Top-Seeded UCLA Downs Cal State Fullerton, 3-1 in NCAA First Round
Nov. 16, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Junior midfielder Christina DiMartino had a hand in all three Bruins goals, as the top-ranked UCLA women's soccer team recorded a 3-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Drake Stadium. With the win, UCLA (17-1-2) advances to the second round and will face the winner of Friday's late match between San Diego and Oklahoma State.
UCLA jumped out to an early lead in the match, scoring in just the fifth minute on a goal by forward Kristina Larsen, who was starting in place of Lauren Cheney. Lauren Wilmoth crossed a ball into the box, finding the feet of DiMartino, who turned a played a ball across the top of the box. Larsen ran onto it, sending a ball into the bottom left corner for her third goal of the year.
DiMartino helped create the Bruins' second goal a little more than three minutes later, as she made her way to the endline and lofted a ball deep in the Fullerton box. Midfielder McCall Zerboni beat everyone to it, poking the bouncing ball into the top left corner.
DiMartino would get a goal of her own in the 39th minute, as UCLA was awarded a penalty kick when forward Alma Playle was brought down in the box. DiMartino caught the goalkeeper guessing the wrong way, burying the kick for her sixth goal of the season.
Fullerton (12-8-2) avoided the shutout at the 83:26 mark, as Christina Murillo took advantage of an empty Bruin net. UCLA goalkeeper Valerie Henderson came out to challenge a ball in the box, however Fullerton midfielder Stacey Thompson got there first and punched it to Murillo, who sent it into the vacant goal.
'Obviously I'm pleased with the result,' said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis, who has guided the Bruins to four straight appearances in the NCAA College Cup. 'I thought that there were periods in that game where we played quite well and our possession was good. But I thought after the second goal that we kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit and allowed Fullerton to get back into the game. But overall I was pleased with the match.'
It marks the second straight year that UCLA has knocked Fullerton out of the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins took a 3-1 win over the Titans in last year's second round. UCLA improves to 11-0 all-time against Fullerton.The Bruins, unbeaten in their last 19 matches, extended their home unbeaten streak to 38 in a row. Senior Danesha Adams started the 88th match of her career on Friday, tying former Bruin Whitney Jones for the school record for most starts.
Cheney did not play in Friday's match due to receiving a red card in the Bruins' regular-season finale against Washington.
Sunday's second-round match will begin at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students/youth.