CSUN goes winless in New Mexico

Kendall Capps

Defender Brielle Slepicoff goes for the ball during a home game against LMU. Photo Credit: Angelica Bonomo / Staff Photographer
Defender Brielle Slepicoff goes for the ball during a home game against LMU. Photo Credit: Angelica Bonomo / Staff Photographer

The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team (3-5) had a weekend in Albuquerque that they’d just as soon forget. The Matadors went winless in the University of New Mexico Nike Classic, first losing to the host New Mexico Lobos 2-0; and then swallowing a tough 1-0 defeat in overtime against Kent State.

The tournament kicked off Friday evening against the undefeated Lobos. New Mexico did not take long in showing how talented it is on the field. In the game’s sixth minute, Lobo forward Jennifer Williams scored her sixth goal of the year. She took a cross from midfielder Rachel Fields, who was credited with the assist and put it into the back of the net for the early lead.

The only other goal scored was in the 69th minute when freshman Stephanie Rowe took a pass over the top of Northridge’s defense from sophomore Nicole Reed and deposited it in the net for the 2-0 lead.

That would be the final score, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Physical play led to many collisions and four yellow cards; the CSUN sideline drew two of the cards.
CSUN had nine shots at the net and some were just one pass short in trying to set up other scoring opportunities.

On defense, CSUN played Leah Elliot in goal all game, giving her another shot at the starting job. But in giving up two goals on only three shots, she did not help her own cause.

“The goalkeeping position is still open until we can establish a rhythm and stop giving up goals,” head coach Keith West said.

Just 36 hours after playing the hard-fought game against New Mexico, the Matadors had to turn around and play against Kent State to finish off the Nike Classic.
Northridge started junior Kellie Drenner in net for this game, and she finished with four saves.

The game was very close, with both sides having their scoring chances. The first half saw back-and-forth play with a lot of live balls, but heading into halftime there was no score.

The second half, however, was controlled by CSUN, as the Matadors out-shot the Flashes 11-2. But none of those shots led to goals, and through 90 minutes, neither side could solve the opposing goalie.

The game went into overtime and only four minutes in, Kent State’s Vanessa Salerno chased down a ball in the CSUN box and beat Drenner for the 1-0 victory.

Ultimately, the difference might have been endurance, with five Matador players playing all 93 minutes and two others playing at least 79. Kent State, on the other hand, only had three players play all 93 minutes and only one other player close to it. KSU’s lone goal-scorer only played 45 minutes.

Despite playing well in both games, Northridge continues to come up short against its competition. Asked if having to travel had taken too much out of the team, West was not interested in making any excuses.

“I don’t think that took much out of us at all,” West said. “It is on us to do it, we just need to dig a little deeper.”

The team now has some time to work on whatever needs work, with only one game coming up in the next 11 days.