SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Down by one goal with under four minutes remaining, Alex Juarez made a great cross from just inside midfield to Bass Sarr who made a perfect redirect on the ball with a header to score in the 87th minute, eventually earning the Titans a 1-1 draw on the road Monday night against Missouri State at Allison South Stadium.
"I'm so proud of this team. We talked in the locker after the first half without the coaches, we know how good we are but we just had to execute the game plan," said forward Bass Sarr. "I trust my teammates so as soon as I saw the ball I made the run and I knew if I jumped with full speed I would definitely get a flick on it and it would be a goal because I saw the keeper come off his line."
The Titans got off to somewhat of a slow start but ended up controlling possession for a majority of the first half. However, Fullerton was unable to create enough chances in the final third of the field.
"Our team dealt with travel and a new surface and we had some difficulty adjusting," said Head Coach George Kuntz. " We owned 80 percent of the possession and learned quite a bit from this game. Missouri is a hard team to break down and are well coached defensively."
Missouri State took the lead in the 35th minute on a free-kick from outside the 18-yard box by Aadne Bruseth. The Bears received a free-kick on a questionable foul call by the official against Zico Bailey at the collegiate level.
Fullerton played four freshman in Monday's night game in Charly Anguiano, Jose Delgado, Zico Bailey and Edward Salazar. All four proved to be strong contributors for the Titans even in their first year.
While even giving up one goal, Paul-Andre Guerin had a stellar game in net for the Titans. Guerin finished the game with seven saves. Three of them being incredible plays, showing why he was named Big West Tournament MVP in 2017.
The Titans were out-shot 16 to 7 in the match but came up with clutch plays when they were needed most. Missouri State got eight shots on net, while the Titans earned two.
It is the first time in seven seasons that the Titans have started off the season with a win or a draw. Fullerton now returns home to host James Madison at Titan Stadium Friday night at 5 p.m. in a doubleheader with the women's soccer team.
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