Titans Clinch First Victory, 1-0, Over Bulldogs
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton sophomore Christina Burkenroad's first goal of the year in the closing minute of the first half proved to be enough, as the Titans rebounded from a season-opening loss with a 1-0 shutout victory over Fresno State in front of 752 fans on Sunday evening at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton evened its record at 1-1 overall, outshooting the Bulldogs by a 19-9 count for the match. Fresno State, which fell at UC Santa Barbara on Friday in its season opener, fell to 0-2 overall on the year.
"I'm very excited about our first win of the season," Head Coach Demian Brown said. "The weekend was beneficial and gives us great direction in regards to our focus for the coming weeks. I am, again, very pleased with the play of Lindsey Maricic and the effort she has put in in leading our defense to start the year."
Despite dominating the run of the play in the first half, outshooting the Bulldogs, 13-3, and holding a 5-0 lead in corner kicks, it took until the final minute of the period to get on the board, with two more solid chances coming in the final four minutes.
Burkenroad finally converted with 44 seconds remaining in the half, dribbling into the box, fighting through two defenders and poking it past a diving Katie DeVault to the left post for the only score of the match.
Three minutes earlier, Burkenroad's one-touch off a pass from freshman Ivy Diego with four minutes to play in the first sailed high from eight yards out and, 40 seconds after that, Rebecca Wilson had a golden chance, but her chip shot was smothered by DeVault to keep the match scoreless.
Fresno State came out firing after the break, taking the first solid chance of the match just 40 seconds in when Morgan Castain's rocket was blocked by the defense. A minute later, Megan Mossman got loose on the right side and tried to hit a cutting Castain, but keeper Lindsey Maricic came out to smother any chance and preserve the lead.
Five of the first six shots in the half belonged to the Bulldogs as the Titans tried in vain to add to their lead only to have a pair of shots sail high and three more miss wide. Only three of Fullerton's 19 shots were on frame.
Castain accounted for four of Fresno State's nine shots on the afternoon while Burkenroad came off the bench with four of her own to lead the Titans. Maricic, who made a career-high 11 saves at No. 6 BYU two nights earlier, stopped all three shots punted her way to record her first clean sheet of the year and the 12th of her career -- just one back of Laura Janke (2000-03) for second place on the all-time list.
Cal State Fullerton concludes a three-match homstand next weekend, hosting Utah on Friday (Aug. 30) at 7 p.m. and Montana on Sunday (Sept. 1) at 1 p.m.