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Clow Shows She’s Qualified

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rhiannon Clow’s debut with the Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team wasn’t scripted the way she planned, but the result was pleasing all the same.

Clow, a junior transfer from Santa Rosa Junior College, was briefly declared ineligible, jeopardizing her chance to play in the Matadors’ 7 p.m. opener at Cal State Los Angeles.

But after a frantic exchange of paperwork between her current and former schools, Clow was cleared only hours before kickoff and scored twice in a 6-1 victory.

Northridge Coach Brian Wiesner said he learned Friday morning that Clow’s transcript was not stamped with an associate in arts degree seal, although Clow met the degree requirements.

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Fearing Clow would not be eligible in time, Wiesner decided to instead start sophomore Heather Schou. He stuck with the lineup change even after Clow was cleared moments before the Matadors left for the game at 4 p.m.

“I had a contingency plan and I decided to use it anyway,” Wiesner said. “Heather is a strong player and we could drop Rhiannon on them as a surprise sub.”

Clow entered the game in the 22nd minute with Northridge ahead, 1-0, on a goal in the 11th minute by Amy Gill. Clow scored in the 42nd and 45th minutes to put the game away.

“It was hard to stand on the sidelines and watch the starting team go up there,” Clow said. “It was an emotional day, but it worked out.”

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Clow’s first goal came when she took a pass from midfielder Pam Karbowski on the left side of the penalty area, moved Golden Eagle goalkeeper Morgan Pedford to the right with a head fake and kicked the ball in off the left post.

Clow bore down alone on Pedford again three minutes later, but this time victimized her with a low shot inside the right post.

“Rhiannon loves to score,” Wiesner said. “Some people just shoot and hope. She scores. It’s why she gets up in the morning.”

Despite a sloppy start, the Matadors outshot Los Angeles, 25-5. Each program is in its second season, but while Northridge, an NCAA Division I independent, was 8-9-3 a year ago, the Division II Golden Eagles were 1-16-1.

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“At the beginning, we were still moving at practice speed,” Wiesner said. “It took us 45 minutes to step it up.”

Schou, Christy McGowan and Jenn Gardner scored in the second half for the Matadors.


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