Fullerton Falls in Heartbreaker Against Cornell, 2-1

Andrew Afia  - Photos by Matt Brown, Aug. 31, 2012 vs. Cornell.
Andrew Afia - Photos by Matt Brown, Aug. 31, 2012 vs. Cornell.

FULLERTON, Calif. – Jake Kirsch's header off a free kick with just over three minutes remaining in regulation Friday night snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted visiting Cornell to a 2-1 non-conference men's soccer victory over Cal State Fullerton at Titan Stadium.

The Titans fell to 0-3 overall to start the season, despite rallying for the equalizer in the 83rd minute for their first goal of the year. The Big Red won their season opener while outshooting the host side by a 17-11 count.

Kirsch's strike came off a pass from Daniel Haber, who earlier put Cornell ahead in the 32nd minute on a wide-open shot in the box to the left side. Haber's free kick from the right side found the head of Kirsch at the back post and the junior defender headed it home for the game-winning goal.

Junior Jaime Cano had tied the match just four minutes earlier with his first Division I strike, getting a foot on a bullet of a free kick by Mario Alvarez that deflected off a Big Red defender and into the net to make it 1-1 and set up Cornell's game-winner.

Redshirt freshman Dyllan Stevens had the Titans' first solid chances in the first 20 minutes of the first half, the first coming when his cross was deflected by a Cornell defender, but smothered by goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer before it could trickle in and the second off a run by teammate Jesse Vega as Stevens was able to slip behind the defense, but the shot pulled wide.

Cornell, which controlled the possession for most of the first 45 minutes, had the first goal of the match called back in the 22nd minute when Nico Nissl's shot was saved and the rebound put home by Tyler Regan. However, the offside flag on the right side was up, negating the score.

Ten minutes later, Haber put the Big Red on the board first, settling a cross from teammate Atticus DeProspo and finding himself wide open at the penalty spot. Haber then fired home to the lower left side for the 1-0 lead.

Stevens and sophomore Ian Ramos combined for seven of the Titans' 11 shots on the night, led by four from Stevens, while Haber finished with seven for the Big Red to lead all players.

Cal State Fullerton closes out a four-match homestand on Sunday evening (Sept. 2) at 5 p.m. as the Titans welcome UNLV to Titan Stadium.


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