Hawaii Steals Victory With Last-Minute Strike

Sept. 30, 2008

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - An own goal with just under four minutes to go tied the match and Hawaii's Nicole Mikula netted the game-winner off a free kick in the 89th minute as the visiting Rainbow Wahine came from behind to defeat host Cal State Fullerton, 3-2, on Tuesday night in front of 452 fans at Titan Stadium.

The loss evened Fullerton's record at 5-5-1 overall on the season while Hawaii improved to 4-4-3 overall with the last-minute victory.

Freshman Arion Ingram put the Titans ahead, 2-1, with her first career goal off a deflection by senior Jenae Gibbens in the 40th minute and it stayed that way until Hawaii applied offensive pressure late to steal the win.

A cross from in close by Hawaii in the 87th minute looped over the head of goalkeeper Margaret Dupes toward the back right post. The ball then deflected into the Titans' net off a Fullerton player to tie the match at 2-2.

The Rainbow Wahine weren't done, however, as a foul was whistled against Cal State Fullerton just outside the box on the right side, setting up Mikula's winning kick. The sophomore bent the free kick into the left side netting from 20 yards out for her second goal of the year.

Hawaii then retained control and cleared away any Titan counterattacks to secure the win.

Fullerton played from behind for the second straight match as the Rainbow Wahine struck first in the 11th minute. Mari Funzal scored her second goal of the year off a pass from Taryn Fukuroku to make it 1-0.

Gibbens then set up the tying score as Tamara Dewey tallied her team-best fourth goal of the year to tie the match in the 29th minute. Gibbens threw the ball in behind the Hawaii defense, finding the head of Dewey, who headed it home to make it 1-1.

The Titans outshot the Rainbow Wahine, 19-9, for the match, including an 11-5 advantage during their first-half comeback. Ingram and sophomore Geminesse Martinez led the way with four shots apiece for the Titans while four players had two shots each for Hawaii.

Dupes, who was making her first career start in net for the Titans, was forced to make only one save in the loss. Her counterpart in net for the Rainbow Wahine, Kori Lu, made four saves.

Cal State Fullerton returns to action this weekend as the Titans open Big West Conference play at Titan Stadium. Fullerton hosts Cal Poly on Friday night (Oct. 3) at 7 p.m. before welcoming preseason conference favorite UC Santa Barbara to Orange County on Sunday (Oct. 5) at 5 p.m.