Oct. 28, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - Sophomore Lauren Mellano's first goal of the season off a cross from her sister Caitlin two minutes into overtime broke a scoreless tie and lifted host Cal State Fullerton to a 1-0 extra-time victory over Pacific on a record-tying Friday night at Titan Stadium.
The Titans (8-8-3 overall, 2-4-1 in the Big West Conference) tied an NCAA record in the victory with their 11th overtime match of the season, equaling the mark set by William & Mary in 2005. Fullerton evened its mark in overtime at 4-4-3 with the victory and posted its first extra-time win since defeating UC Santa Barbara, 2-1, on Oct. 2.
The Tigers, needing a win to stay in the race for a spot in the Big West Tournament next week, fell to 8-8-1 overall and 2-4-1 in league play.
"This game serves as another reminder for us as to the potential we have," Head Coach Demian Brown said. "With this young group of players, this match will help lead us into Sunday's game and ultimately a fresh start to the 2012 season."
After a scoreless 90 minutes, the Titans capitalized on the first shot of the extra period with just under two minutes gone. Caitlin Mellano's corner toward the back post found the head of Lauren, who put it on net. Pacific goalkeeper Tashia Long, flanked by a pair of defenders, grabbed the ball, but the linesman ruled it had completely crossed the line for the score, ending the match.
It was the third career goal for Lauren, who scored twice as a freshman in 2010, and the ninth career assist for Caitlin, putting her three helpers shy of the all-time top 10 list at Fullerton.
Possession was hard to come by in the first half as both teams struggled to find a rhythm, finishing the first period with three shots apiece. In the second half, each offense began to find holes as sophomore Janali West forced Long to make a save in the first 30 seconds of the period, a sign of things to come.
Pacific had the first two solid chances on back-to-back plays, the first coming with 29 minutes remaining in the match as Kristina Wavomba was lightly marked on the right side, turned to the left, and rocketed a shot off the left post. Seconds later, Nydia Ramos stayed onside on a ball played to her out on the right, forcing a do-or-die charge from Fullerton keeper Lindsey Maricic. The sophomore affected the outcome as much as possible as Ramos' shot trickled wide to the left post by mere inches, keeping the match scoreless.
The Titans, who put three of their four shots on goal in the second half, responded with more pressure with just over 27 minutes to play as West played a ball forward to junior Ann Marie Tangorra, who chested it forward, ran onto the ball, turned, and fired a shot that just cleared the crossbar over the outstretched hands of Long in net.
Freshman Rebecca Wilson also put a shot on goal near the end of regulation that was smothered by Long as Fullerton pushed for the go-ahead goal in the closing moments.
The Tigers finished with an 8-7 shot advantage, but the Titans led, 4-2, in shots on goal and corner kicks for the night. Wavomba finished with a match-high three shots to lead all players for Pacific while seven different Fullerton players finished with shots on the night.
Cal State Fullerton closes out its 2011 season on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 30) at 2 p.m. as the Titans host UC Davis at Titan Stadium. The match will be preceded by "Senior Night" ceremonies honoring departing Titans Caitlin Mellano and undergraduate assistant Jordan-Michelle Santos.
Sunday is also part of the athletic department's "Halloween with the Titans" weekend as all fans wearing their Halloween costumes will receive free admission to Sunday's match.