September 9, 2013

Titans Drop Double Overtime Heartbreaker to San Diego

Box Score (PDF)

SAN DIEGO— San Diego's Sergio Lopez scored the golden goal in the 105th minute of double overtime to seal the come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton Sunday night at Torero Stadium in San Diego.

The loss was the true definition of a heartbreaker for the Titans (1-3), who held a 2-0 lead as late as the 69th minute, after scoring on two of their first four corner kick opportunities.

"I told the boys at halftime that we had to do a better job of putting away our chances," said head coach Bob Ammann. "We did a great job of scoring early, but we let them score on a counter goal and that really gave them life."

"I think we just got heavy legs, which is going to happen, but no doubt disappointing to lose a game like this."

It was a defensive battle early on as the two clubs combined for just nine shots in the first half with San Diego (1-2) holding the slight 5-4 advantage, but it was Fullerton who was able to make the most of its chances.

Both teams were only able to earn two first half corner kick oppertunites, but the Titans were able to turn one of theirs into a score, as midfielder Alex Cannas (1) headed one into the far right corner of the net in the 35th minute, after Ritchie Gonzalez's perfectly placed corner kick to give Fullerton the 1-0 lead.

For Cannas it was his first career goal, as well as his first start as a Titan.

The goal would be enough to give Fullerton the 1-0 advantage at halftime, as a stingy Titan defense kept San Diego's attack at bay.

Fullerton continued with its offensive procession, as the Titans immediately scored again less than two minutes into the second half, as Amara Soumah (1) netted his first career goal, heading one into the back of the net, after the Mark Vasquez corner kick to give Fullerton the comfortable 2-0 lead.

The Titan defense continued to do its job for the next 20-plus minutes of play, until the Toreros were finally able to break through on a counter attack, with Keegan Smith launching one into the upper right corner of the net, to cut the Fullerton advantage to 2-1 in the 69th minute.

Six minutes later USD equalized things at 2-2, as Joey Dei Rossi was able to finish with the header, after the cross from the right side.

The two teams eventually would end regulation tied at 2-2, before going to overtime where USD eventually converted on what seemed to be the inevitable game-winning goal, as it outshot Fullerton 16-4 in the second half and the two overtime periods. The Toreros also ended the match with an 11-5 advantage in shots on goal.

The loss was the Titans' first overtime defeat since Nov. 4, 2009  at Cal State Northridge and the first double overtime loss since Nov. 5, 2008, also against Cal State Northridge. Fullerton hadn't lost in five consecutive extra time matches during that span.

The Titans will try and snap this brief two-game losing skid, as they'll take on No. 27 Cornell in the second game of this season-long four-game road swing, Sept. 13 at 4:00 p.m. PT.