There is much more growing for Cal State Northridge to do. It was evident by team defensive breakdowns and missed opportunities.
What culminated was another slow start for the Matadors. UNLV took advantage of its opportunities in the first 28 minutes and CSUN fell at home 3-1.
“You can’t just look at what happens at the back three,” coach Keith West said. “As a team we made mistakes and they made us pay.”
It was another frustrating night for CSUN who fell in its second straight home game.
Payton Jo Armijo scored her first goal of the season in the 13th minute to tie the score at 1-1. Four minutes later, UNLV responded with a goal from Katie Ballou and put her team ahead for good. Kim Olivares added the third goal in the 28th minute.
“We just got to keep pushing and fighting,” Armijo said. “We make mistakes and we just need to forget about them and keep playing.
CSUN (1-2-1) elevated it’s game in the second half but couldn’t convert on its chances. Avery DeWitt ripped a shot in the 36th minute but UNLV goalkeeper made a diving save that deflected harmlessly off the crossbar. Alyssa Aguilar hit the crossbar in the 86th minute.
The Matadors dictated the pace and flow of the game while outshooting UNLV 7-5 in the second half.
It was an unfortunate result for the Matadors even after possibly playing its most tactically sound half in the final 45 minutes. The front led by Sydney Gilbert and Marissa Favela were finding gaps and it seemed as though CSUN could tie the match and send it into overtime.
“I don’t think we played bad,” West said. “I love this team, I love the way that we competed and we’re just going to continue to get better.”
CSUN women’s soccer begins a three game road trip and will face Army on the campus of Northern Arizona on Sunday.