In the semi-final game of the Big West Women’s Soccer Tournament the second seed Cal State Northridge (10-10, 6-3 Big West) was defeated by the third seed UC Santa Barbara 2-1, Thursday afternoon at Matador Field.
Both teams played extremely well, creating an exciting game with an abundance of scoring chances. Despite the tough loss, CSUN has already began looking into next season
“We’re starting a tradition, starting something special…We are not a one-hit wonder, we are going to make it back here again,” head coach Keith West said.
The difference in the game came in the 84th minute, with UCSB leading 1-0, when a Gaucho forward streaked up field and pushed the ball ahead of her.
Northridge goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo made the decision to go after the ball instead of staying back. The forward got to the ball just before Jacobo and popped it over her head.
Matador senior defenseman Sydney Vermillion raced past Jacobo to try and kick the ball out, but could not get the right angle and kicked it into her goal, making it 2-0.
Less than a minute later the Matadors responded with a goal of their own off transition. Sophomore defender Brielle Slepicoff carried the ball up the left side and made a great move getting around the Gaucho defender, forcing their goalie to attack.
She sent a beautiful cross to junior forward Farryn Townley, who put it into the open net from three yards out on the right side, making the score 2-1.
“Every year is different with personnel, and this year’s personnel were very good off the counter,” West said.
Northridge applied consistent pressure over the game’s final six minutes, but could not get another past the UCSB goalkeeper. It appeared as though the Gauchos happened to have the breaks fall on their side.
“We had a lot of opportunities, and they had a few opportunities and did put them away,” junior defender Jasmine Pratt said. “That’s the way the game goes, the way the cookie crumbles. Tough break for our team, it could have gone either way.”
For Townley, it was her ninth goal of the year, tying a single-season school record with Kristy Krohn (2005) and Brianna Monka (2005). She also finished the year with 20 points, which is third most in school history.
In goal, freshman goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo had her shutout streak snapped to begin her career at 574 minutes. She finished the year with a 5-1 record, including five shutouts and 0.30 goals against average, the best in school history for a single season.
CSUN will lose three players to graduation, defender Sydney Vermillion, midfielder Kelley Ross and forward Niki Connolly.
However, most of the offense this season came from juniors and sophomores, so the team can build off this year and look to go deeper into next season.