August 17, 2012

Second Half Flurry Lifts Trojans Over Titans, 3-2

FULLERTON, Calif. – Samantha Johnson's penalty kick goal in the 74th minute after a handball in the box broke a 1-1 tie and Jordan Marada added the eventual game-winner almost two minutes later as visiting USC used a three-goal second half to edge host Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, in a non-conference women's soccer clash on Friday night at Titan Stadium.

"The result wasn't what we were looking for," Head Coach Demian Brown said. "However, the adversity we faced, the excitement of the match, and how we played at time leaves us with a number of positives as we prepare for Sunday's game at LMU."

After a scoreless opening half that saw the Titans (0-1 overall) outshoot the Women of Troy, 9-3, both team's offenses turned it up a notch in the second half with Fullerton drawing first blood. Freshman Christina Burkenroad scored her first career goal in the 57th minute after senior Stacey Fox's shot was saved off the line. The ball bounced directly to Burkenroad, who punched it home from five yards out for the 1-0 lead.

The advantage lasted until the 64th minute when the Women of Troy (1-0) answered off a set piece as Marlee Carrillo headed home a corner from teammate Jordan Marada to draw even at one apiece. Fullerton had a chance almost immediately on a counter attack as sophomore Rebecca Wilson sprung free from the USC defense and was taken down at the top of the box after a long run in the 66th minute, drawing a red card for Kristina Noriega, but no penalty kick for the home side. JeAnne Mazeau's ensuing shot off a free kick from 20 yards out was blocked by the wall and the follow from Wilson was wide.

Now playing a man down, that sequence set the stage for Johnson's goal on a penalty kick almost seven minutes later after it was ruled that Fullerton's Jennifer Smith committed a handball while making a save at the goal line, drawing a red card of her own and putting the two sides even at 10 players apiece. Johnson then slotted home her attempt to the left side, giving USC the 2-1 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Marada accounted for her third point of the night with her first goal of the year, as a defensive miscue turned the ball over and the junior put it home to the left side for a 3-1 advantage. That lasted until the closing two minutes with Fullerton pulled back to within a goal on Ann Marie Tangorra's first of the year with 1:45 remaining. Brianna Chapman made the pass from the top over to Tangorra on the left side and the senior shot back across the box to make it 3-2.

Tangorra's last second attempt on a run down the right side with under a minute to play was smothered by goalkeeper Faith Sugerman, who made six saves on the night, and preserved the win.

The Titans outshot the Women of Troy, 19-17, for the match while USC finished with eight corners to Fullerton's five. Junior Katie Pulliam, making her first start at the Division I level in net for the Titans, finished with five saves on the night.

Cal State Fullerton kicks off a three-match road swing on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 19) at 1 p.m. as the Titans take on Loyola Marymount at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles.