Big First Half Pushes Pilots Past Titans, 4-0

Bob Ammann - Photo by Matt Brown. Shot Aug. 24, 2012 vs. American
Bob Ammann - Photo by Matt Brown. Shot Aug. 24, 2012 vs. American

FULLERTON, Calif. – University of Portland junior Steven Evans scored a pair of goals and the visiting Pilots unleashed 22 shots on the afternoon, lifting them to a 4-0 shutout victory over host Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon to conclude the 2012 Wilson Titan Classic at Titan Stadium.

The loss dropped the Titans to 0-2 overall to start the season as Fullerton managed just 11 shots on the day. Portland, which fell to tournament champion Cal State Northridge by the same score two days earlier, evened its mark at 1-1 overall on the year with the win.

"We were not aggressive enough and never got into a rhythm," Head Coach Bob Ammann said. "Give credit to Portland after their showing on Friday, but we collectively were poor in every area. We have a week to digest this and get ready for Cornell next week."

It didn't take long for the Pilots to break through, scoring twice within a four-minute span early in the first half. Colin Anderson broke the ice in the 12th minute after a foul was whistled against the Titans at the top of the six-yard box. Derek Boggs teed up the ball for Anderson, who roofed it off the crossbar and over nine Fullerton players on the goal line for the 1-0 lead.

Evans, who finished with a match-high six shots, then made it 2-0 in the 16th minute, as Jaime Velasco gathered a turnover and passed it to Evans, who dribbled left and fired back to the right post for the 2-0 advantage. Portland added a third first-half goal in the 41st minute as a ball got lost in a scrum in front of the net, but Ben Hemphill got enough of a foot on it to push it through traffic for the 3-0 advantage.

Hemphill almost added another four minutes later, but his header clanged off the left post and away from harm as the Pilots finished the first half with a 14-5 shot advantage.

The score remained that way until the 56th minute when Fullerton was whistled for a handball in the box, sending Evans to the spot for the penalty kick. The junior converted on a shot to the lower right side for his second goal of the match that capped the scoring.

Colin Okirie and Mario Alvarez finished with two shots apiece to pace the Titans. Okirie had the Titans best chance in the opening period, just missing on a header to the back post off a corner by Jesse Escalante. Just after the break, Mario Alvarez narrowly missed a floater in the 52nd minute with a teammate charging in from the right side, but the Pilots were able to clear it off the line.

Cal State Fullerton returns to action on Friday (Aug. 31) at 7 p.m. as the Titans host the Big Red of Cornell University.

Cal State Northridge 2, American University 1
Beto Velasquez's first goal of the season in the 54th minute snapped a 1-1 tie and helped lift Cal State Northridge to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over American University and, in the process, the tournament championship.

All three goals in the match came within a seven-minute span in the second half after the two sides battled to a scoreless draw at the half. The Eagles' Alassane Kane, whose goal beat Cal State Fullerton two nights early, put American ahead in the 47th minute with his second of the season as a cross by Patrick Mehlert was mishandled by the Matadors' goalkeeper, allowing it to slip behind to Kane, who volleyed it home to the upper-left corner for the 1-0 lead.

Just three minutes later, Edwin Rivas brought Northridge even in the 51st minute with his second goal of the year, taking a through ball from teammate Carlos Benavides and firing it past a diving Eagle keeper to the left post to make it 1-1. American's Dale McDonald was then whistled for a red card and was ejected from the game following a hard foul just second later, opening the door for Northridge to take the lead for good.

Yuval Barak's pass to Velasquez at the top off the box was settled and curled in from about 20 yards out, nestling just inside the right post for the go-ahead score.

Rivas finished with a match-high five shots to go with his goal while four other Matadors finished with multiple shots on the day. Mehlert added three shots to lead American in the loss.

Joe Franco, Sr., D, Cal State Northridge
Rene Anguiano, Sr., M, Cal State Northridge
Edwin Rivas, So., F, Cal State Northridge
Armando Gutierrez, Sr., D, Cal State Northridge
Alassane Kane, Sr., F, American University
Cristobol Soto, Jr., D, American University
Ryan Morales, Sr., M, American University
Steven Evans, Jr., M, Portland
Derek Boggs, So. M, Portland
Keith Grubisich, Sr., D, Portland
Jaime Cano, Jr., D, Cal State Fullerton

OFFENSIVE MVP: Edwin Rivas, Cal State Northridge
Armando Gutierrez, Cal State Northridge


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