The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team opened conference play over the weekend with back-to-back losses on the road, first to the Aggies of UC Davis on Friday, then to the Pacific Tigers on Sunday. Both losses were by a score of 2-1, resulting in a 4-game losing streak and dropping the Matadors’ record to 2-8-1 overall.
Senior midfielder Susie Mischenko was the lone goal scorer in each of the two matches, scoring the ninth and 10th goals of her collegiate career.
Mischenko had four shots in CSUN’s game against the Aggies on Friday, with two of those on goal. Her goal was scored in the 43rd minute, by heading in a corner kick by sophomore defender Sydney Vermillion.
Goalkeeper Ivette Esqueda, a redshirt freshman, made the start between the pipes on Friday. But after giving up two first half goals in the 24th and 39th minute marks of the game, she was replaced in the second half with sophomore Kellie Drenner. Esqueda had three saves in the game, while Drenner finished with one save.
Head coach Keith West said he was just trying to give Esqueda an opportunity to get into the game by starting her instead of Drenner.
“When a player is not getting it done out there (on the field), it’s the time to give someone else a chance,” West said. “We’ve been giving up too many easy goals.”
Both goals for the Aggies were scored by freshman midfielder Samantha Faber, giving her three goals on the season. Faber took four shots during the game, with all on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Peters made seven saves on the 14 shots taken by the Matadors.
Sunday’s game against Pacific was a longer contest, with the final score not decided in regulation.
CSUN took only five shots in the game, compared to 13 by Pacific. Mischenko again led the Matadors’ offense with two shots, both on goal. Drenner made eight saves in the goal, while Pacific’s goalkeeper Jaime Souza made two saves.
The Matadors again found themselves down early in the game, after Pacific’s freshman forward Sammi Teramae scored in the fifth minute of the game.
CSUN was able to rise to the challenge, however, with Mischenko’s third goal of the season in the 30th minute, a penalty kick that tied the game at one.
The game was decided in the 94th minute and it was Pacific’s Teramae scoring on a penalty kick to give the Tigers the victory. The goal was Teramae’s fourth of the season.
Mischenko’s two goals in as many games gave her a team-leading three goals and six total points on the season.
As for the team’s disappointing start in conference play, West said he believes his team is still confident enough to make a push for the playoffs, despite a losing record overall.
“I haven’t had to motivate these girls, these girls motivate themselves,” West said. “We compete hard?I’m confident we can turn things around.”
The Matadors will return home this weekend for their 2007 Big West Conference home opener, against Long Beach State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.