Titans Crowned Back-to-Back Big West Champions in 1-0 Victory at UC Santa Barbara

Titans Crowned Back-to-Back Big West Champions in 1-0 Victory at UC Santa Barbara

Box Score (PDF)

Big West Post Game Quotes (PDF)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team won their second-straight Big West Tournament title with a 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara at Harder Stadium on Saturday night.

Mitchell Bell scored his first goal of the year while Titan goalkeeper David Rodriguez Elias was named the Tournament MVP after posting five key saves against the top offensive team in the Big West.

In a Gaucho dominated game, the Titans managed to land one out of their five shots on target to give them the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. 

UC Santa Barbara led the Titans in all categories including shots (22-5), corner kicks (8-1) and shots on goal (6-1). 

Throughout the first half, the Gauchos had many opportunities including six corner kicks that were defended remarkably by the Titans. Elias recorded one save in the first half while the Titan defense forced Santa Barbara to take long shots that resulted in shots missing target.

In the second half, the Titans came out re-energized and capitalized on their opportunity when a shot from Robert Coronado bounced off the post right back at Bell who finishes the shot and put the game-winner past Gaucho goalkeeper Brandon Berke.

Santa Barbara continued to pressure the Titans, forcing Fullerton to stay on their toes every minute. The Gauchos had 13 shots in the second half and put five of them on target to put Elias to work.

With less than 10 minutes left in the match, defender Ricardo Covarrubias drew a red card after holding onto the jersey of Santa Barbara's Nick DePuy right outside the box, leaving Fullerton with only 10 men on the field for the rest of the game.

With the tournament win, Fullerton is granted the automatic berth from the Big West and will find out who they face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament during the Selection Show on Monday at 1 p.m.

NOTES: Coach Kuntz is now 13-1-1 in the Big West Tournament and won his sixth Big West Tournament title as a head coach… Coach Kuntz will now make his third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance… The shutout tonight logs Elias' 12th of the year…. This will be the Titans' ninth program appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

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