CSUN Women’s Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before traveling to take on UC Davis on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday’s match will be streamed live on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health with Jose Avalos and Eduard Cauich calling the action.
The Matadors sit in a second-place tie with UC Davis (3-0-1) in the Big West standings at 10 points with first-place UC Irvine just ahead at 13 points. UC Riverside (3-2) is in fourth place with nine points followed by Cal State Fullerton (2-1-1, seven points), Long Beach State (1-3-1, four points), UC Santa Barbara (1-3-1, four points), Hawai’i (1-4, three points) and Cal Poly (1-4, three points). The teams that finish in the top four will qualify for the Big West Tournament, which is set to start on Thursday, November 2 at Matador Soccer Field.
CSUN earned six crucial points on the road last weekend to vault into second place in the conference. The Matadors defeated UC Riverside 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Bret Guarino on Thursday. Three days later, CSUN scored twice within a 9:39 span to erase a second-half deficit in a 2-1 victory at Hawai’i.
Guarino’s goal was her first in 31 career matches with the Matadors. Destinney Duron found Guarino in the 84th minute off a corner kick that sailed into the box. Jovani McCaskill collected her fifth shutout of the season and 26th of her career in the win over the Highlanders.
Against the Rainbow Wahine, Marissa Favela hit a game-tying goal in the 60th minute off a cross from Duron. Minutes later, Cynthia Sanchez put the Matadors ahead as she corralled a long pass from Sylvia Trinh and finished off a long run.
A pair of Matadors are on the cusp of making school history as Sanchez needs one more goal to tie CSUN’s all-time career scoring leader Farryn Townley (2006-10) while McCaskill is a shutout away from matching all-time leader Cynthia Rosas on the career shutout list. Sanchez’s 21st career goal at Hawai’i gave her 48 career points, which also matches Townley’s all-time school record. In addition, Sanchez is second in school history in shots with 167 and needs two to surpass current leader Melissa Fernandez (2009-12). The school’s all-time leader in career goals-against average (0.75), McCaskill registered a new single season shutout record with 14 last season.
On the year, Favela leads the Matadors with five goals and 12 points to go along with two assists and 42 shots. Second on the team in scoring, Sanchez has four goals along with an assist, nine points and 46 shots. With Guarino’s goal last week, eight Matadors have now scored at least one goal this season.
CSUN leads the all-time series with UC Irvine 9-7-4 after winning the last two meetings. Last season, the Matadors handed the Anteaters a 1-0 defeat in Irvine behind a goal from Sanchez in the fourth minute. The Matadors are 8-4-2 against UC Davis all time and unbeaten in each of the last three matches, however the last two contests have been scoreless draws.
A Closer Look at UC Irvine
UC Irvine is 9-4-4 on the season and a conference-best 4-1-1 in Big West play including a 3-0 record on the road. The Anteaters dropped a 1-0 decision to UC Davis last week before bouncing back with a 2-0 win over UC Riverside. Senior Noel Baham leads the Big West with six assists and is tied with fellow senior Kiana Palacios for the team lead with six goals. In net, sophomore Maddie Newsom has an 0.78 GAA, 65 saves and seven shutouts.
A Closer Look at UC Davis
The Aggies are 4-9-1 but unbeaten in Big West play. Last week, UC Davis defeated UC Irvine 1-0 on Thursday and earned a 1-1 draw with Cal State Fullerton. Freshman Mahlah Catline has scored a team-leading four goals for the Aggies while senior Mandy McKeegan has four assists, three goals and 10 points. Junior goalkeeper Alexis Smith has started 12 matches and amassed a 1.13 GAA with 69 saves and two shutouts.