Titans Take Down Grand Canyon in Non-Conference Finale
FULLERTON, Calif.--- It was nail biter all the way to the very end, but Cal State Fullerton's season-high tying three-goal performance proved to be just enough to outlast Grand Canyon Saturday night, as the Titans came away with the 3-2 victory at Titan Stadium.
For Fullerton (3-5), the win marks the first time the Titans have secured consecutive wins this season, while it's the first time they've scored three or more goals in back-to-back contests since Oct. 17 and 20th of last year. The win also marked Fullerton's first home victory of the season.
"It's always good to be rewarded for the hard work you put in during the week," said head coach Bob Ammann. "Honestly, we feel like our record should be a lot better than it is, but we're heading into conference play hot, and this is where we really need to get it done."
For Grand Canyon (1-5-1), the loss is its third straight overall, while its now gone winless in six consecutive matches.
The Titans snatched momentum early, as Ian Ramos scored his team-leading third goal of the season, after Spencer Johnson put in a perfect corner kick from the left side to put Fullerton up 1-0 in the 26th minute.
The goal marked the sixth time the Titans have scored first this season and the third consecutive game they've been able to score on a set piece.
Just seven minutes later, the Titans would extend their lead to 2-0 in the 33rd minute, as Marc Fenelus netted his first career goal, after putting on a series of nice moves in the penalty box.
The Titans dominated the first half of play, outshooting Grand Canyon 7-3, while also holding a 2-1 corner kick edge, as they took at 2-0 lead into halftime.
But first halves haven't been the problem this year for Fullerton, as it had outscored its opponents 6-3 in opening periods this season compared to being outscored 7-3 in the second half this season.
That trend held true once again Saturday night, as Grand Canyon struck for its first goal in the 58th minute, as Kyle Ciliento scored off the Brandon Hansen assist to cut the Titans' lead to 2-1.
However, Fullerton was determined not to break in this one, as Steven Ortiz netted his first score of the season in the 68th minute, after Fenelus became involved in his second goal of the night, threading a ball beautifully into the box from the right side to extend the Titan lead back to 3-1.
The Antelopes made it interesting late, as Albe Garcia Sanchez struck for a goal in the 84th minute to make it a 3-2 game, but the Fullerton defense was able to hold on for the final six minutes of the game to preserve the win.
The Titans ended up being outshot 13-11 for the match, but held a 5-4 shots on goal advantage.
With the non-conference season in the books, Fullerton now turns its attention to Big West play, as it will open up at UC Santa Barbara next Friday at 7:30 p.m.