Nov. 1, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton junior Danielle Bitonti scored the "golden goal" game-winner five minutes into the second overtime on Sunday afternoon to lift the Titans to a 2-1 extra-time win over visiting Pacific in front of 262 fans at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton finished the 2009 season on a high note, ending the year on a four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1) while improving to 6-8-5 overall on the year and 4-3-1 in Big West Conference play. The Tigers fell to 10-6-3 overall and 4-3-1 in league play with the loss.
After neither team could muster a shot in the first overtime period, the two teams played even to start the second overtime before the Titans made their run. Sophomore Katie Gibson took the ball down the right side before threading the ball between two defenders onto the foot of Bitonti , who was cutting across into the box in front of Gibson.
Bitonti took the ball in stride and fired it home from a sharp angle from six yards out, winding the shot around a diving Jill Medigovich in net and into the left side for her third goal of the year and her second game-winner in 2009.
The Titans took the early lead after a scoreless first period as junior Tanya Slusser netted her first goal of the season in the 54th minute. Slusser took a cross from teammate Brisa Gonzalez and headed it home into the lower left corner for the 1-0 advantage.
The score remained that way until the 85th minute when Pacific took advantage of traffic in the box to net the tying score. Lauren Olvera lifted a cross into the box from the left side that got bounced around by attackers and defenders alike.
Angelica Figueroa took advantage of the confusion, working the ball out of the crowd and firing a shot that bounced down off the crossbar, but deflecting off the back of a leaping Fullerton keeper Jordan-Michelle Santos and in to tie the score at 1-1, setting the stage for overtime.
Fullerton outshot Pacific, 13-10, for the match, getting three shots apiece from Gonzalez and Slusser to pace the offense. Figueroa had five shots to led all players on the afternoon while Kristina Wavomba added three more shots for the Tigers.
Santos made two saves in net to improve to 4-2-1 overall on the season while Medigovich was credited with three saves and had help from a defender who cleared a shot off the line in the first half.
Sunday's match marked the seventh time that the Titans went to overtime in 2009 (the sixth double-overtime match of the year), but gained their first victory after going 0-1-5 in their previous six attempts.