Women’s soccer looks to regain form in conference play

After+starting+the+season+5-1%2C+the+Matadors+are+2-4+in+their+last+six+games+heading+into+conference+play.+Photo+credit%3A+File+Photo%2FThe+Sundial
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Women’s soccer looks to regain form in conference play

After starting the season 5-1, the Matadors are 2-4 in their last six games heading into conference play. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After starting the season 5-1, the Matadors are 2-4 in their last six games heading into conference play. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After starting the season 5-1, the Matadors are 2-4 in their last six games heading into conference play. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After starting the season 5-1, the Matadors are 2-4 in their last six games heading into conference play. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

David Yapkowitz

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The CSUN women’s soccer team wrapped up their non-conference schedule this past weekend and will now head into Big West Conference play.

The Matadors will enter the second half of the season with a 7-5 record.

Heading into conference play, the Matadors are reeling a bit, coming off their first losing streak of the season. They dropped a 4-1 contest to the University of San Diego on Sept. 25 and then went down in defeat, 2-1, to Texas Tech University who is ranked 15th in the nation.

During both games, the Matadors were without sophomore forward, Cynthia Sanchez who was nursing a leg injury. Sanchez leads the team in goals scored and was named Big West Offensive Player of the Week twice so far.

Her eight goals place her second in the conference in goals scored, only behind California State University, Fullerton senior forward, Rebecca Wilson who has 10.

After overcoming a few major injuries including tearing both her anterior cruciate ligament and her medial collateral ligament, she has turned in a stellar sophomore season playing her way into the top 10 in goals scored in CSUN women’s soccer history.

Throughout the rehab process, she has credited a strong support team for keeping her moving forward.

“I have to thank my teammates and coaches for pushing me everyday,” said Sanchez after moving up in the record books.

Aside from Sanchez, the Matadors have also received scoring help from multiple players. 11 different players have scored goals this season, a development that Head Coach Keith West is encouraged by.

“If Cynthia’s going to be the one who keeps scoring, I love that,” said West after the team completed a five-game win streak earlier this month. “But if someone else steps up and starts scoring, I love that too.”

In addition to the offense, CSUN’s defense has been strong to this point, the past weekend notwithstanding.

Quarterbacking the defense for the Matadors has been senior goalkeeper, Cynthia Tafoya. She recorded the seventh shut out of her career on Sept. 13 against the University of Portland and moved into 5th place in the school’s record books.

Although the defense has not been as strong the past couple of games, Tafoya is confident that the team will make the necessary adjustments as they approach conference play.

“We just need to stay disciplined,” said Tafoya after the loss to Texas Tech. “I think we are good where we are, we just need to put away our opportunities so we do not get down.”

The Matadors will travel to the University of California, Davis this Sunday for their first test in the Big West. The Aggies boast a 7-3 record and are 6-2 at home. They are led by junior forward, Rachel Smith who is tied with University of California, Santa Barbara freshman midfielder, Mallory Hromatko for fifth in the conference in goals scored with 5.

The Aggies are also on a two-game win streak with shutouts over San Diego State University, and the Saint Mary’s University.

The Big West as a whole has been solid so far with seven of the nine teams posting winning records, including the Matadors. Cal State Fullerton is leading the pack, boasting a 8-1 record.

The Matadors start conference play on the road against UC Davis on Sunday at 1 p.m.