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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Soccer

Cougars ride hot start into California


Senior forward Selena Peters is one of six different Cougars to score a goal this season. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Soccer places their spotless record on the line Thursday when they head west for a matchup against the Cal State Northridge Matadors.

Now beginning the year at 2-0 for the second consecutive season, a win Thursday will mark the best start for soccer since 2010 when they started the year 4-0.

A 3-0 shutout of TSU Aug. 18, followed by a 4-1 victory over Northern Arizona University Aug. 20, has the team primed to have one of the best offenses in the conference. The Cougars’ surge in production is welcomed a season after tallying just 14 goals.

Freshman forward Jazmin Grant was pivotal to the team’s early success with an assist against TSU and two early goals against NAU.  The freshman’s efforts in her first pair of collegiate games earned her American Athletic Conference Rookie of The Week honors.

“We knew coming in that Jazmin had the potential to be a very dynamic player with the ability to score points,” said head coach Diego Bocanegra in a press release. “I think every day and every week she’s getting more comfortable and it showed in both games. We expect her to continue growing and as she grows we’re excited that she is going to be a force for the next four years.”

The Matadors enter Thursday’s tilt against the Cougars with a pair of 1-1 draws on the season. Cal State gave a valiant effort versus No. 24-ranked Long Beach State in their season opener Aug. 18 only to again tie versus Pacific University Aug. 21.

Last season, Cal State earned an impressive 11-5-5 record, including winning six games at home. The Cougars struggled to a 2-2-3 record in road contests in 2016.

First kick against Cal State is scheduled for 9 p.m.

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