Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer competed in an aggressive double-overtime match as they finished their first draw of the season against the University of San Diego Toreros.
“It was a battle you know, these are two teams that are very physical, very competitive,” said Titans Head Coach George Kuntz. “I thought we matched well considering we have a lot of guys injured.”
The Titans looked set to overcome those injuries early on when midfielder Ross McPhie found an opportunity to break through in the 14th minute by tracking down Diego Sanchez’s corner kick to complete the cross and head the ball to the back corner of the net, giving the Titans a 1-0 lead.
“It’s more about getting the wins than anything,” McPhie said. “(I’d) rather have the win and not score than to score and have a draw.”
In the final seconds of the first half, a loose ball following a corner kick was headed by the Toreros’ Miguel Berry past Titans goalie Alfredo Cortez, ending the first 45 minutes in a 1-1 tie despite Fullerton leading in shots 5-4 over the Toreros.
“It’s very disappointing, six seconds before halftime letting in a goal,” McPhie said. “We need to close out the half and not let those goals happen.”
Early in the second half, Titans midfielder Oscar Flores was awarded the first yellow card of the match after an aggressive attempt to control possession. Toreros midfielder Ross Meldrum quickly followed with the second yellow card of the half. The Toreros then earned two more yellow cards over the rest of the half, but the physicality didn’t lead to scoring and the two sides were forced into overtime.
After the first overtime ended scoreless, Fullerton entered the second one with one final attempt to gain another win under its belt, but only mustered one corner kick attempt and no shot attempts as the match ended in a draw.
“As a team, collectively, we have to work on how to pressure the ball and how to take care of the result when we’re up and winning,” Sanchez said.