Home Match vs. UCI on Wednesday

Titans Hope to Build on Sin City Win Hosting UC Irvine This Week

The Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team bounced back nicely in a non conference match against UNLV on Sunday after suffering a heartbreaking Big West Conference loss to No. 12 - ranked UC Santa Barbara on Thursday at Titan Stadum.

They now look to face UC Irvine on Wednesday.

The Titans defeated UNLV in Las Vegas, 3-2, and were led by the efforts of senior captain Eugene Brooks, who had two first-half goals and assisted on the game-winning goal. Brooks also had the lone goal in the 2-1 double-overtime loss to UCSB on Friday.

Media Credit: Karl Thunman
OWNED - Titan Ben Hofstetter hits the grass after his encounter with UC Santa Barbara's Eric Frimpoing in a 2-1 CSUF loss.

He now has six goals on the season.

Titan junior Ben Hofstetter scored the game-winning goal in the 69th minute for the Titans, who improved to 4-4-1 overall, 0-1-0 conference.

Titan sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Puder got his first victory of the season, making four saves during the victory. It was Puder's second start of the season after making his first start against UCSB on Thursday.

"I was a little shaky at first, but in the warmup I was feeling really good," Puder said after the UCSB match.

The Titans were outshot 15-11, but had more corner kicks (8) than their opponent (2).

The match against UNLV had noticeably fewer fouls (six for CSUF, four for UNLV) than the 2-1 loss against UCSB.

Thursday's game was marred with fouls and yellow cards, with a total of 38 fouls (UCSB 24, CSUF 14) and four yellow cards, three of which were given to CSUF.

Amir Shafii, Gabriel Farfan and Head Coach Bob Ammann were all given yellow cards.

"Without saying too much, I don't think [the officials] did a good enough job protecting the attacking players," Ammann said. "The rules are in place to protect the attacking players, not defend the defending players."

During the match, CSUF players could constantly be seen laid flat on the grass, often at the hands of 6-foot-5 UCSB defender Andy Iro.

"We knew coming into this game that Santa Barbara was always hard and physical, and they're usually a bit bigger than us," Brooks said after Thursday's match.

The first half of the match ended in a tie, but the stalemate was broken in the 69th minute by UCSB midfielder Bryan Byrne.

Byrne ran down a ball from the right side of the field and beat two defenders on his way to finding the net against Puder.

With less than six minutes remaining in the match, the Titans responded when Shafii sent a cross from the right side of the field toward the front of the goal.

The ball was deflected to Brooks who was just in front of the net. Brooks found the back left corner of the goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The first of the two 10-minute periods of overtime had many opportunities for the Titans.

Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on their chances against UCSB.

"All in all, we had the better of the game," Ammann said. "The difference was we didn't take care of our numerous set pieces. We took it to them. I think they were very fortunate to get away [with the win]."

UCSB received a free kick opportunity from 20 yards out five minutes into the second overtime period.

UCSB sophomore Nick Perera kicked the ball, which was deflected by a Titan defender and put it past Puder fort he game-winner.

The Titans were outshot 23-14 on Thursday night, and UCSB had the advantage in corner kicks 9-2.