No. 5 Portland Slips Past Northridge at Sunday Night Lights

Aug. 22, 2010

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team (0-2) nearly overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit, but ultimately fell 2-1 to No. 5 Portland Sunday night at Matador Soccer Field. Senior Sonia Espitia tallied the first Matador goal of the season and third of her career in the second half and sophomore Cynthia Jacobo finished with five saves and also stopped a penalty kick in the second half.

Displaying a much more determined effort than what defined their loss to UC Santa Barbara two days earlier, the Matadors came out aggressive in the game. The two teams were locked in a scoreless draw until the 30th minute, when Micaela Capelle put a shot past Jacobo to give the Pilots a 1-0 lead. Elli Reed and Sophie Schmidt picked up assists on the play.

It looked like the teams were headed to halftime at 1-0 until Portland struck again in the waning seconds of the 45th minute. Halley Kreminski headed a pass to Capelle, who chipped the ball past a charging Jacobo to take Portland into the break up 2-0.

In the second half, the Matadors came out firing, putting several quality chances together before Espitia finally found paydirt. She delivered a strike from the right side of the box that deflected off a Pilot defender and into the net.

The goal served to ratchet up the intensity of the game. Portland came roaring back and was awarded a penalty shot in the 79th minute on a hand ball in the box. However, Keelin Winters fired a ball low and to the right that Jacobo fisted away to keep CSUN in the game.

With less than two minutes left in the match, Northridge mounted a furious rally to try and even the score. Farryn Townley headed a ball in a scrum that knocked off the crossbar in the Matadors' closest attempt to an equalizer. Jacobo even left her line during the final moments to try and draw the match level.

In all, the Matadors finished with eight shots compared to 15 for the Pilots. Portland won eight corner kicks to CSUN's one, though Portland was whistled for 18 fouls to the Matadors' 13.

The game featured the debut of the new lighting system at Matador Soccer Field. A record crowd of 1,496 people attended the match.

CSUN returns to action on Aug. 29 when they host Saint Joseph's (PA) at Matador Soccer Field. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.