Defense Stands Tall in Scoreless Draw With Utah

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic made five saves to tally her second-straight shutout and the Titans defense stood tall in the face of 11 shots by visiting Utah as the two teams battled to a scoreless draw on Friday night in front of 628 fans at Titan Stadium.

Fullerton moved to 1-1-1 overall on the year while the Utes remained unbeaten, moving to 1-0-2 on the season. Friday marked the second-straight meeting between the two programs that has ended in a 0-0 draw (the first coming in 2011) and the third time in the last four meetings that a Titan-Ute clash has ended in a tie.

The Titans outshot the Utes, 14-11, for the match, including a 7-5 lead in shots on goal, but neither team could put one in the net as Utah keeper Lindsey Luke matched Maricic save-for-save, posting her third shutout of the season by making seven stops on the night.

Two golden chances presented themselves late for Fullerton, including one in the final minute of regulation that would have ended it in the Titans' favor. A looping cross from the right slipped past the goalkeeper and another Utah defender into a crowd and eventually to the feet of Christina Burkenroad, who muscled it to a waiting Colleen Ortega on the doorstep.

Luke, however, was up to the task, smothering Ortega's attempt at point-blank range with 46 seconds left to preserve the tie and send it to overtime.

Fullerton's second chance came with two minutes to play in the first overtime as Rebecca Wilson tried to hit a cutting Summer Chavez inside the penalty area with a nifty backheel, but Luke won the race to the ball to snuff out the chance.

Earlier in the match, Burkenroad's volley at the right post off a corner was smothered by Luke in the fifth minute and Nikki McCants had a ball played to her in stride in at the 5:30 mark only to have her shot saved from 10 yards out. Fullerton's best opportunity in the first half came in the 19th minute when a perfectly timed pass from McCants to Wilson had the Titans' junior breaking free, but Luke charged out and cut down the angle as Wilson's attempt was deflected and trickled toward the goal line only to be smothered and kept out.

Utah had a chance late in the first as the Utes found themselves with a 2-on-1 advantage, but Maricic answered with a heady play, coming off her line to stuff Katie Taylor's initial attempt as Harley Spier's rebound sailed wide.

Ortega and teammate Erica Mazeau each finished with three shots to lead the Titans while three different Utah players finished with a pair of shots on the night.

Cal State Fullerton closes out its three-match homestand on Sunday (Sept. 1) at 1 p.m. as the Titans host Montana at Titan Stadium. The Grizzles fell, 2-1, at Loyola Marymount earlier Friday night for their first loss (0-1-2) of the year.