Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer team won their second game of the season on Sunday after defeating the University of San Diego, 3-1. The win put Fullerton on its first winning streak of the season and has the Titans at a 2-4-1 record.
Forward Samuel Owusu and midfielders Sebastian Cruz and Erick Serrano each scored a goal for Fullerton. Serrano scored the first goal of his collegiate career.
San Diego’s record for the season is now 1-7. The team’s only goal of the game came from forward Luke Pardoe.
The first half displayed an aggressive offense from both teams. Fullerton attempted five shots and San Diego attempted seven. The aggression by both teams on defense, combined to commit 14 fouls in the first half.
After missing their first three shots in the first 21 minutes of the match, Pardoe scored the first and only goal for San Diego in the 22nd minute, giving them a 1-0 lead.
During the 28th minute, San Diego’s goalkeeper Marley Mascarenas blocked a shot attempt by Owusu. However, Mascarenas fumbled the ball, allowing Owusu to tie the game at 1-1 going into halftime.
With the score indicating a tossup, Fullerton head coach George Kuntz gave the team a heated speech about how goals are scored, defending outside the boxes and how to keep the ball.
The team responded well to Kuntz’s message in the second half.
Both teams failed to score within the first 30 minutes of the second half. In the 77th minute, Cruz broke the tie with an assist by Serrano to score a goal, placing Fullerton in the lead, 2-1.
Less than a minute later, Cruz set up a play for midfielder Charly Anguiano, who assisted Serrano with another goal, giving Fullerton a commanding 3-1 lead.
This would be the game-clinching goal as San Diego missed their remaining two shot attempts in the last 12 minutes of the match.
After playing most of the season on the road, Kuntz described playing at home in Titan Staduim as one of the best stadium experiences in the country.
“When any team walks in here, they’re looking around, foaming,” Kuntz said.
Fullerton ended the game with 12 attempted shots compared to San Diego’s 13.
A combined total of five yellows were called; three from Fullerton and two from San Diego.
Fullerton’s next game will be a challenge as they will face the University of Santa Clara, who currently hold a 6-1 record.
Kuntz describes Santa Clara to be an athletic team that is fast and direct this season.
“We have one game to focus on. So, we kind of lick our wounds a little bit. We have a lot of banged up guys, we can get a little bit of rest,” Kuntz said.
The rest time between matches will be vital as Fullerton prepares to host Santa Clara on Thursday at Titan Stadium at 7:30 p.m.