Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer bounced back from a winless week with a 3-1 victory over the UC Irvine Anteaters in a foul-filled match.
The game began aggressively as captain Nicolo D’Amato picked up a yellow card in the 16th minute as part of a 13 foul flurry between the two teams in the first 20 minutes of the game before Samuel Goni scored in the 32nd minute off an assist by Diego Sanchez.
“He’s just coming back into his own. He’s starting to score goals. I think he can score a lot more throughout the year,” Titans Head Coach George Kuntz told Cal State Fullerton Sports Media. “He has a big future if he continues this way.”
Goni’s goal gave the Titans a 1-0 lead to end the half, but the Anteaters came out firing in the second frame, taking six shots.
“They had the ball a lot, but they weren’t really dangerous,” Goni told Cal State Fullerton Sports Media.
Goni made sure the Anteaters’ attempts were for naught, scoring his second goal of the evening a minute after subbing back into the game in the 58th minute.
The goal was Goni’s sixth of the season and was assisted by Corentin Ohlmann, which tied him with teammate Ross McPhie for the team lead in goals this season.
“I think I’m building my confidence more. We have great players. They make good passes, so I have a great team to help me a lot,” Goni said.
UCI finally managed to scratch in the 68th minute when Mario Ortiz found the back of the net to cut the Titans’ lead to one and help the Anteaters dodge a shutout.
They wouldn’t get any closer though, as the Titans answered back in the 83rd minute with a goal from McPhie off an assist from Goni. This put the Titans up 3-1 and allowed McPhie to retake the team lead in goals before the game even ended.
“We bent but we didn’t break,” Kuntz said.
CSUF now stands with a 3-3-1 conference record after the win and will host UC Riverside in its next game Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.