CSUN women’s soccer falls to Cal Poly at home

Matadors forward Sam Bustamante, left, kicks the ball over a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo player in Northridge, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.

Mark Armendariz-Gonzales, Reporter

After a strong defensive start, the Matadors gave into pressure and lost 3-0 to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in a stressful home game. All three goals came in the second half of the game. The Matadors have played five Big West games so far this season, and still have not earned a victory in their conference.

It was another disappointing result for CSUN (2-11-1, 0-4-1 Big West Conference) Sunday afternoon as they took their fourth loss in conference play against Cal Poly (5-6-1, 2-1-1 Big West Conference), letting in three late goals during the match. The team played a solid first half, but gave into errors late in the game, allowing three goals in the last 15 minutes.

“I think we did pretty good in the first half and just lost momentum,” said CSUN head coach Christine Johnson. “Once we lost momentum it just continued to trickle down pretty quickly.”

The Mustangs came into the game aggressively from the start, wasting no time taking shots at the Matadors goal. Just seconds into the game, Cal Poly forward Emily Lieber rocketed a shot at the goal post that freshman goalkeeper Hayden Mauldin saved. This shot was the first of 19 that Cal Poly had in the game, with nine of them being on target.

Matadors defender Kacie Garrity, center, runs after the ball in Northridge, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (Renee Rothe)

While the Mustangs came out hot, the same could not be said for the Matadors. CSUN only had two shots on goal the entire game, none of them being on target.

“We need to move the ball quicker,” Johnson said. “It was part of the game plan and we did not execute.”

The CSUN back line was under constant pressure for the majority of the first half, but the Matadors stood their ground and kept the scoreboard empty. Mauldin had a busy game, recording three saves in each half.

The match looked like it would end scoreless, but in the 78th minute, the ball deflected off a Matadors defender to Cal Poly midfielder Camille Lafaix in the penalty box. Lafaix took control of the ball and blasted a shot into the back of the net.

Before the goal celebration could end, the Mustangs struck again. Half a minute later, CSUN gave up a hand ball in the penalty area. Midfielder Megan Hansen stepped up to take the penalty and put Cal Poly up 2-0. Mauldin guessed Hansen would shoot to the right side of the goal, but did not hit the ball hard enough to stop it from going in.

In the 87th minute, Cal Poly forward Olivia Ortiz dribbled down field and sent a shot into the left corner of the goal, making the score 3-0 and sealing the win for the Mustangs.

“We need to get rested up,” Johnson said. “We need to regroup and make a quick turnaround.”

The Matadors season continues Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Hawaii University and search for their first Big West victory of the season.