Aug. 29, 2003
Esteves, who had seen time in just 10 games through her first three seasons, and Davis, a redshirt in 2002 after tearing her ACL, combined for a three-goal first-half barrage that propelled Fresno State to a 3-1 road upset of No. 25 Charlotte on Friday night in the season opener for both schools.
Fresno State, which won its season opener for the first time since 2001, outshot Charlotte 14-5 and recorded just its fifth win in program history over a nationally-ranked team.
"This is really just a great way for us to begin the season," said Fresno State head coach Stacy Welp. "For us to play such a complete game on the road against a top-25 club gives us something to build on. I was pleased with how hard we worked over the summer and during the preseason and these girls were able to see the results of that tonight."
The Bulldogs dominated possession for much of the first half and eventually broke through with the game's first score at the 12:19 mark. Following a corner kick, Charlotte goalkeeper Lauren Dansby failed to clear the ball out of the box. Sophomore Katri Nokso-Koivisto (Kokkola, Finland) corralled the errant pass and fed Esteves, who was wide open on the opposite side for the score.
The 'Dogs tacked on another score just six minutes later for a 2-0 lead. Esteves found herself in excellent position again, chipping the ball over the UNCC keeper on a breakaway.
Not satisfied with a two-goal lead, Fresno State continued to maintain an aggressive attack. The strategy paid off once more at the 31:31 mark when Davis found the net for a 3-0 lead. The goal for Davis was her first since Sept. 21, 2001.
Charlotte was able to notch a score of its own to close out the half, as Haley Devine gathered a cross from Courtney Crandell and fired it past Fresno State keeper Jeannette Paine (Kelowna, British Columbia) to cut the lead to 3-1.
Both teams had a few opportunities to score in the second half, but were unable to convert. The Bulldog defense was impressive, with senior Kristyn Kellogg (Atascadero, Calif.) and sophomore Kelly Irwin (Vacaville, Calif.) spearheading the attack.
Fresno State limited Crandell, the 2003 Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year, to just one shot.
Paine earned the victory in her first collegiate start in goal, making four saves.
Fresno State now looks to complete a two-game road sweep of nationally-ranked opponents when it faces No. 12 Tennessee in Knoxville on Sunday at 11 a.m. PST.
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