Early Goal Puts Eagles Past Titans in Tourney Opener

Fermin Villalba - Photo by Matt Brown. Shot Aug. 24, 2012 vs. American
Fermin Villalba - Photo by Matt Brown. Shot Aug. 24, 2012 vs. American

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Alassane Kane scored into an empty net in the 32nd minute and that score stood up as American University blanked Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, in the second game Friday evening of the season-opening Wilson Titan Classic men's soccer tournament.

"We are obviously disappointed with the result but there were many positives on the night," Head Coach Bob Ammann said. "We had five players make their debuts, we created a number of chances, had more shots, more corners, forced their keeper to make more saves and had three times as many corners.

"The only place we came second was on the scoreline. Had we scored, I really believe we would have added three or four to the total. We understand this is soccer. We'll roll up our sleeves and come out on Sunday against Portland with the same mentality."

Cristobal Soto lofted a long pass from near midfield that came down near the top of the box.  Titan goalkeeper Adam Zepeda, who finished with six saves on the night, challenged Kane for the ball and the resultant collision left him on the ground as Kane booted the ball into the net.

Fullerton had numerous chances to draw even in the second half as Colin Okirie was stonewalled by American goalkeeper Billy Knutsen in the 53rd minute inside the six-yard box and teammate Jameson Campbell was denied off a rebound five minutes later as Knutsen recovered to smother the chance.

Billy Knutsen logged the shutout in the nets needing 8 saves, 7 in the second half, when the Titans outshot the Eagles, 12-6.  Fullerton had an 18-10 advantage for the match led by Dyllan Stevens' game-high five shots off the bench. Kane had four shots to pace the Eagles.

Fullerton faces Portland at about 2 p.m. on Sunday while American plays Cal State Northridge (1-0) for the tourney title at 11:30 a.m.

Cal State Northridge 4, Portland 0

Sagi Lev-Ari scored two goals and Edwin Rivas had a score and an assist Friday afternoon as Cal State Northridge cruised to a 4-0 victory over the University of Portland in the opening match of their seasons and the Wilson Titan Classic men's soccer tournament at Cal State Fullerton.

Lev-Ari, Rivas and Joe Franco each scored in a span of 16 minutes of the first half to seize control.

Lev-Ari tallied in the 24th minute from the top of the box off a cross from Rivas.  Rivas scored 12 minutes later on a rush down the left flank, beating Pilots' goalkeeper Justin Baarts. Franco scored off a nifty spin move just inside the box beating Baarts to the left post.  Lev-Ari added the final score in the 7-th minute with a 30-yard blast.

Michael Abalos needed only 4 saves to log his first shutout for the Matadors.

CSUN outshot the Pilots, 20-7.


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