NORTHRIDGE, Calif.--- It was a battle all the way to the very end, but the Memphis Tigers were able to squeak out a 1-0 win over Cal State Fullerton, thanks to set piece goal by Shane Keely in the 73rd minute to rob the Titans of the favorable result.
"Obviously a tough result tonight, but I'm really proud of our boys," said head coach Bob Ammann. "Memphis stole the game on that set piece, but sometimes that's the way it goes."
"Our defense played extremely well against their All-American (Mark Sherrod) and he was contained the entire game, so that was definitely a good thing to see."
Scoring chances came at premium in the first half, as both teams combined for just six shots, with Fullerton (0-1) and Memphis (1-0) each recording three. The Titans also managed hold the 3-1 lead in corner kick opportunities.
While the chances weren't plentiful, the Titans seemed to be the aggressor in the first half, nearly putting the ball in the back of the net on two separate occasions, as midfielder Ian Ramos headed the ball just over the crossbar in the 15th minute, after a well taken corner by Mark Vasquez from the right side.
Newcomer Mark Fenelus nearly recorded his first collegiate goal and put the Titans on the board, as he bent in a beautiful ball from the right side in the 38th minute, but Memphis goalkeeper Cody Uzcategui dove to make the save.
Both teams went into the intermission locked at 0-0.
Things picked up offensively for both squads in the second half of play as both teams combined for nine shots for the half and 12 opportunities for the match.
But while the shots were matched, it was Fullerton that got the real opportunities. Midfielder Garrett Losse nearly put the Titans on top in the 68th minute but his shot clanked off the right post, after Vasquez executed a well-placed cross in the box.
Despite Memphis capitalizing on a free kick to take the lead in the 73rd minute, Fullerton had numerous chances in the final 16 minutes to equalize things.
None were better than Felenus' set piece just outside the box, as he got a good leg on it, but was blocked by the wall.
For the game, the Titans had four more corner kick opportunities than the Tigers (6-2).
Fullerton will get back after it Sunday at 2 p.m. when it takes on Albany in the final game of the Ryan Rossi Memorial Tournament.