August 16, 2013

Defense Rules the Day in Scoreless Draw With Aztecs

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton junior midfielder Lauren Stupin took a match-high six shots and three Titan goalkeepers combined on the shutout as the home side held No. 11 San Diego State to just five shots in a scoreless regulation draw on Friday night at Titan Stadium.

In an exhibition match for both teams, Fullerton held a 16-5 advantage in shots overall for the match -- including a 12-2 lead in the second half -- but could not find the back of the net despite playing the final 64 minutes a man up after an Aztec was sent off with a red card in the 27th minute.

Eight different Titans finished with shots on the night, but were thwarted by San Diego State's goalkeeping trio of Melanie Vaughn, Sophia Trujillo, and Elise Nord, who each made three saves on the night.

After spotting the Aztecs the first two shots of the night, both over the crossbar by Perry, Fullerton's offense began to click. Junior Rebecca Wilson took the Titans' first attempt, a rocket from straight-on that was saved at 25 yards in the 25th minute -- the first of four-straight shots by the home team to close out the half.

Wilson had another golden attempt just go wide off a give-and-go with senior teammate Nikki McCants two minutes later and McCants was later taken down on a breakaway just outside the box by Carli Johnson, drawing the ejection. Stupin's ensuing free kick was saved, keeping the match scoreless.

Fullerton had the majority of the chances in the second half, including a goal by McCants off a nifty sequence with teammates Kishi Smith and Wilson with just over 16 minutes to play that was called back after being ruled offsides.

San Diego State's best second-half chance came with 14 minutes to play off a corner as Tiffany Geer's point-blank volley was saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart to turn away the Aztecs.

Six minutes later, McCants found freshman Ivy Diego, who stepped around the goalkeeper at the top of the box, but pushed a shot just wide to the right.

Two more attempts by the Titans in the box in the final five minutes were blocked and Stupin's last-ditch effort with less than a minute to play was just tipped over the net by Nord to preserve the draw.

Cal State Fullerton officially opens the 2013 regular season on the road next weekend, travelling to Provo, Utah, on Friday (Aug. 23) to face No. 6 BYU at 6 p.m. PT. The Titans open the home portion of their schedule two days later on Sunday (Aug. 25) at 4 p.m. against Fresno State.