The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team has a bright future, despite having its season ended by UC Santa Barbara last week 2-1 in the conference semi-finals.
It was the first time in the school’s history that they were able to host a conference tournament game, and only the third time the Matadors reached the tournament altogether.
Northridge finished the year 10-10, but were 6-3 in the Big West. That included wins over Cal Poly and UC Irvine, two of the best teams in the conference.
Going forward, the Matadors look to build upon this season and continue the success.
“They set a nice foundation for this program, they started something special,” head coach Keith West said. “The freshmen, sophomores and juniors need to continue this and make it a tradition.”
Junior forward Farryn Townley, who ended the season with nine goals and 20 points, led the Matadors. The nine goals tied her for the most in school history in a single season.
CSUN also received some unexpected contributions from a few different sources on the field.
Following a season-ending knee injury suffered by starting goalkeeper Kellie Drenner, the Matadors played a few different goalies hoping to find someone to fill that hole.
Freshman Cynthia Jacobo got her chance Oct. 11 at UC Davis. She helped the Matadors to a 1-0 win in overtime. Her first shutout of her career was only the beginning.
Jacobo went on to win the next four games, all of which ended 1-0. Going into the conference tournament, she had begun her career with 507 scoreless minutes.
She finished the season 5-1, with a 0.30 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. The 0.30 GAA is the best mark in school history.
Another nice contribution came from sophomore forward Heidi Farran. She played better as the season progressed and finished the year with four goals, one assist and nine points.
However, the team will be losing talent at different positions due to graduation and red shirt rules.
Seniors Sydney Vermillion, Kelly Ross and Niki Connolly all had an impact on the season, but will be graduating in the spring.
Juniors Farryn Townley and Katie Fox were red-shirted earlier in their careers, so it is still up in the air as to whether or not they will return.
This will create opportunities for some of the younger players that didn’t have the chance to play too many minutes this season.
Heading into next season, the team will be led by Jasmine Pratt, Katie Russ, Brielle Slepicoff and Heidi Farran; there certainly are skilled players remaining.
The team was extremely resilient all year, fighting through injuries and difficult losses. That is the key attribute that will lead this team to the tradition they are seeking.