NORTHIRIDGE, Calif. – (Hawaii Athletics) The University of Hawai'i soccer team lost to Cal State Northridge, 2-0, in the program's Big West Conference debut Sunday night at Matador Soccer Field. The Rainbow Wahine dropped to 5-5-2 with its fourth straight road loss.
After 16 years in the Western Athletic Conference, the Rainbow Wahine made its long-awaited debut in the Big West. CSUN (4-3-4, 1-0 BWC), however, wasn't in a welcoming mood scoring a goal just 91 seconds into the match. It was the worst possible scenario for the Rainbow Wahine who found themselves in an uphill battle all match against one of the stingiest defenses in the nation.
The match pitted the conference's top offense in Hawai'i versus a Cal State Northridge squad that entered the match having allowed just seven goals all season. In the end the Matadors posted their seventh shutout of the year, while the 'Bows failed to score for just the third time in 12 matches this season.
Melissa Fernandez was a part of both Northridge goals with an assist on the first score and an insurance goal in the second half. It marked just the second time this year the defense-minded Matadors scored multiple goals in a match.
The Matadors struck early when Nicole Cruz followed up on Fernandez' saved shot to give CSUN a 1-0 lead at the 1:31 mark. The Matadors continued to pepper the 'Bows with five shots in the first five minutes. UH weathered the storm and found themselves going toe-to-toe with the Matadors for the majority of the first half.
However, Fernandez gave the Matadors an insurmountable two-goal advantage when she put home another CSUN rebound shot in the 63rd minute. CSUN out-shot UH, 19-6, for the match.
The Rainbow Wahine now remain winless in their last nine matches (0-8-1) against Big West competition, including non-conference matches. It was also the team's seventh loss in nine all-time meetings versus Cal State Northridge.
The Rainbow Wahine will now return to the islands to play its first-ever Big West home match against UC Riverside on Friday, Oct. 5. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium.