Sophomore Kristi Krohn scored the game-winner, igniting the Matadors to their ninth straight victory and sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference with an overall record of 10-1-0.
“We are excited about our winning streak, but our toughest games are still ahead of us,” said head coach Terry Davila.
CSUN dispatched rival Long Beach State 1-0 on Oct. 2 at Matador Field, handing the second-place team its third loss of the season and cushioning the Matador lead to two games up.
Krohn, who has scored a goal in each of the last four games, drove past the Long Beach State defense and sent a ball past goalkeeper Liz Ramos in the 58th minute, breaking the scoreless tie. Krohn has eight goals scored on the season, which matches the individual record for goals scored in a single season.
CSUN registered four of the six total shots on goal in the defense-heavy match. Junior April Cline recorded her fourth shutout of the season, preventing a goal attempt by 49er Kim Silos late in the game.
“Even though the score was 1-0, we dominated the game,” Davila said.
Prior to the team’s dominance over Long Beach State, the Matadors outlasted UC Irvine on Sept. 30 with a 3-1 victory, which gave CSUN its first conference win. The Anteaters have been struggling to stay above water, as the team is 3-8-1 overall.
The match itself was scheduled to be played at Matador Field, as one of only four CSUN conference home games, but due to the poor air quality left behind by the recent wildfires, the game was moved to Irvine.
Regardless, the Matadors successfully proved they are legitimate, scoring three goals on 11 shots. CSUN was able to build a two-score lead over UCI before halftime, with both goals netted by senior midfielder Brianna Monka, her sixth of the season. Sophomore midfielder Mary Ortega’s free kick sailed to Monka, who beat her defender for the 2-0 lead.
After the half, CSUN continued the onslaught as Krohn nailed an empty-net goal in minute 57, resulting in a 3-0 lead. By then, the game was all but out of reach for UCI.
But with only seconds left in regulation, Anteater Britney Webster launched a corner kick that found a hole in the defense, halting the Matador shutout.
Monka led all Matadors with five shot attempts. Cline recorded three saves in net. Krohn received Big West Player of the Week honors.
The Matadors will need to stay focused on what is important, especially with No. 19 CSU Fullerton on the schedule Oct. 7.
“It is only midway through the season,” Davila said. “We need to keep our eyes on the prize.”
Davila also mentioned that the team is optimistic, but they have yet to face the top teams in their conference. CSUN women’s soccer is not yet ranked in the national polls and Davila believes it may have to do with the lack of the programs national popularity.
“We don’t have national respect yet,” Davila said. He mentioned that a win over CSUF could change that.
“I’d rather win the Big West and play well in the NCAA tournament than be ranked in the top-25” Davila said. “Besides, it’s only paper.”
Davila stressed the importance of what is done on the field.
“We must stay focused,” Davila said. “People only remember what you do at the end of the season and we have a long way to go.”
Matt Osias can be reached at email@example.com.