered a pair of tough losses, falling 1-0 at Loyola Marymount and 2-1 at defending NCAA champion USC. Against the Lions, CSUN saw the winning goal come in the final 30 seconds, while against the Ladies of Troy, they scored the last goal of the match and pushed the national champions for the final 30 minutes of match.

Sophomore Katie Fox scored the team's goal against USC, heading home a corner from senior Kristal Phillips. For Fox, the goal was her second of the season, making her one of six Matadors with at least two scores. For Phillips, the assist gave her a team-leading four on the season and 11 for her career, moving her into a tie for second in school history with Riya Gough and Tryna Tafoya.

Another second-year player, Leah Elliott, made a career-high 10 saves against USC and now stands at a .808 save percentage for the season, the fourth-highest mark in the Big West Conference. She also holds a 1.20 goals-against-average, the fifth-best mark in the league.

The Matadors open their 2008 Big West Conference season with a meeting with preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara. In their opening weekend of action, the Gauchos defeated UC Riverside, 2-1, before falling to Cal State Fullerton, 2-0, on Oct. 5.

Jacqui Simon and Genelle Ives lead the team with 12 points apiece, and Simon has scored a team-high five goals this season. UCSB has seen two goalies split time in net as both Ali Cutler and Tamme Lenham have both posted a 4-2-0 record. Cutler does own a better goals-against-average (0.74) and save percentage (.840). The Matadors won the last meeting in the series, posting a 1-0 victory on Nov. 2, 2007.

On Sunday, the Matadors travel to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly, who posted two victories in the opening weekend of league play. The Mustangs rallied to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, before defeating UC Riverside, 4-1.

Ashley Vallis and Morgan Miller both lead the team with four goals and Vallis has a team-leading 10 points. Coral Hoover has been the goalie of record in all 13 games this season, holding a 1.26 goals-against-average and a .789 save percentage. The Matadors and Mustangs tied 1-1 in their last meeting on Nov. 4, 2007.

The Matadors finally return home next week, hosting UC Davis and Pacific in Big West Conference action on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19, respectively. Both matches are slated for 2:30 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.