LAS VEGAS – It was an uphill battle from the 12th minute on as the Cal State Fullerton men's soccer squad dropped its final match at the Johann Memorial Classic to Santa Clara on Sunday night, 2-1.
"We played down a man for 78 minutes of the game and with only a few minutes left could have finished the game," coach George Kuntz said. "We showed a lack of maturity when fouled and it changed the game. Our team played well even down a man the entire game, but eventually it caught up to us. Hopefully this will be a huge lesson for our team in the future."
With the loss, Fullerton moves to 1-3-0 on the season and leaves the tournament with a split as the Titans beat UNLV on Friday night to collect their first win of the season.
Cal State Fullerton got off to a slow start as Santa Clara got on the board first with a goal from Satoshi Chaffin in the seventh minute, giving the Broncos a 1-0 edge early.
Just a few minutes later, a couple fouls led to a pair of yellow cards for Ricardo Covarrubias in 12th minute, putting Fullerton a man down for the remainder of the match.
Chances at goal came at a minimum for the Titans in the first half as Alex Heilmann almost netted his fifth goal of the season, but his header sailed just high. Carlos Troncoso and Ronaldo Pineda would also get a few shots in the first 30 minutes, but the answer would come in the 38th.
After drawing a penalty kick, Nicolo D'Amato lined up and put the ball right in the back of the net to give Fullerton the equalizer.
Edgar Rodriguez checked into the match late in the first half and made an instant impact as the senior put a shot on goal for the Titans, but Santa Clara's keeper would make the save.
In the second, both teams struggled to find any rhythm out of the gate, but Robert Coronado would get the Fullerton attack going as he put consecutive shots on goal for the Titans within minutes but Santa Clara's Dakota Havlick continued to make huge saves for the Broncos to keep the score tied at one.
After a strong save by CSUF goalkeeper Paul-Andre Guerin, the Broncos continued to attack the Titans and went on to convert as Carlos Delgadillo gave Santa Clara a 2-1 lead in the 85th minute.
Unfortunately, the late goal from the Broncos proved to be the winner as Fullerton couldn't get a late equalizer in the final five minutes.
Overall, the Titans finished first in the final standing of the tournamnet as each team had a 1-1 record, but Fullerton is places first because of a plus-one goal differential.
Corentin Ohlmann, Troncoso, Heilmann and Pineda were named to the All-Tournament team. Heilmann had a hat-trick against the Rebels to give the Titans their first win of the season.
After a few days off, the Titans head to San Diego for the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tournament to take on Memphis on Friday and Texas Rio-Grande Valley on Sunday.
For updates on Cal State Fullerton men's soccer, follow @CSUFMensSoccer on Twitter.