Sunday afternoon the Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team (3-3) edged out the Vermont Catamounts 1-0, at Matador Field.
Right from the start the Matadors played with a lot of energy and intensity, controlling the majority of play. CSUN had a few strong scoring chances early but were just off on either the final pass or the shot itself. The Catamount head coach appeared a little frustrated, exhibited by his extremely vocal demeanor.
Vermont finally applied a little bit of pressure, but new Northridge goalkeeper Kellie Drenner was able to make the necessary saves. All season, Leah Elliot had been the CSUN goalie.
“We gave up nine goals in five games,” head coach Keith West said. “It wasn’t that Leah was playing bad, but you have to mix things up.”
In the second half, coach West proceeded to put in the team’s third goalie, Haley Hawes.
In the 28th minute, junior defender Desiree Cardenas sent a pass along the left side for the junior midfielder Sonia Espitia, who then sent a pass into the box for junior forward Farryn Townley.
“It looked like a header, but it was my shoulder, bouncing off and into the net,” Townley said.
It certainly was an unorthodox goal, but a goal nonetheless, giving CSUN the 1-0 lead. The Matadors carried the lead into the half.
Vermont came out of the half with a sense of urgency and intensity that they had not exhibited to that point. Coach West implored his team to match the intensity, which they did almost immediately.
Townley almost scored on two occasions but both times the Catamount goalkeeper, senior Eliza Bradley, made jumping saves, pushing the ball just over the net.
Late in the second half, Vermont applied a lot of pressure, knowing that time was running out. However, the Matadors did not look tired the way they did last week against Oregon State, a game in which they led 1-0 with 13 minutes left only to lose 3-1. After losing that game as well as the game at Creighton Friday night where they also blew a lead, coach West appeared to have found a way to correct the problem.
“I challenged them as people, I challenged them as soccer players, and I challenged them as young women,” Coach West said.
The defensive effort of the Matadors was extremely efficient all game. Almost every time they had a chance to clear the ball they did. All of this led CSUN to victory.
The Matadors have a few needed days of rest before their next game. They will travel to Albuquerque, N.M. to play in the New Mexico Tournament. Friday they will play the New Mexico Lobos and Sunday morning they face off against the Kent State Golden Flashes.