FULLERTON, Calif. - In what could arguably be the best comeback in Pepperdine women's soccer history, freshman forward Lynn Williams played hero on Friday night, scoring both goals for the Waves in dramatic fashion to defeat Cal State Fullerton on the road in overtime, 2-1.
Williams [Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) brought the Waves back from the brink of defeat after they went down, 1-0 in the 84th minute, tying the game at 1-1 with 44 second left in the second half with a booming one touch into the back of the next. She then put the Waves over the top as she scored her second goal of the game in the 7th minute of the first sudden death overtime period.
With the win the Waves advance to 3-0-0 on the season. The loss drops the Titans to 1-1-1.
The first half began with a lot of back and forth action, but as the Waves found their legs, they were able to put together some excellent runs and quality chances. Williams got her head on a cross from Michelle Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS), but saw her header sail over the crossbar. Laura Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS) had two excellent shots late in the first half.
The Waves earned six corner kicks in the first half, as the Titans had none. They also outshot the home squad, five to three in the first half.
Junior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker(Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) made one save in a quiet first half between the pipes.
The Waves picked up right where they left off in the second half, continuing to be aggressive in the Titans' defensive half. The squad earned three corners in the first 17 minutes of the second half, but was unable to connect on any service.
In the 36th minute in the second half, Amanda LeCave(Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS) stole the ball in the final third of the Titans' defensive half, and with CSUF goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic coming out, she just missed the goal wide left.
With 27 minutes left in the second half, Cole served a ball over the back line to a streaking LeCave, who was pulled down from behind by CSUF's Kelly, who received a yellow card on the play. Cole took the free kick, a bender that bounced right in front of Maricic for the save.
The second half was a tale of missed chances for the Waves, who outshot the Titans, 8-6 in the half and earned three corner kicks.
The Titans would not go away however, continuing to hang with the Waves and earning some excellent chances of their own. In the 22nd minute of the second half the Titans had an excellent chance on a set piece from the left side, over to Fox whose header missed wide right. The Waves weathered some dangerous attacks from the Titans with about 20 minutes left in the second half, coming up with some excellent defensive stands.
"I really thought our defense played a strong game today," head coach Tim Wardsaid. "They played really well together."
At the 6:20 mark in the second half, the Titans went ahead off a goal from Stacey Fox, who received a cross from the right side, the ball skipped across to an open Fox, who hit a cross shot from the left corner of the box that took a deflection into the upper right of the goal. The goal was Fox's first of the season and ninth of her career.
Down 1-0, the Waves continued to fight and earned a direct kick 30 yards out with 1:20 left in the half. The wall blocked Williams' first shot, but the poised freshman put the one touch back into the left lower corner of the net, tying the game up 1-1, with 44 seconds left in the match. The goal was the second of Williams' freshman season.
On her first goal, Williams explained, "It was coming down to the last minute and we had the free kick. I shot it and the wall blocked it and it came back to me and I one touched it, kept my head down and I didn't even see it go in until I looked up."
The team hung in through the last 44 seconds of regulation to head into overtime with the momentum. Friday's game marked the third time in 13 meetings between the Waves and Titans to head into overtime. The last time was in 1997 at Titan Stadium.
The first few minutes of overtime was not unlike most of the match, with both sides having good scoring chances. One goal was not going to be enough for Williams however, who received the ball on the right side of the attacking half, pushed the ball forward, took a look and rocketing a hard, straight shot into the left side of the net from about 35 yards out at the 3:54 mark in the first overtime, to end the game for the Waves, 2-1.
On her game-winning goal, Williams explained, "I got the ball and I saw Myriah [Stockman] out wide, but I looked up and I saw that no one was coming towards me. They were all backing up so I kept my head down and cracked the shot."
"Wow. I really thought this was an excellent match," Ward said. "This could arguably be the best comeback in Pepperdine women's soccer history, aside from a comeback in the 2002 NCAA Tournament [2-1 OT win over Wisconsin], especially with only 44 seconds left in the game. Both goals were excellent from Lynn."
"This game tonight showcased, without a doubt two teams that wanted to put on a good show and win the match. It was very competitive until the end," Ward explained.
The Waves will return to Malibu for their second home game of the season, a 1 p.m. tilt on Sunday with Long Island at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.
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