October 14, 2009

Final Roadtrip of 2009 Takes CSUN to UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton

Oct. 14, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -

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Matadors Face Highlanders, Titans in Pivotal Big West Matches

The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (6-8, 2-2 BWC) takes its final roadtrip of the 2009 season when it travels to face UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton in a pair of crucial Big West Conference matches. In splitting their roadtrip in Northern California by defeating UC Davis, 1-0, in overtime, the Matadors remain in contention for a spot in the four-team Big West Championships.

The Matadors earned a crucial three points on the road with the win over the Aggies and now have six points against Big West opponents. The final roadtrip of the season offers the opportunity to continue picking up points on the road, a necessity for CSUN to make the postseason tournament.

First up for the Matadors is a trip to the Inland Empire to face UC Riverside at 7 p.m. The Highlanders enter the week with a 5-6-3 overall record, but have lost all three of their league matches thus far. For the season, UCR has scored just nine goals in its 14 matches, yet also owns the best goals-against-average in the league at 0.67 because they have surrendered only 10 goals on the season. Denise Thomas leads the Highlanders with two goals and five points. In net, Jessica White has started all 14 games and owns a .889 save percentage, six shutouts and a 0.68 GAA.

On Sunday, CSUN heads to Orange County to face the Titans at 6 p.m. after hosting UC Irvine on Friday. The Titans dropped both of their league matches last week to give them a 3-7-3 overall record and a 1-2 mark in Big West play. Fullerton has scored seven goals in its 13 matches this season, but has also only surrendered 15 goals on the year. Brisa Gonzalez, Danielle Bitonti and Tamara Dewey all have two goals on the season for Fullerton. In net, Shannon Simpson and Jordan Santos have both seen time, with Simpson sporting a 1.34 GAA and a .667 save percentage, while Santos enters the weekend with a 0.71 GAA and a .880 save percentage.

A look at the all-time series between Northridge and Riverside shows a highly competitive series. The Highlanders were the only opponent to post a victory at Matador Soccer Field in 2008, posting a 1-0 victory on Oct. 30. That win tied the all-time series at 4-4, though CSUN won the last game in Riverside, 2-0, on Oct. 19, 2007.

The Titans enter Sunday's contest with a 10-2 advantage in the all-time series with CSUN. Northridge took the meeting between the two schools last year, registering a 3-0 home victory on Nov. 2. Northridge has never won at Titan Stadium.

Sister-Sister

Junior Katie Fox will see a familiar face when she takes the field against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 18. Fox's sister, Stacey, plays for the Titans and is a sophomore forward. Stacey currently has one goal on the season, and because Katie is a defender, they are likely to see each other often Sunday night.

Things Will Be Great When You're DownTown-ley

Junior Farryn Townley fired home the game-winning goal in overtime to give Northridge a 1-0 victory over UC Davis on Oct. 11. For Townley, the goal gives her seven on the season, tied for the fifth-most in school history for a single season. She also now has a team-leading 14 points on the year and four game-winning goals in 2009. In her two-plus seasons with the Matadors, Townley has 13 career goals, the fifth-most in school history and 26 career points, the 10th-most in school history. She is just two goals off the school record for a single season with five games to play and has scored in three of CSUN's four Big West matches.

Jacobo & Myers

Freshman Cynthia Jacobo made quite a splash in her Northridge debut, recording five saves to pick up her first career win and shutout in the Matadors' victory over UC Davis. Due to a rash of injuries at the position, Jacobo, who started the year fourth on the depth chart, gave up her redshirt season to play against the Aggies and helped the Matadors secure three crucial points.

Russ to the Rescue

Redshirt freshman Katie Russ 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. Russ has started all 12 games for Northridge in her first official season with the team.

Cardenas Transfers Talent to CSUN

Junior Desiree Cardenas recorded a three-point game in the win over Cal Poly, heading home her second goal of the season and picking up the game-winning assist on Farryn Townley's goal. Cardenas now has six points (2 G, 2A) on the season, good for the second most on the team.

We Interrupt This Jets-Raiders Game

Sophomore Heidi Farran's picked up her second goal of the season in the victory over Cal Poly. Early in the match, Farran broke through the Mustang defense and was taken down in the penalty area to set up a penalty kick. Farran measured the attempt successfully, giving CSUN an early lead it would not relinquish. For the year, Farran has two goals, one assist and five points.

Sonia's Story

Junior Sonia Espitia added another point to her already career-high five against Cal Poly, looping in a corner kick that Desiree Cardenas headed home for the second goal of the match. The assist was Espitia's second of the season, tying her for the team lead, and giving her a career-high six points on the year. She now has four career assists.

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 third with her 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.

I Got It at Ross

Senior Kelley Ross is tied for the team lead with her two assists. One of three seniors on the CSUN roster, Ross has started all 14 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 69 matches and made 43 starts.

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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