After dropping the Big West Conference title to rival Cal State Northridge Matadors in the final minute of the second round of overtime last season, Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer now stands at a 7-5-2 record, after tying with CSUN in another hard-fought double overtime game.
“We all fought together so it was a good night, we showed them that we could keep 110 minutes without getting scored on so it’s good progress for us,” said Titans defender Corentin Ohlmann.
The Matadors began the game making a statement by sporting their Big West Conference champion shirts during warm-ups, creating tension in Titan Stadium.
However, the Titans remained unfazed on the pitch and focused on the matter at hand–winning the game.
“I don’t think we even noticed it to be honest, we were all focused on our game plan and what roles we had to play for the game,” said freshman Irving Arvizu.
With that in mind, both teams came out attacking in the first half, with strong shots and impressive saves on both halves from CSUF goalkeeper Paul-Andre Guerin and CSUN goalkeeper Henrik Regitnig.
CSUF and CSUN continued to keep the intensity of last year’s Big West Conference final game with constant shot efforts (CSUF 7, CSUN 6) on both halves, each barely missing the mark. However, with both teams inability to get on the scoreboard, the first half ended 0-0.
With Fullerton and Northridge frustrated with a tied game score going into the second half, play became increasingly more aggressive with both teams receiving yellow cards. CSUN pocketed its first in the 60th minute, while CSUF earned theirs shortly after at the 61st.
Once again saving the match with a diving save, Guerin kept the scoreboard at 0-0 with another clutch save in the 69th minute.
“I feel good, I felt good during the warm-up too…Usually I’m yelling a lot, but since I’ve come back I’ve tried to stay calm,” Guerin said.
CSUF continued to struggle to get on the board with three different shot opportunities, all within the 78th minute, none of them found the back of the net.
“We had chances to score and we hit the post twice. We had several other easy opportunities to finish but given all that I can’t blame the guys…Defensively we were very good tonight,” Head Coach George Kuntz said.
In an almost eerie “deja-vu” fashion, regulation ended still tied at 0-0. The game was taken into extra time with a “golden goal” opportunity in place for either team–a situation uncomfortably familiar for the Titans.
However, both teams ended the 110 minutes on the field with a tie tacked onto their records.
“We wanted a result at home. We had a big chip on our shoulder from last year. The guy’s fought very very hard…I’m very happy with the guys showing resilience and keeping a shutout,” Kuntz said.
Despite the Titans not seeing the outcome the wanted, they plan to take their defensive skills on the road to their next game against UC Riverside Saturday Oct. 14th at 7 p.m.
“Of course it’s frustrating every time that you miss chances…but we did really good defensively,” Goni said. “We just have to think of this game and try to win South (division).”