SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Toreros magical season continued after two late penalty kicks lifted the Toreros to a 2-1 win over Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday evening. With the Toreros down 1-0, Keegan Smith scored the equalizer in the 89th minute to send the match to overtime.
Dave Musambi then scored the game-winning goal in the third minute of the second extra time period to send the Toreros to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. USD will play at No. 2 seed UCLA Sunday at 7:00 p.m.
The Toreros nearly jumped out to an early lead when Torrey DeArmas found himself with a one-on-one with Titan goalkeeper Jeff Salt in the third minute. However Salt was able to make a sliding save to deflect the ball away.
In the 13th minute the Titans scored on their first shot of the match when Ian Ramos headed in a long cross from Gabriel Quintero to give Fullerton a 1-0 lead, which would be the score at halftime.
The Toreros put the pressure on the Titan backline for the entire second half, outshooting Fullerton 10-1 in the second frame. In the 65th minute Darragh Vieyra sent a free kick in to the left side of the box which Julian Ringhof headed towards Dave Musambi who had a backflip blocked by a Titan defender.
In the next three minutes, Vieyra had two more free kick attempts that were corralled by Salt. With time winding down, Coach McFadden pushed his star center back Julian Ringhof up to forward in attempt to create more offensive opportunities.
With time winding down and the outlook looking grim for the Toreros, the Titans were called for a hand ball in the box in the 89th minute, setting up Keegan Smith for a penalty kick opportunity. Smith had only attempted one other PK this season, a successful try in the Toreros 2-1 win at USF November 9. He calmly placed the ball in the right side of the net as Jeff Salt dove the opposite way to tie the match at 1-1.
In the third minute of the first extra time period, Dave Musambi nearly scored the game-winner. With Salt charging, Musambi chipped the ball over the 6'6" keeper, but it bounced just wide left.
In the second minute of the second extra time period, Keegan Smith was issued his second yellow card, forcing their top PK taker to leave the match, leaving the Toreros with ten men. However, less than a minute later Torrey DeArmas was tripped while dribbling in the box giving the Toreros another PK opportunity.
With Smith sidelined, Coach McFadden turned to Dave Musambi to attempt the game-winning kick. Just as Smith had, Musambi kicked it just past the outstretched arms of Jeff Salt, giving the Toreros the 2-1 win. Salt, who was named the Big West Tournament MVP after making two PK saves in the championship match, had only allowed four PKs in 11 chances entering the night.
The Toreros now have a rematch with UCLA, who they beat 1-0 September 27 in front of a record-breaking crowd at Torero Stadium. This will be the eighth meeting all-time between the Toreros and Bruins in the NCAA Tournament (USD has won four of seven).The match is at set for Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at UCLA.