The Cal State Fullerton Titans come out golden as they took down the UC Riverside Highlanders on the road 3-2 in double overtime this past Friday night.
Titans senior Gerzon Blanco put in the game winner with less than two minutes left in the second overtime to give Fullerton (6-10-1, 2-4-1) the much needed win in a key Big West Conference rivalry match.
Defense controlled the game in the first half of the match as teams were held scoreless before halftime. It looked as UCR was playing catch up the whole time as Fullerton had many chances but were unable to capitalize on them.
The second half was a much different story as both teams were able to put some goals on the board despite the Titans dominance on the pitch.
The Titans got things started when senior Jameson Campbell, who scored the game-tying goal in a win over Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, got a cross from teammate Ian Ramos in the middle of the box and put in past goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi in the right corner of the net for the 1-0 lead in minute 69.
CSUF’s Campbell finished the game with one goal on four shots while Highlander’s Khosravi finished the game with six saves.
The lead lasted only for a minute as UC Riverside (9-6-0. 2-5-0) was able to answer back in minute 70 when Jimmy Martinez was able to drive in a rebound past goalkeeper Bryan Escalante, from a shot by Eric Gonzalez that hit off the post from 30 yards out to tie it up at 1-1. Martinez finished the game with one goal on five shots.
Then in minute 86 of the match, Ramos was able to capitalize on a foul inside the box for a penalty shot to regain the lead 2-1 over Riverside.
Ramos finished the game with one goal and one assist on four shots.
The lead wouldn’t last long again as the Highlanders, with time running out in the match, got the ball past Escalante by a header from Hayden Leslie off of a free kick from Gonzalez to tie the game up at 2-2 and send it into overtime.
Riverside’s Gonzalez finished the game with two assists while the Titan’s Escalante finished the game with two saves.
Then the Titans kept control of the match in overtime as they outshot and overpowered Riverside with a 7-1 advantage on shots in overtime, 21-198 overall, and their precision paid off when Blanco scored the game winner in minute 108 of the match when the Highlanders tried to clear the ball out of danger but it went right to the Titans’ Mark Vasquez who sent it back in for Blanco who put it past Khosravi to end it.
The Titans look to keep their momentum and extend their winning streak to three games as they play host to Orange County rival, the UC Irvine Anteaters, this Saturday night. CSUF looks to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Anteaters back on Oct. 13 in Irvine. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.