The Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team lost 2-1 Sunday afternoon to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who did not lose a game in the 2012 Under Armour Invitational at Titan Stadium. The Red Raiders beat the Titans in what became the default invitational championship game.
Texas Tech freshman Janine Beckie scored the first goal in the 13th minute of the first half off a deflection from the goalkeeper.
“She (Janine Beckie) was a decent player, so she was able to get behind us a couple times,” goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic said about the problems the team was having containing the freshman.
The Titans let the speedy Beckie penetrate their defense as a result of a Jessica Fuston backwards flick pass coming from the middle of the 18-yard-box. The pass caught the Titans off guard.
Beckie, a Red Raiders forward, scored three goals in this weekend’s invitational, becoming Texas Tech’s main goal-scoring threat.
Pounding the ball often, Texas Tech finally put in a second goal late in the game.
Paige Strahan put the game out of reach 2-0 with about nine minutes remaining before the end of the game, scoring on a deep line drive shot.
“Texas Tech is a very good team,” said Head Coach Demian Brown. “They put us under pressure, and they did a very good job keeping to at what they wanted to do. They kind of took us out of our rhythm.”
But the Titans were not about to leave the game without putting up a fight.
Christina Burkenroad put her head on the ball and scored in the 83rd minute of the game, bouncing the ball over the goal line from in front of the net. The goal gave the Titans new life as they attempted to tie the game with seven minutes remaining.
“I just jumped up and saw the goalie to my left and just tried to get it before she did,” said Burkenroad, describing the Titans’ only goal of the day.
The penetrating Red Raiders offense pressured the Titan defense early and often, forcing goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic to make many crucial saves.
With about 26 minutes left in the first half, Maricic was left one-on-one against Red Raiders forward Beckie.
Maricic cut off her angle from the left outside corner of the 18-yard box and made a sliding save, keeping the score manageable, down 1-0.
“A lot of the time we were getting caught… on our flanks (because) we were playing a little high so we were leaving the space open knowing that our backs would have to drop and challenge,” Maricic said.
Cal State Fullerton chased the Red Raiders for most of the first half, not controlling the ball much and playing flat all around.
The Titans played with a little more fire in their feet coming out after the half.
“The team just needed to be themselves and play how they know how to play,” Brown said.
The Titans’ second game of the 2012 Under Armour Invitational against Texas Tech became the default championship game of the weekend.
Texas Tech beat No. 20 Long Beach State earlier on Friday, increasing their win total and staying hot with an impressive season-opening 6-3 record.
“We were ready to play them… but we didn’t understand their game plan at the beginning and so we were just unorganized,” said team captain Stacey Fox. Fox missed the invitational because of concussion symptoms stemming from last week’s Creighton game.
The Titans will have an opportunity to regroup as they have 12 days off and won’t play a game until a Friday, Sept. 28 matchup with the UCI Anteaters at Titan Stadium. For more information visit: FullertonTitans.com.