Women’s soccer ends losing streak with late winner against UC Riverside


Carina Cardenas

CSUN women’s soccer team cheer each other on before the game against UC Riverside in Northridge, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.

Bryan Hernandez, Reporter

Set for consecutive home games, CSUN women’s soccer sought out to find their form near the end of regular season against University of California, Riverside Thursday night.

Matadors secured a win by a tap-in goal from senior midfielder Sydney Gilbert in open play to triumph 1-0 over Big West conference opponent UC Riverside minutes before the final whistle.

CSUN’s victory over the Highlanders puts an end to the Matador’s four-game losing streak.

“[Head coach Keith West] came up and told us we have to take shots — somebody’s got to be the hero and we got to shoot,” Gilbert said. “Luckily, I got a nice pass from Cindy [Arteaga] and I just had to tap it in. She made my job pretty easy.”


The 84th minute goal came when attacking-midfielder Cindy Arteaga entered UCR territory with the ball after CSUN won possession in the midfield.

As Arteaga moved forward, she looked up and released a through ball past several Highlanders to find a lone-Gilbert inside the box. As UCR goalkeeper Caela Kaio rushed out toward Gilbert, the midfielder swiftly toe-poked her shot past the keeper to score.

Gilbert had been introduced into the match as a substitute 36 seconds prior to scoring.

CSUN found their first chance at goal in the ninth minute off a give-and-go pass between sophomore defender Kacie Garrity and forward Alyssa Aguilar.

Garrity sent a through ball toward Aguilar, who overpowered a UCR defender to find Garrity’s ball. The one-on-one situation saw UCR goalkeeper Kaio block the low shot from Aguilar with her left foot.

Garrity made a big impact throughout the entire match by dominating the left-back defensive position, constantly finding spaces for her teammates by sending dangerous crosses inside the UCR penalty area and shutting down opponents when defending.

A give-and-go passing between Arteaga and Aguilar almost gave Matadors the lead in the 16th minute. Arteaga’s final touch went toward UCR’s penalty area as Aguilar outbodied the UCR defender to win the ball, but her first time shot at goal would go over UCR goalkeeper Kaio’s net.

In the 78th minute, Matadors went on the counter as Garrity paced forward, swinging a cross from outside into UCR’s penalty box. Garrity’s cross met CSUN defender Angelica Claiborne inside the box, but Clairborne sent her chance high just wide of the UCR goalkeeper’s second post.

Matadors goalkeeper Amanda Delgado never hesitated to rush out of her area to clear the ball out in dangerous situations or rush out to grab a loose ball inside the penalty box.

A couple minutes after Gilbert put CSUN ahead, UCR went on the attack. A low shot from forward Leigh Polson inside CSUN’s penalty box went toward Delgado’s right. Delgado fully stretched toward the ball, denying any hope for the Highlanders to tie the match.

“I try to play real aggressive off of my line. So anything that I have the chance of getting — I’m going,” Delgado said. “I’m not scared of getting hit. If I’m going, I’m going aggressive. It’s all or nothing out there.”


On the night, Delgado faced 10 UCR shot attempts at goal and came up with four huge saves, bagging her first clean sheet of the season.

The Highlanders, now 1-4-2 in the Big West, never seemed to find their footing, wasting their opportunities at goal and falling offsides five times.

CSUN faces Long Beach State at home at 7 p.m. next Thursday on Senior Night, where CSUN will honor seven seniors.

“Our next home game is Senior Night, so we’re hoping to get a win then and celebrate — me and a couple other people,” Gilbert said.