After losing its first two games of the year last weekend, the CSUN women’s soccer team is in need of its first victory.
The Matadors fell to Big West preseason favorite UC Santa Barbara and fifth- ranked Portland in subpar offensive performances.
In the two games combined, the Matadors scored one lone goal against Portland, which is a problem head coach Keith West believes the team will need to fix.
According to West, the team needs to be more involved on the offensive end of the ball.
“(We) need to score goals, everyone needs to score goals,” said West, who was Big West Coach the Year last season.
The team will need to bring the offensive intensity that West is preaching when they go head to head with Saint Joseph’s University Sunday afternoon at Matador Field.
The Hawks, who finished the 2009 season with an overall record of 7-9-3 and went 4-6-1 in the Atlantic Conference, do not start their season until Friday against UCSB.
The Matadors will need to be on the defensive prowl due to the Hawks’ phenom freshman Mo Hawkins.
During her high school career, Hawkins flourished at the forward position, ranking in a record 112 goals and tallying numerous accolades to her name, including Northeast Player of the Year and 2009 Catholic League MVP. This year she has been named to the Atlantic Preseason All-Rookie Team and will be a key offensive playmaker for the Philadelphia-based Hawks in Sunday’s matchup.
Going into Sunday’s game, starting goalie Cynthia Jacobo, who had 11 saves against the Gauchos and Pilots, believes the Matadors are confident and not worried about starting the season with a 0-2 hole. Jacobo feels no pressure matching up against the Hawks.
“We are much more confident, Portland is a good team but we kept up with them, we pushed ourselves,” Jacobo said.
According to Jacobo, if the team plays every game with the same level of energy and toughness they played with against Portland this past Sunday, the Matadors should have no problem. The team played with quality effort and intensity, taking the game all the way to the waning seconds of the second half.
Yet in the two games played, the team posted a mere 13 shot attempts. If the Matadors are to get their first win Sunday, the team has to improve its offensive play.
Jacobo feels the team can improve simply by building chemistry.
“More communication, communicate with the forwards (offensively),” she said. “Everything leads to communication.”
Defensively, Jacobo does not see many problems among the team.
“I think we are pretty solid in the back field. We just need to keep up the same intensity and keep working hard to get wins,” Jacobo said.
The Matadors still retain the same confidence level they had at the beginning of the season and, according to West, the team just needs to put the first win on the board.