Titans, No. 3 Gauchos Battle to Scoreless Draw
FULLERTON, Calif. -- No. 3 UC Santa Barbara out-shot host Cal State Fullerton, 17-9, for the match, but neither team could dent the back of the net through 110 minutes Sunday night as the Titans and Gauchos battled to a contentious scoreless draw in front of 1,002 fans in a Big West Conference soccer clash at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton moved to 4-7-1 overall and 0-1-1 in league play with the draw, holding off a barrage from the Santa Barbara side as junior goalkeeper Robbie Hannon made five saves to log his second shutout in only his second start as a Titan. The Gauchos, who entered the weekend as one of 12 remaining unbeaten sides in the nation, stayed that way, moving to 7-0-3 overall and 1-0-1 in Big West action while being held scoreless for the first time in 22 games since a 2-0 loss to UC Irvine on Oct. 1, 2011.
The two teams combined for 40 fouls and five cards while UCSB played the final 11 minutes of regulation and both overtime periods down a man. Neither side could break through the others defense, however, as Fullerton absorbed each Gaucho charge. UC Santa Barbara held the Titans to a single shot in the opening half and took nine corner kicks to three for the home side for the match.
Hannon made two saves in the opening period on a couple of solid scoring opportunities by the Gauchos -- both coming from long range -- as Peter McGlynn's rocket from 25 yards out through traffic found the hands of Hannon and Cesar Castillo's shot with english swerved right to the chest of Hannon at the right post. Ema Boateng also had a chance in the 42nd minute off a cross to the left side, but his open shot sailed high to the far post.
Senior Jonathan Birt had Fullerton's first solid chance in the 60th minute as a long cross to the back post was headed just high over the crossbar and sophomore Ian Ramos tried to finish off a run of almost 80 yards in the 73rd minute before UCSB keeper Austin Mansker's sliding save broke up his finish. Mansker was credited with two saves to log his fourth shutout of the season and his second in the last three contests.
The two teams then went back-and-forth before things got heated in the 80th minute when Daniel Welsh received a yellow and a red card and was sent off, putting the Gauchos down a man. The Titans tried to take advantage to no avail as Birt's rocket in the 82nd minute was blocked and Jesse Escalante sent a shot wide with just under three minutes to play. A header in the box by Santa Barbara's Goffin Boyoko was also off the mark with time winding down, sending the match to overtime.
Fullerton had the best chance of either team in overtime snuffed at the doorstep following a foul as Anthony Rosales' free kick from the left side sailed to the back post for Jesse Vega, but his volley was smothered inside the six just 37 seconds into the first extra period.
Birt and Ramos each had two shots to lead Fullerton while McGlynn, Boyoko, and Josue Madueno finished with three shots apiece to lead the Gauchos.
After playing their last four matches at home, the Titans hit the road for three-straight beginning next weekend with a trip to Northern California. Fullerton takes on Big West affiliate member Sacramento State on Friday afternoon (Oct. 5) at 4 p.m. before heading to UC Davis on Sunday (Oct. 7) for a 3 p.m. kickoff.