Batcheller's Goal Buries USC in Double Overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Cal State Fullerton sophomore Morgan Batcheller netted her first career goal with just over two minutes left in the second overtime Sunday evening, lifting the visiting Titans to a stunning, 2-1, victory over host USC in front of 1,140 fans at McAlister Field in Los Angeles.
The win was Fullerton's first since Sept. 13, improving the Titans to 4-3-2 overall and ending an eight-match losing streak to Pac-12 Conference schools dating back to 2008. It was Fullerton's first win over its Southern California rival since the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament and the first over former Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin since he took over the helm of the Women of Troy in 2007 after six seasons with the Titans.
USC, which outshot Cal State Fullerton by a 24-7 count on the day, fell to 5-3-1 overall on the year with the loss.
Batcheller, who has spearheaded a defense that has allowed only three goals in the team's last 730:43, used her head on a set piece to give Fullerton its first road win of the season in three tries, burying a header to the left post off a corner kick by Erica Mazeau with just 2:43 remaining in the match to clinch it. The sophomore from Carlsbad almost had ended it with one minute remaining in regulation, but her header was cleared away at the goal line by USC's Mia Bruno.
The winner came more than 90 minutes after a wild first 16 minutes that saw both sides open the scoring early. In USC's case, it was really early, as Megan Borman netted her first of the year just 37 seconds into the match, finishing off a loose ball after a save by Fullerton keeper Lindsey Maricic for the 1-0 lead.
Borman's goal was the second-fastest goal scored against the Titans in the history of the program, trailing only a goal scored just 34 seconds in by Cal Poly's Patty Teal on Sept. 25, 1997.
"I am very proud of our women today," Head Coach Demian Brown said. "To give up a goal that early in a match against a fantastic team like USC and still find a way to battle back for a win says a lot about their character."
Fullerton then rebounded in the 16th minute with the equalizer as Mazeau collected another loose ball off her own saved shot and scored to the far post for her team-leading second score of the season. Coupled with her game-winning assist, Mazeau now leads the team with five points.
After a pair of point-blank saves and a stop on a penalty kick Friday night against Washington State, Maricic was again stellar in net, making seven saves on the day -- five of those coming in the second half, with two more clanging off the post, and another coming in the second overtime, turning away Kayla Mills in the 105th minute to set the stage for Batcheller's winner.
"I can't say enough about the play of Lindsey and the entire defensive group," Brown said. "This was a great win for us as we continue to prepare for the start of Big West Conference play."
Only Mazeau, Batcheller, and Christina Burkenroad finished with shots for Fullerton, which was efficient in putting six of its seven attempts on frame. Burkenroad led all Titans with three shots while Jordan Marada had a quarter of the attempts for the Women of Troy, accounting for six of the team's 24 shots.
The Titans return to the pitch with another split weekend, opening play on Friday afternoon (Sept. 27) at 3 p.m. with a road contest at Pepperdine before returning home to host Gonzaga on Sunday (Sept. 29) at 12 p.m. to close out non-conference play.
NOTES: The two goals on Sunday matched a season-hgh for Cal State Fullerton, equalling the mark set against Montana in a 2-0 win on Sept. 1... Mazeau's 16th minute goal ended a streak of 217:16 without a score for Fullerton... coupled with Friday's 1-0 result against Washington State, the Titans surrendered goals in back-to-back matches for the first time this season... Sunday marked the seventh time in nine matches this season that a game has been decided by a goal or less... Sunday's result against USC was only the second that did not end in a shutout for either team... Fullerton has now scored seven goals in nine matches this season while surrendering only six... Batcheller became only the sixth different Titan to score a goal this season.