CSUC (11-6-4) moves on to face top-seeded UC San Diego (13-2-4) on Sunday at noon in the Second Round. Friday's contest marks just the second time the Wildcats have advanced past the opening round in the school's history. The other time was in 2009, when CSUC topped Seattle Pacific, also in penalty kicks. Interestingly enough, it was Downtain who converted the final penalty kick in the Wildcats' win over the Falcons two seasons ago.
Cal State Stanislaus (11-4-6), which won the CCAA Tournament title with a 4-0 win last Sunday over CSUC, opened the scoring less than ten minutes in. From the left side, Marissa Dunaway played a ball over the Wildcat back line for Karenee Demery, who got in behind her defender before slotting home a one-timer inside the left post. The score marked Demery's 16th goal of the year and gave CSUS a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
Demery created a number of chances in the first half; however, the Warriors could not punch another one in. CSUC took advantage less than three minutes from halftime, getting an opportunity off a corner kick after a poor clearance by CSUS.
Blake Lopes drove a low cross to the top of the six yard box and Downtain beat everyone to the ball before pounding home a header into the middle of the net. The goal was Downtain's second of the season and helped level the momentum heading into the half.
The game turned a little chippy in the second half, as both squads pressed to take the lead. However, neither team would break through after another 65 minutes of play, setting up a penalty kick shootout to decide the winner.
Despite the Warriors missing their first two attempts from the spot, the Wildcats were only able to take a 1-0 lead after two rounds of shooters due to a miss by CSUC's Megan Tabler. However, the one-goal edge would be all Chico needed, as Danielle Leyva, Lopes and Downtain found the back of the net in succession to put it away, 4-3.
Liz Scherrer, Lauren Thornton and Jessica Cervantes converted the final three penalty kicks for the Warriors.
UCSD and CSUC have met once before in the NCAA Tournament. In 2009, the Tritons advanced with a 2-1 win over the Wildcats in the Second Round.