Epsten's Late Goal Lifts San Diego Past Cal State Fullerton, 1-0
Nov. 4, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - San Diego junior Amy Epsten notched the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute and the No. 20 Toreros held on for 1-0 victory over host Cal State Fullerton on Sunday night in front of 457 fans at Titan Stadium.
The loss snaps the Titans five-match winning streak as they fell to 11-7-1 overall on the year. It is the fourth-straight meeting between the two schools that has been decided by a single goal. San Diego won its third consecutive match in improving to 14-2-3 overall.
After a scoreless first half that saw them outshot, 6-1, the Toreros turned up the heat in the second half, playing the role of aggressor for much of the period and turning that persistence into the game-winner.
Erika Welsey set up the game-winning score, taking the ball down the right side and sending a cross into the box that deflected off teammate Ashleigh Shoughro right to Epsten, who tucked the ball neatly under the crossbar from the top of the box for the game's only score.
USD had two chances earlier in the match to break the scoreless deadlock as a header by Vanessa Vella on the back post off a cross from Jen Mello was blocked just off the line. Two minutes later, Shoughro almost converted on a turnover by the Titans in their half of the field, putting her breakaway shot off the left post.
The Titans, who outshot the Toreros by an 11-7 margin for the game, had a couple of chances in the waning moments of the match as shots by Diana Signoriello and Stacey Thompson both sailed just wide in the final five minutes.
Cal State Fullerton applied the most pressure early on, outshooting San Diego 6-1 in the opening period. The Titans' best chance to score came with just under two minutes left to play in the first half as Casey Schostag sent a corner into the box where Jenae Gibbens fired a header toward the right post that was saved off the line by a USD defender.
Cal State Fullerton now sets its sights on defending its Big West Conference Tournament title for the second straight season as the Titans will be the No. 1 seed and host for the 2007 conference tournament next weekend at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton will open against fourth-seeded UC Irvine while second-seeded Long Beach State will meet No. 3 Cal Poly in Friday's (Nov. 9) two semifinal matches. The championship will be decided on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 11) at 1 p.m.