W-Soccer: Matadors end five-game skid to UC Santa Barbara

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W-Soccer: Matadors end five-game skid to UC Santa Barbara

The Matadors celebrate their game-winning goal over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan/ Daily Sundial

The Matadors celebrate their game-winning goal over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan/ Daily Sundial

The Matadors celebrate their game-winning goal over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan/ Daily Sundial

The Matadors celebrate their game-winning goal over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan/ Daily Sundial

Christina Azouz

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The Matadors celebrate their game-winning goal over UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at Matador Soccer Field. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan/ Daily Sundial

After losing to Cal Poly two days earlier, the CSUN women’s soccer team bounced back to win its first Big West Conference home game of the season, defeating UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at Matador Soccer Field.

“It feels like the monkey is off my back,” said CSUN head coach Keith West.  “It feels really good (to get the win). We did some great things tonight. I’m proud of the girls for the way they responded after the loss on Friday.”

The victory snapped a five-game losing streak, which dates back to the 2007 season, to the Gauchos.

“I haven’t forgotten those games (previous losses to Santa Barbara),” West said.  “The girls know that this is a big game for us and this is a great result.”

Junior defender Nicole Cruz put the Matadors (4-7-2, 2-1-1 Big West) ahead in the 49th minute with her second goal of the season. Cruz shot the ball in the bottom right corner of the net after sophomore defender Amanda Smith crossed the ball to the left side of the field, where Cruz was waiting.

“It was really exciting,” said Cruz. “I felt like I just needed to run and keep going, then finally we’d get one.”

CSUN continuously put pressure on the Gauchos’ (5-9-2, 0-4-0) defense in the first period, leading to five shots on goal and four corner kicks.

Junior midfielder Stephanie Galarze, who came into the game as a substitute, had two shots on goal for the Matadors in the first half.

Just before halftime, Santa Barbara had two shots on goal in an eight second span, but junior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo, who recorded her second shutout of the year, saved both attempts.

The Matadors kept up their pressure on the Santa Barbara defense in the second half. Senior forward Heidi Farran had two chances to put CSUN up by two goals. Her first shot went just wide of the net and on the second she shot the ball over the wide-open net.

Next up, the Matadors will prepare for their match-up against Long Beach State on Friday. This will be the first time the teams play each other since the Big West Conference Tournament a year ago.