FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton freshman Christina Burkenroad took a touch from teammate Nikki McCants and buried the go-ahead score to the left post in the 88th minute Sunday night, lifting the host Titans to a 2-1 upset victory over No. 21 Long Beach State at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton's victory snapped a two-match losing skid overall for the Titans (4-7 overall, 1-1 in the Big West Conference) and a two-match losing skid in the series with the 49ers. Long Beach State, which had won three in a row, fell to 8-4 overall and 1-1 in league play.
"This is a great result for the program," Head Coach Demian Brown said. "Long Beach State is a great team and they challenged us in every way. I strongly feel that our non-conference schedule really prepared us for tonight's match. This is the type of win we needed to propel us into next weekend and, hopefully, throughout the remainder of our conference schedule.
The score was Burkenroad's fourth, but her first game-winner of the season, as freshman Morgan Batcheller started the play with a long pass up the left side that McCants touched around the defender in front of her to the feet of Burkenroad streaking down the sideline. The freshman took a couple touches and line-drived a shot to the left side for the go-ahead score with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.
Burkenroad's score snapped a 1-1 tie after senior Stacey Fox netted the equalizer in the 56th minute after a handball in the box was whistled against Long Beach State. Fox, who also scored for the fourth time this season, beat 49ers goalkeeper Marrina Meyers to the right post for Fullerton's first penalty kick score of the year. Long Beach State had taken a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute on a first-half on Hannah Sanders' first of the year off a pass from Taylor Nelson.
The Titans outshot the 49ers, 13-10, for the match, putting six shots on frame to Long Beach State's four. Fullerton also out-cornered the 49ers, 7-5. Sophomore Chelsey Patterson finished with four shots for the Titans and was matched by Nadia Link's four shots -- three of those on frame -- for Long Beach State.
Cal State Fullerton hits the road for its first Big West road trip of the year next weekend as the Titans take on Cal State Northridge on Friday (Oct. 5) at 7 p.m. before jetting to islands for their first-ever match at league newcomer Hawaii on Sunday (Oct. 7) at 8 p.m. PT.