Women’s soccer wins home opener, loses to Fresno

Matt Crosson

The CSUN women’s soccer team looked stronger, faster and more aggressive than their opponents as they dismantled the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 3-0 at Matador field on Aug. 25. The Matadors followed up the impressive match at home with a disappointing loss on the road. The Matadors fell to 2005 Western Athletic Conference champion Fresno State 1-0, despite a strong desire to avenge last year’s loss to the Bulldogs.

The Matadors looked in mid-season form in their first game of the season, controlling the time of possession throughout most of the game, while out-shooting the Lumberjacks 29-10 and winning the corner kick attempts 11-1.

Keith West, who earned his first victory as head coach, was impressed with his team’s defensive play despite their offensive effort.

“Our ability to recover defensively really allowed us to execute our game plan,” West said. “We did everything correct.”

Goalkeepers April Cline and Kellie Drenner contributed to the Matadors’ defensive effort, not allowing one shot past them for the shutout. Drenner, a freshman, had two saves in the first game of her collegiate career.

The team applied a defensive strategy they developed from scouting their opponent in advance.

“We heard they were a long ball team,” defender Sara Davis said. “So we pressured them to take away the long ball.”

Three players who had never scored a collegiate goal led the offensive attack. Defenders Julie Hauserman and Shanna Hudson and forward Farryn Townley scored their first goals as Matadors.

All three Matador goals came in the first half while the Matadors attempted 12 shots on goal. Hauserman struck first in the 12th minute with a rocket from 30 yards out. Townley added to the lead with a chip shot to the right side of the net in the 34th minute, and four minutes later Hudson ripped a header into the back of the net off a corner kick from Davis.

“We like to press as much as possible,” said Hauserman. “We’ll lay off a bit when the coach tells us and then try to shock them with pressure.”

The Matadors’ offensive pressure continued in the second half. They won almost every loose-ball battle and controlled possession with smart, crisp passing. Bad luck and stellar play from Lumberjack goalkeeper Elizabeth Winkelblech denied the Matadors from adding to their lead. Senior midfielder Jessy Borges had a shot that hit the crossbar late in the half, and both Kristy Krohn and Adriene Dickerson had legitimate scoring opportunities.

The ratio of goals to scoring opportunities is a cause of concern to Coach West despite the 3-0 victory.

“Three goals on (29) shots,” said West. “We’ve got to do better than that.”

They could not apply the defensive pressure that carried them through the Lumberjacks game. The Matadors were out-shot 18-6 and could not get anything going offensively until late in the second half when sophomore forward Kristal Phillips had an open shot from the top of the penalty box in the 77th minute that was saved by Bulldog keeper Angie Larsen.

The Matadors will continue on their road trip to Corvallis, Ore. to compete in the Oregon State Nike Invitational, Sept. 1-3, where they will face University of Alabama-Birmingham and Northern Colorado.