USC Ends Season In NCAA Second Round With Loss To Cal State Fullerton

Nov. 13, 2005

FULLERTON, CALIF. -- The USC women's soccer team ended its 2005 season with a 3-1 loss to host No. 15 Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Second Round on Sunday afternoon. The Women of Troy took the lead in the first half on a goal by senior Jocelyn Leche, but the Titans battled back to tie and then take the lead on a penalty kick. USC ends the 2005 season with a 13-6-2 record in the program's fourth second-round loss in seven trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans are now 4-7 in the NCAA postseason, and have yet to reach the third round. Cal State Fullerton (19-3-0) moves on to face Virginia next week.

The Titans came out firing in the first half with significant pressure on the Trojan defense, but the USC back line turned away each strike and eventually got the momentum going in the other direction. After USC sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS) went one-on-one and stuffed an attack from Cal State Fullerton forward Kandace Wilson, the Women of Troy went on the offensive and earned a few chances on goal. With just under three minutes left in the half, the Trojans broke through when freshman Kelley Finch (Atherton, Calif./Menlo) pushed the ball up to senior Leah Gallegos (Los Angeles, Calif./Franklin HS/FSU) in front of the Titan goal. Gallegos then edged the ball out to Leche (Pinole, Calif./Salesian HS) on the left side of the goal, and Leche powered in the crosscage score for a 1-0 USC lead.

The second half began fairly even, with both teams creating some good chances on offense but coming up off the mark. Simonton again smothered a dangerous Titan strike -- one of six saves for Simonton in the game -- but the Titans came back on the attack soon after. This time, Simonton stopped a close-range header from Wilson, but the hard shot got loose, and Jenesa Bradshaw knocked in the ball to equalize the game at 1-1 in the 64th minute of play.

That goal stole away a chance for Simonton to tie as the all-time career shutouts leader at USC, although the sophomore still finishes the season with an all-time best 11 single-season solo shutouts. The goal also seemed to give Cal State Fullerton enough of a lift to keep battling with the Trojans. In the 82nd minute, the even play on the field bent in the Titans' favor when USC was called for a penalty in the box. Junior defender Hillary Schwarzbach (Santa Cruz, Calif./San Lorenzo HS) stuck tight with CSF forward Erin Shelton on the left side. Schwarzbach went down first, but Sandoval came up with the call, and Cal State Fullerton was awarded a penalty shot that Marlene Sandoval slipped to the left side of the goal to make it 2-1 with just over eight minutes left to play. The Trojans came close to tying it up again with four minutes left, but Titan goalkeeper Karen Bardsley tipped Gallegos' shot away. Finally, with time draining, Cal State Fullerton managed one last goal on a breakaway to earn the Titans' place among the final 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament.

USC (13-6-2)	1	0	--	1CSF (19-3-0)	0	3	­--	3

Scoring Summary:USC 42:24 Jocelyn Leche (Leah Gallegos, Kelley Finch)CSF 63:07 Jenesa Bradshaw (Kandace Wilson, Rebekah Patrick)CSF 81:47 Marlene Sandoval (penalty kick)CSF 89:33 Lauren Welch (Patrick)

Shots: USC 6, CSF 17 Corners: USC 5, CSF 9 Fouls: USC 12, CSF 12Saves: Veronica Simonton (USC) 6; Karen Bardsley (CSF) 2

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