Natalia Ledezma netted a hat trick and UC Irvine took a huge step toward successive Big West Conference regular-season titles Sunday afternoon, romping to a 4-0 victory in a first-place showdown at Cal State Northridge.
Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS), a sophomore transfer from UCLA, followed a third-minute own goal with strikes in the 11th, 66th and 77th minutes as the Anteaters (12-3-2) improved to 5-1-1 in the Big West. Ledezma, who netted the first hat trick for UCI in 15 years, has 11 goals this season.
Northridge (6-8-2), a surprise contender for the conference title, fell to 4-2-1 in conference play. UC Davis (4-1-1) and Long Beach State (4-2) also are in the battle for the conference title.
Irvine and Northridge each have one conference match remaining.
In other women's action:
Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) and Amanda LeCave scored first-half goals as No. 4 Pepperdine (13-0-4) extended its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-1 West Coast Conference victory at St. Mary's. The Waves are 5-0 in WCC play and stand two points in front of Santa Clara, which it faces Friday in the Bay Area.
Chelsea Stewart scored in the 28th minute and fed Jenna Richmond for a goal in the 35th, and No. 7 UCLA (12-1-2) toppled visiting Arizona State, 2-0, in a Pacific 12 Conference clash.
Elizabeth Eddy scored on a 60th-minute breakaway as USC (6-11-0) claimed its third straight Pac-12 victory, beating visiting Arizona, 1-0.
San Diego dominated Loyola Marymount (7-8-1), running up huge advantages in shots (20-3) and corner kicks (10-1), but needed Taylor Housley's second goal of the afternoon -- in the 86th minute -- to pull out a 2-1 WCC victory. Freshman Emily Maletis tallied for the Lions.
Cal State Fullerton (7-8-3) unleashed a season-best 33 shots but found the net just once, with Stacey Fox (Simi Valley/Royal HS) scoring in the 37th minute for a 1-1 Big West draw at UC Riverside (7-8-1). Shelley Brumbaugh (Corona/Santiago HS) tallied for the Highlanders.
Jessica Murphy (Torrance/West Torrance HS) tied the school record with five goals as Cal State Dominguez Hills (8-7-1) romped to a 6-2 California Collegiate Athletic Association victory over visiting San Francisco State. It gave her 13 goals this season and brought her career total to 57, just three off the program record set by Amy Rubin, a star on the Toros' 1991 NCAA Division II championship team.
Jani Carmona converted two penalty kicks in the final 11 minutes to lift Cal State San Bernardino (8-5-1) to a 2-1 CCAA victory over visiting Humboldt State.
Jennifer Rivera (Hacienda Heights/Wilson HS and Mt. San Antonio College) scored in the 68th minute to give Cal Poly Pomona (7-5-4) a 1-1 draw with Cal State L.A. (10-3-3). Gabbi Segall (Irvine/Tarbut V'Torah HS) tallied in the sixth minute for the Golden Eagles, who are 20th in the NCAA Division II rankings.
MEN: Cal State L.A. wins CCAA showdown
Nicolas Assad and Rosario Bras scored second-half goals as Cal State L.A. toppled one of its rivals for the California Collegiate Athletic Association crown, pulling out a 2-1 victory over visiting Cal Poly Pomona.
Assad (Winnetka/El Camino Real HS and Moorpark College) broke a scoreless draw in the 63rd minute, and Bras finished a sequence nine minutes later with his ninth goal of the season for the Golden Eagles.
Cal State L.A. (10-1-5) shares the CCAA South Division lead with Cal State Dominguez Hills, at 29 points, with two conference games remaining. Cal State L.A. is 8-1-5 in CCAA play, and Dominguez Hills is 9-3-2. Pomona dropped to 8-4-2.
Sean Gurley halved the deficit for the Broncos (9-5-2) with 98 seconds remaining.
In other men's action:
Connor Brandt (Temecula/Great Oak HS) scored in the 82nd minute to lead Cal State Dominguez Hills (11-3-2) to a 1-0 win over visiting San Francisco State, holding onto a share of the CCAA South Division lead with Cal State L.A.
Michael Powell scored with four seconds left in overtime to lift visiting Humboldt State to a 1-0 CCAA victory at Cal State San Bernardino (5-9-2). UC Irvine transfer Brett Faggioni hit the post twice with headers for the Coyotes.
Cal State Dominguez Hills 1 (Brandt 82), San Francisco State 0
Cal State L.A. 2 (Assad 63, Bras 73), Cal Poly Pomona 1 (Gurley 89)
Cal State San Bernardino 0, Humboldt State 1 (Powell 90)
La Sierra 1, Marymount 1, OT
Soka 1 (Tanaka 83), Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 6 (own goal 8, Holt 33, Xavier 35, Browne 59, Winchell 77, Palmer 85)
Cal State Dominguez Hills 6 (Murphy 11, 16, 22, 51, 56, Poole 69), San Francisco State 2 (Williams 69, 87)
Cal State L.A. 1 (Segall 6), Cal Poly Pomona 1 (Rivera 68), OT
Cal State Northridge 0, UC Irvine 4 (og Norton 3, Ledezma 11, 66, 77)
Cal State San Bernardino 2 (Carmona pen. 80, 85), Humboldt State 1 (Christensen 50)
San Diego 2 (Housley 10, 86), Loyola Marymount 1 (Maletis 20)
Soka 0, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 2 (Anderson 6, Frazier 85)
St. Mary's 1 (Marada 86), Pepperdine 2 (Cole 17, LeCave 35)
UC Riverside 1 (Brumbaugh 3), Cal State Fullerton 1 (Fox 37), OT
UCLA 2 (Stewart 28, Richmond 35), Arizona State 0
USC 1 (Eddy 60), Arizona 0
Home teams listed first