RIVERSIDE – CSUN Women’s Soccer (7-4-3, 1-1-0 Big West) scored three unanswered goals to roar past UC Riverside 3-1 on Sunday evening at UCR Soccer Stadium.
Freshman Cora Willcot netted her first career game-winning goal before halftime while sophomore Alexis White collected a career-high two goals in the win. Sophomore Amanda Delgado picked up two saves in front of the net.
The Matadors outshot the Highlanders 14-10 in the match including 8-3 in shots on goal. CSUN also took five of the six corner kicks in the contest. In fouls, the Matadors were whistled for eight while the Highlanders committed six. The yellow card was issued to Gabriela Robles in the 29th minute of the match.
CSUN came out quickly, posting three early shots from Cindy Arteaga in the first seven minutes of action. Avery DeWitt would put a shot on frame in the 13th minute but the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 for most of the half. The Highlanders were held to three shots in the period until the 39th minute when Natza Marin had her shot saved by Delgado. Off the rebound, Maria Gallardo tapped in the ball from under six yards to put UCR ahead 1-0.
The UCR lead would be short-lived as the Matadors answered back in the 44th minute. After winning a loose ball near midfield, Amya LawsonKitchen took the ball up the middle and found a streaking White who beat her defender for a game-tying strike. Just 1:19 later, the Matadors regained possession and went back on the attack, leading to the go-ahead goal seconds before the halftime buzzer. Taking a pass from Kacie Garrity, Amanda Martin sent a cross to Willcot who scored her second goal of the season from inside the 18-yard line.
The Matadors’ stingy defense kept the Highlanders off the scoreboard over the final 45 minutes of action. UCR recorded three shots in the first 15 minutes but none were on goal. Meanwhile, CSUN continued to attack the Highlander net with White, Arteaga and Sydney Gilbert all putting shots on goal.
With the Matadors still ahead by a goal, Bettany Fitzsimmons would deposit a cross from the corner to the middle of the box. White finished the play with a header that gave the Matadors a 3-1 lead with under six minutes to play. CSUN’s defense held firm in the final minutes as Delgado made her second save in the 90th minute while a Matador defender blocked away a shot from Jennifer Barroso seconds later.
White is the first Matador to record a brace since Cynthia Sanchez completed the feat against these same Highlanders in a Big West Tournament match in October 2017. Willcot’s game-winner is the first of her career and her second goal in as many matches. Garrity’s assist on Willcot’s goal is the first helper of her Matador career.
Arteaga finished with a team-high four shots and two on goal while White put all three of her shots on goal.
ACCORDING TO HEAD COACH KEITH WEST
“This is the hardest trip in our conference to make – to go to Hawai’i on Thursday and come back and play at Riverside tonight. After dropping one in overtime to Hawai’i and going down a goal tonight, we responded excellently and showed great spirit to keep on fighting.”
“Defensively, Amanda Martin was unbelievable tonight. She dominated the match on both ends of the field.”
The Matadors return home for a Thursday night match with Cal Poly. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. from Matador Soccer Field.