Matadors fall to Titans, now four spots behind first place

After+losing+to+the+Titans%2C+CSUN+now+needs+to+make+up+five+points+to+catch+the+three+teams+at+the+top+of+the+conference.+Photo+credit%3A+File+Photo%2FThe+Sundial
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Matadors fall to Titans, now four spots behind first place

After losing to the Titans, CSUN now needs to make up five points to catch the three teams at the top of the conference. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After losing to the Titans, CSUN now needs to make up five points to catch the three teams at the top of the conference. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After losing to the Titans, CSUN now needs to make up five points to catch the three teams at the top of the conference. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

After losing to the Titans, CSUN now needs to make up five points to catch the three teams at the top of the conference. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

David Yapkowitz

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The CSUN women’s soccer team could not muster any rhythm in their 1-0 loss at California State University, Fullerton on Sunday.

The loss is the Matadors second in a row and it drops them to 10-7, 3-2 in Big West Conference play.

The Cal State Fullerton Titans had been the best team in the conference to this point, and they showed why. The Titans outshot the Matadors, 14-9, including 7-6 in shots on goal. They also managed to stave off several late attempts to score by CSUN as junior goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart had three saves in the final 12 minutes.

While the Matadors defense was strong in the first half, with senior goalkeeper Cynthia Tafoya recording three saves, they struggled a bit offensively.

The only opportunity in the half the Matadors got to scoring was when senior midfielder Lyndsey Preston’s shot was blocked.

The second half wasn’t much different. The Matadors were able to get off a few more shots, but the Titan defense was impenetrable.

Although Matadors came out with more energy and put themselves in better position to find the back of the net but couldn’t capitalize.

CSUN sophomore forward Cynthia Sanchez nearly had the games first score when her shot was wide left as CSUF junior goalkeeper Jessica Stuart came out to challenge.

CSUN would get off seven shots, five being on goal.

CSUN’s defense continued to be strong, but the Titans were able to break through late in the match. At the 72nd minute mark, Titan senior forward Rebecca Wilson took a pass from senior midfielder Christina Burkenroad and kicked in her 16th goal of the season.

Wilson is currently leading the conference in goals scored. Burkenroad is first in the conference in assists with nine.

The Matadors had multiple opportunities to score after that, with junior midfielder Camille Watson getting close on a header, and two shots on goal by Watson and sophomore midfielder Destinney Duron, but were unable to convert. Most of the interference came from Stuart who has the highest save percentage in the conference at 84.9 percent.

The loss dropped the Matadors to fifth in the conference and put a damper on their Big West Tournament hopes. Only the top four teams get in and the Matadors have two games remaining to try and secure a postseason berth.

The Matadors next match will be on the road against the University of California, Riverside Highlanders. The Highlanders are in fourth place right above the Matadors and a loss would eliminate CSUN from playoff competition.

A win would solidify a tournament appearance by the Matadors, and a tie would keep their hopes alive.

Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.

Reported by Giovanni Garcia and David Yapkowitz