Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer defeated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 2-0 in its first win in Big West conference play this season on Wednesday at Titan Stadium.
The Titans improved to 1-1-1 in the Big West while Cal Poly SLO remains winless at 0-2-1.
“A shutout is fantastic, it’s a big statement defensively. Getting two goals is hard to overcome because they need to score three to win,” said Titans head coach George Kuntz.
Midfielder Mark Hernandez scored his second goal of the season six minutes into the game. Samuel Goni’s shot attempt bounced off the goal post and Hernandez gathered it and put it away.
Hernandez has scored in two of the last three games.
“I don’t know if you’ve watched the last few games but he’s been kind of a possessed guy,” Kuntz said. “He’s not only intercepted passes but chased back and won balls off bigger guys, won knockdowns and kept defenders pinned to their positions.”
Fullerton took a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute after midfielder Zico Bailey scored from 30 yards out thanks to a pass from midfielder Ross McPhie. The goal was Bailey’s first of his collegiate career.
“Everything just slowed down and I had a little moment; I focused on getting good contact on the ball and luckily it went in,” Bailey said.
Fullerton’s defense held a tight line as the Mustangs only put three shots on goal, all of which goalie Paul-Andre Guerin saved.
Kuntz said the Titans connected easily on the field because they varied the distance of their shots and used different areas of the field to create plays.
“We try to play in front of people too much instead of getting behind and combining, and I thought tonight we combined better and did some of the things we’ve been talking about,” Kuntz said.
Saturday is the Titan’s final home conference game, where they will take on Sacramento State for Senior Night. Despite only having four points in the Big West, Kuntz believes that Fullerton is by no means out of the race for first.
“It’s wide open,” Kuntz said. “We just have to apply these principles that we adhered to tonight and progress, try to make every game better. We had 15 shots tonight; we should’ve scored three more goals.”