W-Soccer: Matadors earn spot in Big West Tournament
The CSUN women’s soccer team scored three goals for the third time this season as the Matadors defeated Cal State Bakersfield, 3-0, in a non-conference match on Senior Night at the Matador Soccer Field Sunday night.
The Matadors closed out their regular season schedule against the Roadrunners, but their season isn’t over. Thanks to UC Riverside falling to UC Irvine, 5-0, on Sunday, CSUN clinched the third seed in the Big West Tournament.
The Matadors will now go on the road to face Long Beach State on Thursday in the semifinals for the second consecutive season. CSUN lost to the 49ers a year ago and will try to get a different result this year.
“This (game against Bakersfield) got our confidence up,” junior Marissa Miller said. “It got us used to playing soccer again so hopefully we get into Long Beach and play calm.”
Miller got the scoring started in the 23rd minute with a one-touch goal into the bottom left corner of the net. Freshman midfielder Hannah Wissler crossed the ball to Miller after a long run on the left side of the field and Miller received the easy goal for her first career score. It was also the first career assist for Wissler.
“I feel like I waited so long to do it and it finally happened,” Miller said. “I waited up till the last game of the season to do it and it felt good.”
In the 38th minute sophomore midfielder Haley Chee extended the Matador (7-9-2, 4-3-1 Big West) lead with her first goal of her career. Sophomore defender Amanda Smith’s shot was blocked by Bakersfield goalkeeper Kym Gause and Chee put back the rebound for the goal.
The scoring for CSUN continued into the second half when junior defender Jessa Yukihiro put the Matadors up 3-0. A yellow card by Taylor French led to a free kick for CSUN taken by sophomore defender Shannon Ward. Ward’s kick went right at Gause, who could not control the ball. The ball fell free in front of Yukihiro, who just touched the ball into the net.
“We played really well,” said Chee. “Everything flowed really well.”
The Matadors scored more than one goal for the first time since finding the back of the net three times against UC Davis on Oct. 2.
CSUN was mostly outplayed by the Roadrunners (3-13-1) who controlled possession of the ball for the majority of the game.
The Roadrunners had four shots on goal for the game but could not get any shots past junior goalkeeper Haley Hawes, who started in place of junior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo.
The Matadors had eight of their scoring chances called offsides. The forwards would get past the last Bakersfield defender before the pass was made.
Assistant coach Juan Plascencia took over for CSUN head coach Keith West because West received a red card in the Matadors’ last game against UC Riverside. CSUN’s lineup was a different lineup compared with the rest of the season. Hawes started her first game of the season, replacing Jacobo. Senior midfielder Katie Coulas, sophomore midfielder Renee McCaleb, freshman defender Leandra Walker, junior forward Marissa Miller and sophomore defender Wendy Warner all started the game, giving the usual starters a game off.
“This (game) shows the depth of the team,” Plascencia said. “We saw a lot of good things from everyone.”
Seniors Heidi Farran, Brielle Slepicoff, Alexis Barbara and Coulas played in their last home game of their careers.