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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Northridge wins again

It didn’t take long for the CSUN women’s soccer team to rebound from their first loss of the season.

After losing 1-0 to No. 20 California on Friday, the Matadors (5-1-0) defeated Saint Mary’s (4-3-0) on Sunday 2-1 in the last game of the Saint Mary’s Fall Soccer Classic. CSUN won the match on a late goal from sophomore Farryn Townley.

‘Friday against Cal we had a couple of good chances, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net,’ said Matador assistant coach Derek Hanks. ‘On Sunday against St. Mary’s we were a little more focused and put away two great goals.’

After being shut out in their previous game, the Matadors didn’t waste much time getting back their scoring groove. Freshman Nancy Avesyan opened the scoring in the fifth minute of play when she chipped the ball in over the head of Gael goalkeeper Tara Larson. The shot came from 14 yards out and was assisted by senior Kristal Phillips. It was Avesyan’s first goal of her collegiate career.

One minute later, Avesyan had two more chances on goal, but Larson, who had six saves in the game, controlled both shots.

When the 10th minute hit, it was obvious Saint Mary’s had become the aggressor. The Gaels took five shots in a 10-minute span, three of them by sophomore Alex Cilento. However, all five of those attempts were either wide or high of the net.

Saint Mary’s took five more shots in the first half, but only two of them came on goal and they only served for Matador goalkeeper Leah Elliot to record saves. The Gaels had a 10-6 shot advantage heading into halftime, but it was CSUN who held the partial lead.

When the second half got underway, the Gaels continued carrying the offensive intensity. During the first 15 minutes of the half, Saint Mary’s let off four shots. Elliot saved three of them and the other one traveled high.

Just when it looked like the Matadors’ defense would be too much for the Gaels to overcome, senior Stefani Rocco blasted a shot past Elliot from 30 yards out to even the score at one in the 67th minute. The goal was assisted by junior Tara Farrell and was Rocco’s third of the year.

But Saint Mary’s wasn’t done. Just eight minutes later, Rocco was on attacking mode again, this time with a chance to give Saint Mary’s the lead. However, Elliot came through for Northridge and recorded the save to keep the score tied. The Matador finished the game with seven saves.

Finally, Northridge struck back. In the 81st minute, Townley found the back of the net from three yards out to put the Matadors ahead for good. Senior captain Tryna Tafoya set up the goal with a cross, good for her second assist of the season.

It was Townley’s third goal in 2008.

The Gaels had a golden opportunity to even the score in the final eight minutes of action. CSUN senior Kristal Phillips picked up her second yellow card of the game just a minute after the go-ahead score. The subsequent red card awarded her an ejection and gave the Gaels a one-player advantage through the rest of the contest.

Elliot saved Saint Mary’s first on-goal attempt after the expulsion, but it was the Gaels’ second chance that brought a chill to the Matadors’ backs. In the 90th minute, Saint Mary’s junior Jessica Menzhuber took a shot at an open net from 12 yards out that looked on its way to doom CSUN to a tie. However, at the last second, Northridge sophomore Katie Fox was able to kick the ball away from the goal and preserve the victory for Northridge.

‘We were up 2-1, so we knew we just had to weather the storm for the rest of the game,’ said Hanks, describing the contest’s final moments. ‘Katie (Fox) was on the goal line and barely saved the ball from scoring. It was intense.’

The game marked the fifth time in six games that the Matadors have only allowed a single goal or less.

‘Our defense is definitely the backbone of the team,’ said Hanks. ‘Leah (Elliot) is playing exceptionally well along with the whole back line. They are working as a unit.’

Northridge split the two games in Moraga and had three players named to the All-Tournament team over the weekend – Avesyan, Elliot, and sophomore Jasmine Pratt. Elliot made 15 saves and allowed two goals during the two games.

Northridge will continue its string of road games this weekend and will visit the desert for games against Arizona State and Arizona on Friday and Sunday respectively.

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