Scouting The Pacific Tigers
The Tigers came out roaring last weekend with two huge matches on the road. The first was a 1-0 defeat of UC Santa Barbara followed by a scoreless tie at Cal Poly that kept Pacific in fourth place in the conference. Against UCSB, the Tigers got the game-winner from Mandi van Doren in the 78th minute after a corner kick off the foot of Jennifer Smiley. Laura Guerin made her first start in net this year, blanking the Gauchos for 90 minutes. Guerin continued her success on Sunday, shutting out the Mustangs on nine shots to keep her team in position for posteason play. Guerin has yet to relinquish a goal in 290 minutes of play this year and was named co-Player of the Week in the Big West for her efforts. Carmen Padilla is the team leader on offense with eight goals and six assists for 22 points. Regina McGee is second on the squad with three goals, two of which have been the game-winner. The Tigers are outscoring their opponents 26-20 and have blanked their opponent six times this season. Last season, in Stockton, CSUN closed out the year with a 2-1 victory. The all-time series is tied at 2-2-1 with CSUN 2-0-1 in the last three years.
Drawing Up Postseason Plans
For the Matadors to continue their magical season beyond Fridayís contest, they simply need to tie, or defeat, Pacific. The Big West Conference will send its top four teams to a postseason tournament, held this year at UC Irvine, to determine the regular-season champion. Currently in third place, CSUN will lock up one of those four spots with one point against the Tigers. A win on Friday would give the Matadors 18 points this season and could land them the number-one seed in the tournament. At 15 points after eight conference matches, CSUN still has a chance to continue play even with a loss. For that to happen, Cal Poly and Utah State would have to finish with less than 15 points. Both squads have two matches remaining, with Cal Poly (12 points) playing at Utah State (10 points) on Friday. CP also plays at Idaho on Sunday with USU hosting UCSB to close out the season. UC Riverside (9 points) also still has a chance to make the postseason with two wins. The tournament is hosted by UC Irvine this year. First-round games are on Friday, Nov. 5 with the first match at 5 p.m. The championship is on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.
CSUN Defeated In Overtime By UCSB
Unable to take advantage of second-half scoring chances, Cal State Northridge allowed the only goal in overtime, losing 1-0 to UC Santa Barbara on Sunday night at Harder Stadium. Darci Gwartz netted the game-winner for the Gauchos just 72 seconds into extra time to send Northridge to its third consecutive loss in conference play. Santa Barbara applied pressure early in the overtime, forcing a corner-kick off the Matador defense. Nicole Remminga sent the kick into the middle of the keeper's box where Molly Martin controlled the free ball and launched a shot. Karen Comstock was in position to make the great save, but the rebound fell right to Gwartz who tapped it in the empty net. The flow of the match was even until UCSB was issued a red card in the 59nd minute. With Leila Pate on a breakaway, Cinthia Ruiz fouled Pate and was ejected from the match. CSUN took advantage of the situation, applying constant pressure for the rest of regulation. The pressure didn't amount to a goal though, as UCSB keeper Jaime Considine twice came up big on free kicks from in close. Both Pate and Brianna Monka launched shots that seemed destined for the back of the net before Considine redirected the shots off the crossbar. Comstock finished with eight saves for the Matadors. Considine made seven saves to claim the shutout. The Gaucho defense also came up clutch, saving a shot off the foot of Michelle McCollum that Considine couldn't reach.
Matadors Struggle In Loss To Cal Poly
The Cal State Northridge offense was completely shut down and the Matadors gave up four second-half goals in a 4-0 loss to Cal Poly on Friday night at Mustang Stadium. Cal Poly launched 21 shots in controlling the pace of the match, sending CSUN to its second-consecutive loss after starting the Big West Season with five victories. After a scoreless first half, the Mustangs took the lead one minute after the break and didnít slow down. Kelsey Carroll netted her first score of the season to put Cal Poly ahead for good. Sarah Squires, Danielle Camarena and Katie Shield all followed with their first goals of the year later in the half. All four goals were scored against Karen Comstock, who made eight saves in her poorest outing of the season. Northridge mustered only four shots, a season low, in the loss. Liz Hill was only forced to make three saves in net to earn the shutout for the Mustangs. Sharon Day led the Cal Poly attack with four shots and assisted on the goal by Camarena. No Matador player took more than one shot.
As of Monday, Oct. 18, CSUN was ranked the 15th-best team in the West Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine ... the Matadors had previously never been regionally-ranked by a national publication ... Brianna Monka netted her team-best sixth goal this season against Cal State Fullerton and is now a perfect 3-for-3 on penalty kicks ... Monka currently is tied for third-best all-time at CSUN with six goals and 15 points this season ... the Matador offense was blanked over the weekend, snapping a school-record streak of scoring in 16 consecutive matches ... the previous record, set in 2000, was nine consecutive matches scoring at least one goal ... CSUN had never lasted more than two games into the start of a season without getting shutout ... CSUN has now lost three consecutive matches, all in conference play ... the losses come after winning six-straight BWC matches ... 11 different Matadors have scored a goal this season, only six scored in all of 2003 and 23 of the 26 goals have come from fresh faces ... Karen Comstock is second in the conference with six solo shutouts ... the overtime match at UC Santa Barbara was the seventh game this season that has needed extra play, extending a school record ... the previous high had been five OT games, accomplished in six of the nine CSUN seasons ... Northridge has lost the last two OT matches in a combined 1:28 after UCSB scored in just 72 seconds.