CSUN’s sports teams achieved mixed results in the spring semester, as baseball fights for a postseason spot against perennial contender CSU Fullerton, men’s volleyball collapsed in their final 10 games, softball improved by leaps and bounds and water polo had their highest win season since 2010.
Achieving multiple Big West nods among the sports, teams and players have helped etch their name in the CSUN record books throughout the season. These are the athletes that have been chosen as the standout players of the spring semester.
Most Valuable Player
Redshirt junior first baseman/closer, Baseball
Goossen-Brown showed himself to be a power-hitting first baseman and a lock down closer for the Matadors this season. Hitting .275 in his freshman season with a 4-3 record as a pitcher, Goossen-Brown redshirted in 2012. Starting all 47 games for CSUN, he leads the Matadors and the Big West Conference with 43 RBis on the season, and has a .275 batting average. On the mound, he has a 2-2 record and a 1.71 ERA, while his nine saves are a team high.
Junior Attacker, Water Polo
Recently named an honorable mention All-Big West Conference player, Nelson helped lead the Matadors to a fifth place conference tournament finish and a 23-12 record in 2013. Scoring 70 goals for the season, that ranks fourth in school history and was good for fifth in the Big West. Also leading the team in assists with 56, Nelson was a two-way threat as she was third on the team in steals.
Offensive Players of the Year
A staple in the CSUN starting lineup, Hicks started 27 games and averaged nearly 31 minutes per game. Leading the Matadors in scoring with 15.7 points per game, he was part of a trio of offensive weapons for Northridge. Averaging 47.5 percent from the field and 33 percent from behind the arc each game, Hicks helped power CSUN to the second-highest offense in the Big West.
Sophomore Guard, Women’s Basketball
Guay helped lead the Matadors to a 16-win season and a berth into the Big West Conference Tournament, earning All-Big West Second Team honors for her play. Playing and starting in a team high 32 games, the offense ran through Guay throughout the season. Averaging 32.6 minutes per game, she put up a team leading 13.2 points per game, and became a bigger contributor after three-point shooter Marta Masoni left the team midseason. Getting it done on both sides of the ball, Guay also lead the Matadors with 2.9 steals per game, tied for first in the conference.
Defensive Player of the Year
Senior Opposite Hitter, Men’s Volleyball
Earning an All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Second Team honor, Baker was a defensive monster for CSUN. Averaging a career-high 3.57 kills per game, he finished as the team leader for the Matadors and ranked 11th in the conference. Baker reached double-figures in kills 19 times throughout the 26 game season for Northridge. He also lead CSUN with 152 digs on the season.
Sophomore Goalkeeper, Water Polo
Starting her second season in net for CSUN, Davis was among the Big West Conference leaders in nearly every category. Playing in 35 games for the Matadors, Davis logged over 1,000 minutes in the goal. Finishing the season with 289 saves, fourth all-time in a single season at CSUN, Davis ranked third in the conference in saves per game with 8.89. Along with her teammates, Davis and the Matadors ranked fourth in the conference with 7.71 goals allowed per game.
Freshman Players of the Year
Freshman Pitcher, Baseball
Coming out of the bullpen for the Matadors, Milam has made his name known quickly across the Big West Conference. Currently holding a 4-0 record with two saves in 20 appearances, Milam carries a 2.96 ERA. With a 5 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio, Milam averages 4.94 strikeouts per nine innings.
Freshman Shortstop, Softball
A constant presence in the lineup, Mitchell has made quite an impression in her first collegiate season. Currently batting .285 for the season, Mitchell has played in 51 of CSUN’s 53 games. Her batting average is currently third on the team, and her 39 hits also rank third.
Head Coaches of the Year
In his third season with the Matadors, Curtis has helped the program do a complete 180. Currently ranked second in the conference, just one win behind CSU Fullerton, Curtis’ team recently completed its third consecutive Big West Conference match-up sweep. With a sweep over UC Davis two weeks ago, CSUN clinched its second winning season since 2002. Coached Northridge to their first victory at UC Irvine since 2005 in a 2-1 victory early this season. Baseball defeated eighth-ranked UCLA Tuesday afternoon, the first time since 2008.
Currently in her third season, Flowers has also helped the program make a turnaround from their 2012 season. Ending that season at the bottom of the Big West standings with 10 total victories, the Matadors recently sweeped UC Riverside for their 24th win of the season. It was Northridge’s first sweep of a Big West opponent since 2010. The 24 wins is Flowers’ most since coming to CSUN. An walk-off victory over nationally ranked UCLA highlighted the season for the Matadors.