The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team split their weekend games, beating UC Riverside on Friday 2-0, then losing to Cal State Fullerton on Sunday 3-0. Friday’s victory was the Matadors’ first conference win of the season and also snapped their five-game losing streak.
On Friday, the Matadors found the net quickly, giving them an early cushion with senior midfielder Susie Mischenko’s fourth goal of the season. After beating the UC Riverside defense, Mischenko put a shot past Highlander junior goalkeeper Brittany Goetz in the 17th minute for her 11th career goal, moving her into sixth on the Northridge all-time career goals list.
The Matadors were awarded a penalty kick in the 49th minute, after junior forward Carrie Faith Murphy was tripped up in the box. Senior midfielder Kristy Krohn took the penalty kick and scored her second goal of the season, solidifying the victory for the Matadors. Krohn’s goal was also the 16th of her career, moving her into third on the all-time career goals list.
Although much of the day provided cheers for Northridge, the 78th minute of the game put a hold on the Matadors’ celebrations, as freshman goalkeeper Ivette Esqueda and Riverside’s senior midfielder Jill Del Rosario collided after a corner kick. The collision resulted in both players laying motionless on the field and delaying the game for nearly 30 minutes. Esqueda was finally helped up and walked off the field, while Del Rosario had to be carried off by ambulance.
On Sunday, things were much tougher for the Matadors, as they were shutout by Cal State Fullerton. The Titans took a quick 2-0 lead, on goals from senior midfielder Stacey Thompson in the 16th minute and freshman midfilder Christina Murillo in the 22nd minute.
The second half offered much of the same, as the Titans again scored right out of the gate in the 47th minute of the game to take the 3-0 lead. The goal was scored by freshman midfielder Danielle Bitonti and put the finishing touches on a game that was played in winds of more than 40 mph.
The Matadors playoff chances continue to dwindle away, with just three conference games remaining on the schedule. Mischenko doesn’t think the Matadors are not out of it yet and she says playing at home brightens the Matadors chances.
“We definitely have a chance. We have three more (conference) games, all at home,” Mischenko said. “We’re comfortable with our own field and playing our own system at home, and playing in front of friends and family definitely helps out.”
For a team that has only won three games overall, winning their final three conference games seems to be a difficult task. But, Mishenko says it’s doable with the right mentality – they just have to play each game without worrying about the next one.
“We just have to take each game at a time and we can’t dwell on our struggles,” Mischenko said. “Good competitors can get into that mentality of focusing on that one game. So hopefully we can get into that mentality for our last three games and come away with three wins and make it into the Big West playoffs.”
Do you have more to say than a comment? Want any feedback from the writer? Story ideas? Click on The Gripevine.