Women’s soccer avoids historic losing skid

In Sports
Titan sophomore defender Amanda Larsson searches for the open teammate as she dribbles down the field. This season, Larsson has started in three out of five games for Cal State Fullerton.  (Gretchen Davey/DailyTitan)
Titan sophomore defender Amanda Larsson searches for the open teammate as she dribbles down the field. This season, Larsson has started in three out of five games for Cal State Fullerton.

(Gretchen Davey/DailyTitan)

Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer began its four-game homestand with a 1-1 weekend, losing 1-0 to Utah State on Friday, but bounced back to defeat San Jose State 1-0 on Sunday.

All was going well for the Titans to begin Friday’s game against Utah State, but a second-half goal from Aggie Bailee Hammond handed them their first home defeat of the season.

CSUF outshot the Aggies 6-4 in the first half, and boasted a 4-1 lead in shots on goal. Yet the Titans were unable to come out with a win, which has become a theme for them since their first game of the season.

“There are some things that we did better (against Utah State), but again there are some things we have to improve on,” said Head Coach Demian Brown following the loss. “We were in the attacking third enough, how we finish in the attacking third is what has to change.”

The lone goal of the game came in the 77th minute when Utah State’s Jessica Brooksby penetrated the middle of CSUF’s defense on a counterattack. She eventually found Hammond on the left side of the penalty box to knock in her first goal of the season.

“We got to clean up how we defend. We allow too many opportunities and I think we’re a little loose in our defensive group,” Brown said.

Brown continued to experiment with his starting lineup in CSUF’s Sunday matchup with San Jose State as Savannah Sloniger, Johana Rosas and Alea Acosta replaced Ivy Diego, Dani Baldwin and Devin Spolsdoff.

Just two minutes in, a curving top-corner blast from well outside the 18-yard box from CSUF’s junior midfielder Tala Haddad put her team on top and ended the Titan’s three-game scoring drought.

“I’ve definitely not scored from way back there before,” Haddad said. “So being in that situation, it was really nice to get an opportunity like that to take a shot from far out and have it go in.”

The goal at the very least helped the Titan’s avoid their fourth straight shutout, which would have been a new low for the program.

Despite the Titans being able to generate the only offense that mattered, they were still outshot by San Jose State 10-6.

CSUF’s narrow lead meant that San Jose State was in the game for the entire afternoon, with goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart having to make a pair of key saves to preserve her first shutout of the season.

Sunday’s win provided a sigh of relief for the Titans, but Brown remains adamant that his team still has room for improvement.

“I thought we did a better job of being loud and being organized,” Brown said. “Towards the end I thought we created a couple of opportunities for them that we’re going to want to really work on.”

CSUF will seek to keep their momentum going in the Fullerton tournament next weekend with a game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Followed by a game against Oregon University on Sunday at 5 p.m. All tournament matches will take place at Titan Stadium.

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