Oct. 29, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Brianna Buffington netted her first career hat trick in a Titan uniform to lead the visiting side to a 4-0 victory over host UC Irvine in the regular season finale for both squads on Sunday night at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, Calif.
The Titans improved to 9-7-2 overall on the season and 4-2-1 in league play - securing the sixth consecutive winning season under Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. UCI finished its season 3-13-1 overall and 0-7 in Big West play.
Buffington, who took only four shots on the match, converted on all three of her strikes put on net, giving her a team-high seven goals on the year.
The hat trick was the first for a Titan since Kandace Wilson scored all three of Fullerton's goals in a 3-1 victory over Fresno State on August 29, 2004.
Her first strike came in the fifth minute of play as she brokeaway from the defense off a pass from junior Kristen Boujos. The ball was misplayed by the UC Irvine goalkeeper and put away by Buffington into a wide open net for the 1-0 lead.
The score remained that way well into the second half when Buffington scored her second of the match in the 69th minute. Buffington again broke away from the Anteaters' defense down the left side and threaded the needle between the UCI defense and the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Buffington completed the hat trick three minutes later at the 72-minute mark as she chipped into an empty net after drawing the goalkeeper out of position to make it 3-0.
Boujos then capped the scoring with her second goal of the year in the 85th minute as she drove down the right side, drawing the keeper out again, and found the back of the net to the near post for the final 4-0 advantage.
Senior Karen Bardsley and junior Kerri Ward combined on the Titans' eighth shutout of the season. Bardsley, who made five saves in the match, became only the second goalkeeper in the history of the program to notch 100 saves in a single-season, joining Heidi Clauss, who had 129 saves in the program's inaugural season of 1993.
Ward made two saves in the final eight minutes of play in her second career appearance in net while Boujos led all players with six shots on the night.
Both teams finished the evening with 13 shots and seven shots on goal.
Cal State Fullerton now prepares for the 2006 Big West Conference Women's Soccer Tournament hosted by Long Beach State on Friday (Nov. 3) and Sunday (Nov. 5) at George Allen Field.
The semifinals begin at 11 a.m. with the No. 2 seed vs. the No. 3 seed. The second match, which is scheduled to begin 30 minutes following the completion of the first semifinal, will feature the top-seeded 49ers against the No. 4 seed.
The championship, and with it the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, will be contested on Sunday at 1 p.m.