The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors have scoring party against Southern Utah

For the second straight game, the Matador’s fell behind in the opening half. And for the second straight game, they came back.

The Matadors put up some scoring on the board, getting goals from five different players to defeat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 5-2 at Matador Soccer Field on Friday.

The Matadors had an offensive explosion under the blazing afternoon sun. They scored more goals than in any game of the 2007 season.

‘It’s hard on the girls playing in this heat,’ said assistant coach Derek Hanks. ‘It’s a home field advantage in a way, though. We’re used to playing and practicing when it’s really hot. A team from a place like Utah isn’t as experienced when it comes to that.’

Just as they did in the first game of the season against San Diego State, Northridge fell behind 1-0. The goal happened in the first minute of play, something that shocked the fans in attendance. Thunderbird junior Makell Hansen fired a shot from about 40 yards out that bounced between the legs of Northridge goalkeeper Leah Elliot and into the back of the net. The goal, one that looked like an easy save instead of a score, was Hansen’s fourth career goal for Southern Utah.

‘(Elliot) is coming back fresh to the position,’ said Hanks. ‘It looked like a mental error, and we’ll work on that with her through the season. She looked great through the rest of the game.’

The Matadors struck back in the 15th minute when Kristal Phillips scored her second goal of the season in as many games. It was assisted by Nancy Aveysan and Katie Fox.

‘I just tried to keep my head up,’ said Phillips, who also had an assist in the game. ‘You always have to keep pushing yourself in order to get what you want.’

What Phillips and the team ultimately look for are goals, and they certainly got plenty of them in the game. Phillips’ goal was just the beginning.

The score remained tied until the 42nd minute when Northridge Sophomore Erin Kelly netted her first career-goal for the Matadors off an assist from freshman Brielle Slepicoff.

And then, just three minutes later, the Matadors were on the board again. This time freshman Katie Coulas put in a ball that deflected off a Southern Utah defender with just eight seconds remaining in the first half. The goal gave the Matadors a 3-1 lead heading into halftime.

‘It was a whole team effort today,’ said Coulas, whose goal was the first as a Matador. ‘We stayed focused all game, especially into the second half.’

When the second half began, Northridge picked up right where they left off. Senior captain Tryna Tafoya scored in the 50th minute off a cross from Aveysan. Aveysan now has three assists for the season.

Southern Utah finally got back on the board in the 57th minute when Thunderbird freshman Stacey Brinkman headed a goal past Elliot. The goal was assisted by senior Erica Berlin and junior Laura Goodrich, and brought Southern Utah back within two goals.

‘The defense was having some lapses every now and then,’ said Hanks. ‘We’re going to continue to work on that and try to get them up to par with our offense.’

However, that was as close as the Thunderbirds would get as the Matadors dominated the ball for the final 30 minutes of the game, keeping it mostly on their offensive end of the pitch. Finally, with just one second remaining in the game, Northridge senior Tinamarie Lutizetti put the exclamation point in when she headed in a corner kick from Phillips to finish the scoring for the day.

It was the second straight game in which Southern Utah allowed five goals, but the Matadors don’t feel that’s a reason to take away from their credit. The coaches were happy to see the offense continue to improve.

‘Any time you score five goals in one game it means that the offense is working,’ said Hanks.

Phillips’ goal and assist put her 23 total points in her career, good enough for seventh on the Matador’s all-time list.For Northridge, freshman Alexis Barbara made her first collegiate appearance. Heidi Farran also made her debut after redshirting during her freshman year in 2007.

The Matador’s season continued on the road Sunday against Cal State Bakersfield. They return home this week for a match against UNLV on Friday. The Matadors hope by then they’ll have a chance at win number four. Friday’s game is set to begin at 4:30 pm.

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