After his immense contributions helped Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer remain undefeated in its latest week of conference play, Titans forward Samuel Goni was awarded his first-ever Offensive Player of the Week award.
He was much less impressed with his performance than the Big West was.
“At the end of the day, it’s just player of the week,” Goni said. “It means I scored some goals, and it’ll keep me confident for the next game.”
Week five of Big West conference play was triumphant for Goni and the Titans after the Spanish-native scored three goals to go with one assist.
Goni now sits atop the CSUF roster for most goals, tying for first place on the Titans roster. He also ranks highly on the Big West leaderboards and stands in a five-way tie for third place along with teammates Ross McPhie, Daniel Trejo, Rodney Michael and UC Irvine’s Ivan Canales.
The forward contributed to all three of the Titans’ goals in the match against the UCI Anteaters, scoring two back-to-back goals and assisting on CSUF’s third and final goal of the evening.
Goni’s energy on the field against the Anteaters earned the Titans redemption after a tough 2-1 loss against the UC Riverside Highlanders just a week prior.
“It’s always positive to score. It always makes me happy. I wasn’t strong at the beginning of the season. I didn’t score much,” Goni said.
The Titans and the Highlanders met for the second time in conference play Saturday at Titan Stadium where CSUF hoped to redeem themselves.
The Highlanders’ 70th minute appeared to be a game-winning one until Goni took the initiative to make sure the Titans didn’t tack another loss onto their record, scoring with just one minute and 33 seconds left in regulation to send the teams into a heated double-overtime match that ended in draw.
Goni’s play against UCR kept the Titans in second place in the southern division, just three points behind No.1 CSU Northridge.
He felt being recognized was an honor that should be credited to the whole team.
“I’m scoring goals because my teammates are helping me out. I can’t do it all myself,” Goni said. “We’ve been playing better and better every game and creating chances.”
Goni’s accolade is the first for the Titans since October 2016, which he said serves as more motivation for the team.
“I think the Big West doesn’t look at us that much,” Goni said. “I think we need to show and have to win the conference to show we’re the best team.”