Titans Open Season with Draw in Front of Record Crowd
FULLERTON, Calif. – Sophomore Ivy Diego's equalizer in the 83rd minute sent Cal State Fullerton's season opener into overtime as the Titans and 22nd-ranked BYU ended Friday's season opener in a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton fans set a new record as 1,365 onlookers were in attendance – the second largest crowd to attend a Cal State Fullerton women's soccer match - and the largest for a home opener.
"It's a great way to start the season," head coach Demian Brown said of the opener. "We built a schedule that was meant to challenge us. I thought we came into the game with the right mindset, and I though we executed numerous things that we've been working on in the training field. More than anything, I am completely happy with the way that we handled the adversity with going down a goal to the No. 22 team in the country. To be able to battle and come back, at the end of it, I think it was a great Division I soccer match."
The Titans scored their equalizer on a corner kick as Connie Caliz's blast found the head of Christina Burkenroad, who sent a shot toward goal. BYU goalkeeper Hannah Clark deflected the shot, but right to the feet of a waiting Diego, who hammered the equalizer in from five yards out.
Fullerton battled back after surrendering the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute as Ashley Hatch's 10-yard shot from the left side deflected off a Titan defender past freshman goalkeeper Morgan Bertsch.
BYU held a 14-10 shot advantage, but both teams had several opportunities. In overtime, the freshman pair of Tala Haddad and Sarah Fajnor almost ended the game. Fajnor broke free on Haddad's pass out of the midfield, but before she could attempt a shot on the breakaway, Clark covered up the ball in a collision.
Ali White's attempt in the 76th minute deflected off a defender and hit the post and in he first half, another Caliz corner found a wide-open Morgan Batcheller at the six-yard mark, but her attempt was stuffed by first-half BYU goalkeeper Katherine Snyder.
Bertsch, making her first collegiate start, tallied six saves for the Titans, while Diego's goal was the first of her career.
In the first half a CSF defensive giveaway nearly led to a BYU goal as Michele Murphy's blast was directed at Bertsch. In the 59th minute, Hatch nearly had a score, but her attempt on a breakaway sailed high of goal.
Cal State Fullerton will play its second of four straight home matches on Sunday, hosting Michigan State at 4 p.m.
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Notes: Cal State Fullerton is now 6-14-2 in season openers and 7-13-2 in home openers…the Titans hold an all-time record of 0-6-1 against BYU…dating back to Sept. 29, 2013, Fullerton is now undefeated in eight straight matches at Titan Stadium…Fullerton has also now played four straight overtime matches at Titan Stadium dating back to Oct. 27, 2013…the Titans are 13-10-22 in overtime matches during the Demian Brown era.