Nov. 6, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -
The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team will be making its second-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2005 after the host and top-seeded Titans defeated No. 2-seed UC Riverside, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon in the Big West Conference Women's Soccer Tournament championship game at Titan Stadium.
The Titans improved to 17-3 overall, staking claim to the tournament title for the first time in the five-year history of the event. The win was also Fullerton's ninth straight, extending its school record.
The field for the 64-team NCAA Tournament will be announced on Monday (Nov. 7) between 2 and 2:30 p.m. (PST) on ESPNEWS. Fullerton's last appearance in the NCAA Tournament came in 2001 when they posted a 13-7 overall record and an 8-1 mark in the Big West, but fell in the first round to nationally-ranked UCLA, 3-0, in Westwood, Calif.
UC Riverside saw its 11-match unbeaten streak snapped with the loss, ending the regular season with an 11-4-5 overall mark.
The victory was the first for the Titans over the Highlanders since 2001 as UC Riverside had gone 3-0-1 against Cal State Fullerton in that span, including a 1-0 victory this season on an own goal in Riverside, Calif., on Oct. 2.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Lauryn Welch scored twice, including the game-winner in the ninth minute of play when she dribbled for 20 yards, broke past two defenders, and beat the goalkeeper one-on-one for the opening score.
She added her second goal just over seven minutes later when she headed home a long cross from teammate Marlene Sandoval to the right post to make it 2-0.
That lead lasted until the 47th minute when UCR's Renee Scachetti blasted a shot off a pass from Kelly Ferguson and a little misdirection by Katie Sheldon to make it 2-1.
Fullerton's offense didn't sit quietly, however, as the Titans answered back five minutes later on Kellie Cox's sixth goal of the year - a header off a short cross in the box by Desiree Flint to make it 3-1.
Senior Kandace Wilson added the exclamation point in the 66th minute, knocking home her seventh goal of the year when a shot by Rebekah Patrick was deflected by the Highlanders' defense back toward their own goal. Wilson gathered the rebound, and beat the keeper one-on-one for the final tally.
Cal State Fullerton outshot UC Riverside, 19-8, on the afternoon, including a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal. Scachetti led all players with five shots on the afternoon.
UCR's Tawny Poggio made six saves in the loss for the Highlanders while Karen Bardsley had a pair of saves for the Titans.