UC Riverside Edges Titans Late, 3-2

Oct. 26, 2008

Box Score

FULLERTON, CA - UC Riverside's Tessa Lennala scored twice, including the game-winner in the 88th minute, and assisted on another to help lift the visiting Highlanders to a 3-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Sunday night at Titan Stadium.

The loss dropped the Titans to 7-10-1 overall on the year and 2-5 in Big West Conference play, ending a run of seven consecutive winning seasons. UCR improved to 6-10-2 overall and earned its first Big West win of the season, improving to 1-5-1 in league play.

Lennala's strike came with just under three minutes remaining in the match as teammate Sarah Mohammadi sent a long ball up from midfield just out of the reach of Fullerton defender Tamara Dewey and onto the feet of Lennala, who dribbled up the left side and beat the Titans' keeper for the game-winner.

It was the fifth loss for Fullerton this season where the game-winning goal for the opposition came in the final 10 minutes of the match.

The Titans jumped out to the early lead just seven minutes in as freshman Stacey Fox netted her team-best fifth goal of the year off a long throw-in on the left side from teammate Jenae Gibbens.

Fox's header deflected off the back post and then ricocheted off the back of a UC Riverside defender into the net for the 1-0 lead. It was Gibbens' team-best sixth assist of the year.

The Highlanders answerred with a goal in the 38th minute to tie the match as Lennala got on the board for the first time on the night as a corner kick was headed on by teammate Ashley Parks to Lennala on the right post, who put away the pass to make it 1-1.

The score remained that way until just under four minutes in to the second half when Lennala was tripped in the box by a Fullerton defender, drawing a penalty kick from the referee.

Lennala's attempt was saved by Shannon Simpson, but the rebounded eluded her and the Fullerton defense as Heidi Garrett was there to put home the rebound for her eighth goal of the year and give the Highlanders the 2-1 lead.

Less than five minutes later, sophomore Christina Murillo knotted the match in the 54th minute as junior Erica Peschken dribbled up the right side and sent a ball toward the top of the box through the UCR defense.

There, Murillo made her run, striking for her fourth goal of the year to tie the match at 2-2.

Both teams finished with 15 shots on the night as Lennala led all players with six shots. Gibbens had four shots on the night to lead the Titans' offense.

Cal State Fullerton closes out the 2008 regular season next Sunday (Nov. 2) as the Titans travel to Cal State Northridge for a 2 p.m. kickoff.