California State University, Northridge Women’s Soccer wrapped up exhibition play with a 3-1 victory over Hope International on Saturday evening at Matador Soccer Field. Kacie Garrity was credited with the Matadors’ first goal of the night while Daisy Torres broke a 1-1 tie and Cassidy Imperial-Pham closed the scoring on the night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
CSUN jumped on Hope International in the opening minute of the game, pressuring the defense leading to a goal. On a drive up the left side, Daisy Torres sent a cross toward a crowd in front of the net. Kacie Garrity was able to get a touch on the ball leading to the game’s first goal.
The Royals were able to answer back in the 10th minute when Sarah Ralston collected an overhead pass up the middle before finishing past the defense into an open net. After the HIU goal, CSUN’s defense held the Royals at bay over the next two periods with only two shots allowed.
The match remained tied until the 45th minute of play. Shortly after a shot on goal from Garrity, Torres was the recipient of a cross from Paige Califf in the middle of the box. With room, Torres finished the shot from straight away to give CSUN a 2-1 lead. The Matadors added an insurance goal in the 79th minute when Torres set up Imperial-Pham on the left wing for CSUN’s third goal of the night.
NOTES ON THE GAME
– The teams played three 30-minute periods in the match.
– CSUN outshot HIU 18-6 on the night including holding a 9-2 edge in shots on goal.
– Daisy Torres finished with two assists to go with a team-high six shots.
– Riley Liebsack played all 90 minutes in goal, picking up a save.
– HIU was whistled for 11 fouls while CSUN committed four fouls.
“As a coach, you want them to score and not let them concede,” said head coach Christine Johnson. “I was very happy that we were getting good looks at the goal, but obviously not happy that we conceded. We were slow to start again so we need to work through that and make sure that we’re ready to go as soon as the whistle blows.
“It’s a good group. I think they’re meshing really well. Whatever we can do to get [our freshmen] game experience now, we’re trying to do that and that’s why we scheduled the exhibitions. We’re going to need them. In order to be successful, we’re going to have to go deep in our roster. Giving them the confidence now and letting them know that ‘you do belong here and you’re going to impact us’ is going to benefit us in the long run.
“Over the next five days, it’s going to be tightening up the little things. I felt we didn’t move the ball as quickly as I would have liked. Our ability to connect simple passes and have more diverse ideas needs to be better. We still have a lot of growth that needs to occur over the next five days, and we’re going to be dialed in and focused.”
CSUN opens up the 2023 regular season on Thursday, Aug. 17 against Portland at Matador Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+ with Ghizal Hasan on the call.