Second-Half PK Sinks Titans at LMU, 1-0
LOS ANGELES -- Loyola Marymount's Pedro Velazquez converted a penalty kick in the 55th minute for the only goal of the match and goalkeeper Vince Paldino denied Cal State Fullerton on a penalty kick attempt 12 minutes later as the Lions edged out the visiting Titans, 1-0, on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles.
Fullerton fell to 1-4 overall with the loss in its first road contest of the season while LMU earned its first victory of the year, improving to 1-2-1 overall.
"That was a tough loss," Head Coach Bob Ammann said. "Anytime your keeper only has to make one routine save on the day and you end up losing its tough. To lose on a penalty is always difficult."
A hard tackle away from the ball on a corner set up the game-winner for the Lions as Velazquez converted into the lower left corner for the only goal of the match and his second goal of the year overall.
In the 67th minute, the Titans had their own chance to equalize on a similar hard foul in the box, setting up the potential game-tying attempt. However, Anthony Rosales' attempt was saved by Paldino and a foul by Rosales on the rebound drew his second yellow card of the match, putting Fullerton a man down for the final 25 minutes.
"I was proud of the fight and desire all the way through the match," Ammann said. "We created more and had the best chances even down a man. If we keep working hard and pushing forward we will be in a good spot once league starts."
Fullerton had an opportunity to go ahead eight minutes into the second half when freshman Dyllan Stevens got his head on a cross inside the six, but put it just over the bar. Seniors Bobby Reiss and Jonathan Birt also had chances following LMU's goal smothered by Paldino
LMU finished with a 10-9 advantage in shots led by two apiece from three different players. Gerzon Blanco had two shots to pace the Titans, who outshot the Lions by an 8-7 count in the second half, but could not dent the back of the net. Paldino made three saves to turn away Fullerton before leaving following a collision in the box in the 71st minute, bringing on Paul Blanchette, who made one save to preserve the shutout. Adam Zepeda made just one save in the loss for the Titans.
A slow week gets busy quickly for Cal State Fullerton as the Titans will take to the pitch three times in six days next week. Fullerton heads to CSU Bakersfield for a Monday night (Sept. 10) clash at 7 p.m. before heading to Las Vegas for the UNLV Nike Invitational. The Titans take on Canisius on Friday afternoon (Sept. 14) at 4:30 p.m. before meeting Syracuse on Sunday (Sept. 16) morning at 10:30 a.m.