Townley’s journey to breaking records

Brandon Henson

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CSUN’s Farryn Townley (9) sets a new school record with her goal in the 39th minute of the game against Fullerton, recording her 46th career point in the process. Photo Credit: Sidhu Vedula / Contributing Photographer

It’s hard to believe women’s soccer phenom Farryn Townley, CSUN’s all-time leading scorer with 22 career goals, did not have an interest in soccer when she first began the sport at the age of 10.

In fact, the communications major loathed the fact she had to trade in her original sport for her cleats.

“Honestly, my parents made me play because both of my brothers played for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO),” senior forward Townley said. “Since I was out there all day anyway, they kind of forced me to play. I was a cheerleader at first, so I was mad at the beginning but I ended up doing really well and I really enjoyed it.”

Townley said soccer became her life once she stepped on the field for the first time. She played AYSO with her brothers for the next three years then stepped up and played club soccer non-stop from then on.

Growing up in Palmdale, California, Townley admired Mia Hamm as her role model and tended to structure her game around the former soccer great.

She enjoys the fact that Hamm and herself share the number nine jersey and are scorers for their team, which is what she cherishes most about being an athlete.

“I like being with all the girls and being a part of the team and getting a chance to meet new people,” said Townley, who has 11 game-winning goals. “It is a lot of fun being a part of a team because you have other people rely on you and you rely on them.”

Townley’s game progressed as the years went by, helping lead Highland High School to repeat league championship titles in 2005 and 2006, while earning first-team honors and setting the record for most assists as a senior.

Townley’s transition from high school to collegiate soccer was not an easy one. The 2009 Big West Honorable Mention said it was one of the most difficult events in her life.

“Coming here as a freshman, you do not really realize what you are getting yourself into; at least, I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into,” said Townley, whoholds CSUN’s school points record with 48. “Honestly, I didn’t know anything about Division I soccer before I came here. You don’t realize that all the players that you play with are the best on your team like you are.”

She said that club and high school soccer was a different atmosphere than the collegiate game.

“On my club teams and my high school team, I always did really well then you come to a school were all the best players are together and you have to fight for your spot,” Townley said. “I was not used to that, so I think dealing with the whole college part of playing to my strengths and finding myself as a player took me awhile.”

In her first year as a Matador, Townley posted two goals and an assist while coming off the bench for the team.

The following season ended early for Townley, after she suffered a stress fracture in her shin during a preseason game. She did well in 2008, making four starting appearances and adding four goals to her statistics.

Townley said she was still in the position of finding herself during her early years on the team, not having a breakout season until last year.

“I was OK my freshman through junior year, I scored a couple goals here and there but last year I took off and started playing really well on a more consistent basis,” Townley said. “I think I established myself and actually started doing really well, I had my best year last year.”

Last season, Townley became a star player for the Matadors as she tied a school record for nine goals in a single season while earning a team high of 20 points.

As a fifth-year senior this season, Townley said it was a major decision returning as she was about to hang up her cleats and call it quits. She credits her parents and boyfriend, her biggest fans, for helping her make the decision and run the field one more year.

With seven goals, two being game winners, and recently surpassing Erin Broadwell for the all-time goals scored record, Townley is having a phenomenal season.

Although she is excited about accomplishing many feats and doing well this year, the big picture for her is accumulating wins on the board.

“I think I am more focused on winning the games and scoring to win,” Townley said.

The Big West title in particular is where her focus is.

“I want to win it pretty bad. Last year we came really close and it was heart breaking,” Townley said. ”We have a better team this year and an even better chance of making it. We have five starters who are graduating so it is kind of now or never. I’m pretty excited about it.”

Head coach Keith West leads the Matadors to yet another Big West playoff berth, earning the third seed in the conference tournament to face Long Beach State in the semifinals.

Townley admires what coach West has done for the program and credits him with being a great coach and role model.
“I like playing for him (and) respect him as a coach. He’s a good coach and definitely someone you can look up to,” Townley said.

The players are one of the things she will miss after this season is over, since she does not think she will play soccer anymore.
“I’ve done it literally my whole life, never had a break to do anything, just play soccer,” said Townley, who has 57 careers shots on goal with 102 shots.

As the end of the season approaches, Townley will miss CSUN and the team.

“I enjoy playing for CSUN (and) I love all the girls,” Townley said. “I will definitely miss being on campus and seeing all the students that I know.”