|Junior Erica Mazeau added a goal and an assist in the Titans' 4-1 win over UC Riverside to kick-off the spring|
FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team opened its 2013 spring schedule with a strong showing in Irvine over the weekend, posting wins over Big West Conference rivals Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside while drawing with host UC Irvine in a round-robin tournament at the Anteaters' campus.
"It was a productive start to our spring," Associate Head Coach Diego Bocanegra said. "We were solid individually which helped our team find a rhythm with our play. We can build on the individual positives and really focus on more team concepts moving forward."
Playing three, 40-minute periods -- each against a different opponent -- the Titans allowed only one goal on the day, shutting out the Matadors, 2-0, and rolling to a 4-1 win over the Highlanders while battling UCI to a scoreless draw.
In the opener, junior Nikki McCants scored both of Fullerton's goals in the win over Northridge, taking advantage of a rebound in front of the net and putting it home for the 1-0 lead. Minutes later, she added a second, taking a through ball from teammate Kishi Smith and hammering it home to make it 2-0.
Numerous chances went by the wayside in their second game of the day as the Titans and Anteaters were unable to dent the back of the net after 40 minutes. A chess match played mostly in the middle third, sophomore Rebecca Wilson had a counterattack that missed just wide while Irvine's best chance came on a corner kick that clanged off the crossbar to keep it scoreless.
Looking to rebound, Fullerton then took out its frustrations in the finale against Riverside in a decisive victory as freshman Christina Burkenroad and junior Erica Mazeau each finished with a goal and an assist against the Highlanders as four different Fullerton players found the back of the net.
Sophomore Lauren Stupin got things started off a pass from Mazeau, blasting a right-footed shot past the UCR keeper for the 1-0 lead before Mazeau got into the scoring column, adding a strike off a pass from Burkenroad to make it 2-0. Freshman Amanda Howard, who missed all of the 2012 regular season, netted her first score as a Titan with a shot from distance that eluded the keeper before Burkenroad sealed it with a header off a cross from Smith for the 4-0 lead. Riverside then added a score late to cap the scoring.
The Titans return to the pitch on Saturday, March 23, with a doubleheader at Titan Stadium. Fullerton hosts Cal Baptist at noon before welcoming Loyola Marymount for a 4 p.m. clash.