Matadors head to No Cal

Kendall Capps

Midfielder Marie Hirsch, seen here in a game against UCSB, and the Matadors hit the road this weekend to play two Big West Conference games.
Midfielder Marie Hirsch, seen here in a game against UCSB, and the Matadors hit the road this weekend to play two Big West Conference games. Photo Credit: Sami Eshaghi / Assistant Photo Editor

The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team (5-7, Big West 1-1) continues its conference play this weekend with a trip to northern California. The Matadors start their road trip Friday night against the University of Pacific. Following that match, they will travel to Davis to take on the Aggies on Sunday.

Pacific (7-3-2, 1-0) is going to be a challenge for the Matadors. The Tigers have scored 12 more goals than its opponents (23-11) and has almost twice as many shots. They are led by a couple of young players, freshman midfielder Maricela Padilla and sophomore midfielder Angelica Figueroa.

Padilla leads the team with eight goals and 18 points. Figueroa is right behind her with five goals and 17 points to her credit.

The Tigers also have received great goalkeeping from redshirt junior Jill Medigovich. She has started all 12 games with a 7-3-2 record, including four shutouts and 0.92 goals against average.

Considering the difficulty of the opponent, the Matadors are going to have to put forth the same type of effort they had last week against Cal Poly. If they play the way they did on the last road trip in New Mexico, you can chalk it up as a loss already.

It is still unknown the severity of the injury to CSUN starting goalkeeper Kellie Drenner. She injured her knee in the win against Cal Poly last Friday. Junior goalkeeper Leah Elliot also was injured during that game, but a kick to the face probably does not warrant more than a week off. If Elliot is unable to go, freshman Haley Hawes would start in net.

The Aggies (5-4-1, 0-1) began the season on fire, starting 4-0-1. Through those games, Davis outscored its opponents 20-5, with a couple extremely lob-sided victories mixed in. Since that point, they have gone 1-4 against better competition.

Davis’ leading scorer is senior forward Rochelle VanBuskirk, who has 11 goals and 26 points already on the year.

If CSUN can slow VanBuskirk by doubling and trapping her, Northridge will have a decent shot at getting a win.

Considering the amount of minutes the Davis starters play, which is a lot, along with the lack of depth, which has contributed to the overtime losses, Northridge might be able to capitalize. CSUN goes pretty deep into its bench. The recent play of freshman midfielder/forward Melissa Fernandez, along with the addition of junior midfielder Erin Kelly to the bench, should pay dividends on this road trip.

The Matadors have started out conference play 1-1 and look to get a couple victories on the road this week. Following this weekend’s games, the road trip will continue at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton next week.