FULLERTON, Calif. – Freshman Jocelyn Loomis (Sandy, Utah) converted from the spot in the 110th minute of her third collegiate game to give the University of Denver women’s soccer team a 2-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday night at Titan Stadium.
“So far this season, I think we’ve found ways to get ahead in games, we just haven’t found a way necessarily to hold that lead,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We showed some really, really good character today with a couple girls sucking it up, and going 90 minutes that hadn’t gone 90 minutes before. Brooke (Boothe) and Fran (Garzelloni) I thought were exceptional in the midfield today, probably the best combination that they’ve ever had. It was a great finish from Taylor, and to have a freshman step up and take the penalty kick, it was a nice way to end it.”
The Titans (0-2-1) and Pioneers (1-1-1) played a scoreless first half, as Fullerton outshot Denver 6-0 in the opening 45 minutes, forcing three saves from sophomore goalkeeper Cassidy Rey (Arcadia, Calif.) to keep the two teams level heading into the locker room.
Ivins found the breakthrough in the 72nd minute on a bouncing ball after a deflected original shot by redshirt senior Shannen Johnson (Golden, Colo.). Ivins took the bouncing ball, and from 12 yards out took the ball with the inside of her right foot and banked it off the far post and in. The Pioneers have scored the first goal in all five matches this season (two exhibitions).
Fullerton found the equalizer in the 81st minute, as redshirt freshman Connie Caliz took a one-time side volley, and put a paced strike past Rey from 12-yards out. CSF’s Jazzmin Mancilla was credited with the assist, as her pass beat the Denver offside trap to get Caliz past the backline.
Cal State Fullerton’s Sarah Fajnor had the best two opportunities in extra time, but both her strikes from inside the area were high.
It was a Loomis drawn free kick that setup the set play from just inside midfield that led to the penalty. Senior centerback Sam Harder (Centennial, Colo.) played that set piece into the box, and Boothe was climbed over and taken down in the area, forcing referee Jeremy Swan’s point to the spot. Freshman Loomis stepped up to the penalty spot, and put her pen into the back of the net.
Freshman Jackie Dutton (Windsor, Calif.) made her collegiate debut Friday evening, starting in place of injured centerback Paige Diamond (Pleasanton, Calif.). Junior transfer and outside back Stella Norman (Lakewood, Colo.) also picked up a knock in Denver’s last match at Colorado College, and did not dress on Friday. Senior Caitlin Higgins (Boulder, Colo.) made her second career start, and her first since ULM on Oct. 2, this one at outside back.
“We gave up a breakaway in the first 15 seconds, but that’s what great goalkeepers are for, to be calm and to save the game,” Hooker said. “That would have been tough going down 1-0 that early on the road. We just kept adjusting, and fighting, and adjusting, and fighting. I thought that we communicated very well tonight. For Sam to deal with a bunch of new players in the back, for everything that we are throwing out at her, I thought she did an exceptional job of being a leader today.”
Fullerton has now played 21-straight matches that have been decided by a goal or less (since Sept. 1 last season).
The Pioneers will wrap-up a season-opening four-game road stretch on Sunday when Denver makes the short bus trip to Long Beach State for a 2 p.m. MT kickoff. DU’s 2014 home opener is September 5, when DU plays host to Detroit at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium.
Don't miss out on Pioneer soccer action this fall. Season and individual game tickets are on sale now. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can do so by phone at 303-871-2336, in person at the Richie Center box office or through DenverPioneers.com by clicking here.
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