Sabrina Williamson's goal 90 seconds into overtime completes a tremendous comeback as Cal State Stanislaus rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Cal State L.A, 3-2, late Friday night at Warrior Stadium.
The top-seeded Warriors' quest for their second CCAA title in three years continues as they advance to Sunday's championship tilt against Sonoma State. The match is at 3 p.m.
Cal State Stanislaus, ranked No. 5 in the nation, also remains unbeaten in 2013 as it improved to 17-0-2 overall. The Warriors are also 12-0 at Warrior Stadium this season.
The Warriors found themselves trailed by two goals for the first time this season — but that didn't seem to faze them as they continued their offensive attack in the second half. The most prolific offense in the conference started its rally in the 51st minute on a score by senior Apryl Whitney on a 20-yard blast set-up by Tina Benson.
"Even though we were down at halftime I was very confident. Offensively we were executing the game plan really well," head coach Gabriel Bolton said. "We just had a couple of mental lapses defensively and LA capitalized."
Cal State Stanislaus had only allowed two goals in a match once this season — and that was on Sept. 20 in a 2-2 draw at Sonoma State. Since then, in 13 matches, the Warriors had allowed just six goals with seven shutouts.
In the 65th minute, on a free kick, Katelyn Nebesnick nailed the shot as it hooked over the Golden Eagle goalkeeper, bounced off the cross bar for the equalizer. It was the All-CCAA pick's eighth score of the season.
In front of supportive, vocal home fans, the Warriors pushed on and had many more scoring opportunities in the second half as they out-shot Cal State L.A. (10-6-3) in the final count, 18-5.
"The home crowd was absolutely incredible. They really inspired us and fueled our energy tank," Bolton commented.
Despite out-shooting Cal State L.A. 10-2 in the second half, the match moved into overtime — the third overtime match on the day during the semfinal round of the men's and women's soccer championships.
But Warrior Nation didn't have to wait long for the celebration.
On the first attempt by any team in OT, and just 90 seconds in, Williamson scored the winner on a cross by freshman Maryssa McDuffy.
Sonoma State also won its semifinal match in similar fashion. The Seawolves trailed 1-0 before rallying to edge Cal State San Bernardino, 2-1, in double-overtime.
The CCAA title match on Sunday will feature two teams very familiar with each other. It will be the teams third meeting this season. They tied in Rohnert Park early in the season 2-2 and the Warriors won on Oct. 27, 1-0, here in Turlock.