Oct. 2, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -
Information Courtesy UC Riverside Media Relations
UC Riverside made a successful start to the 2005 Big West Conference schedule, defeating 25th-ranked Cal State Fullerton 1-0 in front of 300 fans Sunday afternoon at the UCR Soccer Stadium.
The Highlanders won their second consecutive game to improve to 7-3-1, 1-0-0 while the Titans¹ four-game winning streak comes to an end as they drop to 8-3-0, 0-1-0.
UCR scored the game¹s only goal against the run of play. Junior forward Kelly Ferguson won a corner kick in the 37th minute and took it herself, whipping a left-footed cross into the penalty box. Sophomore forward Jenna Leonti met it at the near post and thundered a header past CSUF goalie Karen Bardsley. The Highlanders went ahead 1-0 although the referee ruled that Titan Jenesa Bradshaw got the final touch, resulting in an own goal.
The defending Big West regular season co-champs, Cal State Fullerton put pressure on the Highlanders almost immediately after the opening kick-off.
The Titans continually put UCR on its heels, raining shots down on Highlander junior goalkeeper Tawny Poggio. After 15 minutes, the Titans almost took the lead but Rebekah Patrick¹s shot rebounded back off the post.
CSUF outshot UCR 9-0 in the first half but it was UCR who held the lead at halftime thanks to four saves from Poggio.
Fullerton pushed forward in the second half looking for an equalizer that would never materialize. Time and time again the Highlander defense held strong at pivotal moments. In the 59th minute, Fullerton¹s Kandace Wilson got around the back of the defense and sent a shot that was deflected past Poggio but freshman defender Kristen Williams came sliding in to clear the ball off the goalline. The Titans had one more chance in the 79th minute when Stacey Thompson found herself unmarked at the penalty spot but her shot grazed wide of the post.
Poggio was a rock in goal for UCR, making six saves for her second solo shutout of the season. Bardsley was forced into just one save, which came late in the contest.
The Highlanders have not lost to the Titans in their last four meetings, tying last year and winning via shutout in both 2002 and 2003. UCR has also not lost a conference opener since 2001.
Cla State Fullerton continues Big West play next weekend as the Titans play host to Cal State Northridge on Friday (Oct. 7) at 7 p.m. and Pacific on Sunday (Oct. 9) at 1 p.m., both at Titan Stadium.