Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer was searching for a win after its first three matches of Big West play left the Titans outscored 7-4 and found it when they triumphed over the Sacramento State Hornets 3-1 Saturday.
A lot of pressure was put on the Hornets early in the match as the Titans did not hesitate to take control of the field.
“We didn’t deal with speed so well in the last game,” said Head Coach George Kuntz. “So just mixing and matching a little bit helped.”
Hornets’ goalie James Del Curto was forced to be active around the net as the Titans fired four shots on goal 16 minutes into the match.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute that Titans goalie Paul-Andre Guerin had to save Sacramento’s first shot of the match.
“I think it’s an easier game than when I don’t have anything to do,” Guerin said. “I’m ready and I can stay focused on a lot more goals.”
The Titans and the Hornets remained scoreless up until late in the first half when CSUF found the boost it was looking for.
Titans forward Samuel Goni scored the first goal of the match and his third of the season in the 33rd minute after being shut down around the net since his second goal against San Francisco State back in September.
‘I needed a game to score early and get confident,” Goni said. “I think this was one of my best games this season.”
The Titans did not hold back, scoring again six minutes later in the 40th minute as Ross McPhie fired his sixth goal of the season to give the Titans at a comfortable 2-0 lead before heading into the locker room.
McPhie and Goni were part of an active Titans’ offense that ended the first half with eight shots on goal.
“I think everyone was willing to work and move a lot more,” McPhie said. “There was a lot more movement from the top.”
The second half of the match the Hornets attempted to take control of the field by attempting two shots just ten minutes into the second period, but the Titans were able to maintain control when Rei Dorwart scored his first goal of the season after chasing the ball down into an open net in the 70th minute of the game.
“We were a lot more persistent this game,” Dorwart. “I’ve been waiting for that one (goal) now, it definitely boosted my confidence and gave me a little more energy.”
The Hornets answered back quickly, with Antonio Andres scoring in the 73rd minute.
However, the Titans didnt let the goal shake their focus, which was something that had become a priority for the Titans after their loss against UC Davis.
“We got a lot of counter-attacks in the second half because they were trying to push their numbers up,” said Titans midfielder Irving Arvizu. “We did pretty well to recover the possession after they scored.”
Once again the Titans were forced to test their versatility on the pitch, as Kuntz boasted an entirely new starting line-up for the Titans.
“(That’s) what’s going to get us through this league,” Kuntz said. “Other guys are going to step up on different nights, and I’ve been saying that all season.”
The Titans will continue their home play as the face rivals and 2016 conference champions Cal State Northridge Wednesday Oct. 11 at 7 p.m.