Early Goals Sting Titans at Sacramento State
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State's Nate Nugen scored just 42 seconds in the match and Chris Sandoval added the eventual game-winner in the 21st minute Friday afternoon as the host Hornets remained unbeaten in Big West Conference play with a 2-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton at Hornet Field.
The loss dropped the Titans to 4-8-1 overall and 0-2-1 in conference play as they remained winless in the Big West following a three-match winning streak to conclude their non-conference schedule.
Sacramento State improved to 6-4-1 overall and 3-0 in league action with the victory.
"When you play the way we did the first 20 min you just can't expect to get a positive result," Head Coach Bob Ammann said. "We were better over the final 70 minutes, but needed that effort for the full 90. It shouldn't take spotting a team two goals to get yourself going."
Nugen's first career goal came with less than a minute gone in the match as Isaac Ikurav took a pass at the edge of a box following a corner kick and crossed it in to the area to Nugen, who one-touched it home past goalkeeper Robbie Hannon for the 1-0 lead.
It was the first goal allowed by Hannon in five appearances this season, ending a shutout streak that lasted 264:36 since his debut against Canisius on Sept. 14.
The Hornets made it 2-0 in the 21st minute as Sandoval took a short cross near the top of the box and fired low and to the left for his fourth goal of the season that would eventually stand as the game-winner. Gabe Silveira and Alex Lopez each tallied assists on the play.
The score remained that way late into a second half that saw the two teams combine for 24 fouls (12 apiece) and seven cards. Fullerton finally broke through with its lone goal in the 82nd minute as Andrew Afia headed home a cross from Gerzon Blanco for his first goal of the year, ending a scoreless streak spanning 281 minutes.
Sacramento State outshot the Titans, 15-12, although Fullerton responded with nine of its 12 attempts in the second half. Mark Vasquez led the Titans with four shots off the bench, putting two on frame, while Max Alvarez and Sandoval had three apiece for the Hornets.
Both Hannon and Sacramento State's Bryan Oliver were credited with six saves on the night.
Cal State Fullerton concludes its Northern California trip on Sunday (Oct. 7) at 3 p.m. with an afternoon contest at UC Davis.