Titans, Dons Battle to 1-1 Draw

Sept. 13, 2009

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FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Danielle Bitonti scored her first goal of the season in the second half to rally the Titans from a one-goal deficit and help them forge a 1-1 double-overtime draw with visiting San Francisco on Sunday afternoon at Titan Stadium.

The tie moved Fullerton to 1-4-1 overall on the season, completing an unbeaten weekend for the Titans. The Dons, who were held scoreless in a draw at UC Riverside on Friday night, moved to 4-1-2 overall on the year.

USF got on the board with just over a minute remaining on the clock in the first half as Keonna Robinson's soft shot off a Fullerton defender ricocheted off the hands of Titan keeper Shannon Simpson and just inside the right post to give the Dons the 1-0 lead right before the break.

It took Fullerton only six minutes into the second half to net the equalizer as Bitonti one-timed a volley past San Francisco keeper Kelly Pohle off a long cross from Geminesse Martinez to make it 1-1. For Martinez, it was her eighth career assist, putting her just four away from the all-time top 10 list.

The Titans almost took the lead just two minutes later as Caitin Mellano's header off a corner from Jordan Dolbin in the 54th minute was saved off the line by the Dons' Samantha Brand to keep the match scoreless.

Alyson Drake almost gave San Francisco the lead in the 71st minute responding by breaking down the left side and rocketing a shot off the post before her shot off her own rebound just trickled wide to the right side.

The final seconds of regulation also saw the Titans get another solid chance to put away the game-winner with just under 10 seconds remaining as Bitonti's corner kick skirted the end line, just inches from the goal mouth, but freshman Brisa Gonzalez, who was at the near post, couldn't get enough of a foot on it to tip it in.

San Francisco had what was thought to be the "golden goal" game-winner in the first overtime, but was disallowed after an offside call with four minutes to play. Ashley O'Brien's free kick from just inside midfield was passed on by Kristina Hall and headed on to the back post by Keonna Robinson. That's where Megan Bucci was waiting and sent the shot into the upper netting before the flag went up on the far side, disallowing the goal.

Sophomore Casey Volk also had one of the three Fullerton attempts in overtime, wrangling the ball in traffic within five yards, but her shot was gobbled up by Pohle, who made two saves on the afternoon, to preserve the tie.

Fullerton held an 8-5 advantage in the shot column led by Christina Murillo's two shots on the afternoon and had six corners to four for USF. Drake had a pair of shots to pace the Dons.

Cal State Fullerton closes out a string of three-straight home matches on Wednesday night (Sept. 16) at 7 p.m. as the Titans host Hawaii in a non-conference match-up at Titan Stadium.