W-Soccer: CSUN eyeing first place in crucial league games

Amanda Smith (2) and the Matadors face Cal State Fullerton tonight. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan / Daily Sundial

Christina Azouz

Amanda Smith (2) and the Matadors face Cal State Fullerton tonight. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan / Daily Sundial

With only four scheduled games remaining in the season, the CSUN women’s soccer team finds itself in position to make a run at the Big West regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

The Matadors are currently tied for second place with UC Davis in the conference standings and trail Big West leader UC Irvine, a team CSUN faces at home Sunday night, by three points.

“The magic number to get into the Big West tournament…15 or 16 points should get us in,” said CSUN head coach Keith West, whose team faces Cal State Fullerton on the road tonight.  “We’re at 10 (points), so we’re close to getting there.”

The Matadors (5-7-2, 3-1-1) are coming off an upset victory over Big West defending champions Long Beach State last Friday night.  Long Beach native, senior forward Heidi Farran, scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute to put the Matadors ahead of Long Beach in the conference standings at the time.

“They (Long Beach State) were undefeated for the last six games and they were 3 and 0 in conference,” Farran said. “So beating them was a huge deal for us.  We lost to them in the playoffs last year so it was kind of like a comeback.”

CSUN fell into a tie for second place after UC Irvine defeated the 49ers on Sunday.

“We made a statement (with the Long Beach win) for us and for the other teams we are going to play in conference,” sophomore defender Chloe McDaniel said. “Like ‘heads up, we’re coming.’”

CSUN now turns its focus to the Titans, a team they’ve beaten three out of the last four meetings.  The last time the Matadors lost to Cal State Fullerton was in 2007. In the four games, CSUN has allowed four goals and scored six goals.

The Titans (7-7-2, 1-3-0) are tied with UC Santa Barbara for eighth place in the Big West with a measly three points.

Junior forward Ann Marie Tangorra leads the Titans with five goals and four assists.  Right behind Tangorra is sophomore forward Nikki McCants with four goals.

Cal State Fullerton has allowed seven goals and found the back of the net five times in four conference games. The Titans are averaging 18 shots per game but only average 1.25 goals a game. They also lead the conference with 6.25 corner kicks per game.

“We got some big games left,” West said.  “Thursday against Fullerton is going to be a great game.”

The Matadors have been one of the best defensive teams in the conference.  CSUN has only allowed four goals in its five Big West Conference games, an average of only 0.77 goals per game.

Junior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo is second in the conference in save percentage (.846) and in shutouts with two.

CSUN will finish the weekend with a match-up against UC Irvine. The Anteaters (11-3-2, 4-1-1) have 13 points and have won their last four conference games.

The Anteaters average 1.67 goals per game and only allow 0.96 goals per game. The teams have split the last two games against each other, with each team winning at home.