For the second consecutive weekend the Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team (3-3) will travel out of state. This time the Matadors head to Albuquerque to play in the University of New Mexico Nike Classic Tournament. Friday night, CSUN will play against the New Mexico Lobos. Sunday afternoon the Matadors will be designated the home team against Kent State.
Last weekend CSUN was in Nebraska to play Creighton, only to have to come back and play less than 40 hours later at home against Vermont. The Matadors didn’t look fatigue; in fact they put out their best defensive effort this season, in a 1-0 victory.
In preparation for the tournament, head coach Keith West looks to improve during practice and find his team identity.
“Keep getting better, keep improving through practice,” said West. “We need to figure out what are our individual needs and what are our team needs.”
Given the fact that the Matadors have used three goalies in the last two games, it’s clear that the team needs someone to step up and claim the starting goalkeeper position.
“We will see how this week goes but I have opened that position back up,” West said.
The New Mexico Lobos are going to be a difficult challenge. They are 5-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 13-2 in those games. The Lobos are lead by sophomore forward Jennifer Williams who already has five goals, three of which are game-winners.
Following the game against New Mexico, Northridge will play against the Kent State Golden Flashes Sunday afternoon. Kent State is 2-2-0 this year, but is yet to have played outside the state of Ohio.
This will be a grueling weekend for the Matadors, having first to deal with the travel and then play some pretty stiff competition.
“Anytime you put a team through that kind of travel, and then play the following day, it’s just hard to do,” West said.
Junior midfielder Sonia Espitia, junior forward Farryn Townley and sophomore forward Heidi Farran have all played extremely well as of late, and will have to continue to do so to get a couple of wins in the tournament. Sophomore defender Brielle Slepicoff played her best game last Sunday, and junior defender Katie Fox has been solid all year. If they continue to play this way, they should be able to stay in any game.
So far this season, the Matadors have played well but had a couple of late goals given up, causing the 3-3 record. CSUN will try to create a winning streak before coming home for the next couple of weeks.