Matadors start road trip on the down side

Kendall Capps

Midfielder Sonia Espitia and the Matadors lose on the road against the Tigers, Friday night. Sami Eshaghi / Assistant Photo Editor
Midfielder Sonia Espitia and the Matadors lose on the road against the Tigers, Friday night. Sami Eshaghi / Assistant Photo Editor

Friday night the Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team (5-8, Big West 1-2) traveled to northern California to take on the University of Pacific (8-3-2, 2-0). Despite being short-handed at the goalie position, the Matadors put up a solid effort in a 1-0 loss against the Tigers.

Heading into the road trip, the Matadors were down a few players. Freshman defender Stephanie Norton is still out due to a leg injury and the word is finally in on starting goalkeeper Kellie Drenner.

“She’s still doing her tests with doctors, but she is out for the year,” head coach Keith West said.

Backup goalie Leah Elliot was also on the injured reserve list this weekend after getting kicked in the face diving for a ball last week. Therefore, freshman goalkeeper Haley Hawes was in net for the match, with freshman Cynthia Jacobo dressed as the backup.

In the first half, both teams were feeling each other out. The only close scoring chances belonged to Pacific. A little more than nine minutes into the game Pacific sophomore midfielder Angelica Figueroa sent a corner kick into the box where sophomore defender Alex Topp headed the ball off the right post.

A few minutes later, sophomore midfielder Laura Hogan took a shot from just over five yards out that slipped past Hawes, but a CSUN defender sprinted back and cleared the ball before it went in. The game went into a scoreless half.

Early in the second half, Tigers freshman forward Laura Hernandez sent a cross to Hogan, who put a shot into the corner of the net from 15 yards out, giving Pacific the 1-0 lead in the 58th minute.

The Matadors surprisingly played a better second half, registering seven shots, but were unable to solve junior goalkeeper Jill Medigovich. CSUN freshman midfielder Marie Hirsch had a good opportunity going up the pitch, but Medigovich made the save.

A few minutes after that, Northridge junior defender Desiree Cardenas headed a rebound chance that looked like it was going to be into the top of the net, but once again Medigovich made a diving punch save, preserving the lead for the Tigers.

The game ended 1-0, with CSUN falling to 1-5 on the road this year. Pacific out-shot the Matadors 15-8 in the game, and carried the play throughout. Both Hirsch and Niki Connolly received yellow cards during the match.

It was not the way CSUN wanted to start the road trip, but it was going to be difficult either way.

“Pacific was going to be one of our toughest conference road games that we would face,” West said.