Canisius Cruises by Cal State Fullerton, 4-2

Jesse Escalante
Jesse Escalante

LAS VEGAS – Canisius College's Gavin Falconer scored twice and Regan Steele added two assists Friday evening, overcoming a 16-9 shot advantage by Cal State Fullerton en route to a, 4-2, victory over the Titans in the first match of the UNLV Nike Invitational in Las Vegas.

The loss was the third-straight for Fullerton, which fell to 1-6 overall in the loss. The Golden Griffins remained unbeaten on the year, winning their school-record fifth-straight contest while improving to 5-0-2.

"We scored two goals and had numerous other opportunities, but we dug ourselves a hole that was too deep," Head Coach Bob Ammann said. "Credit to Canisius, who took advantage of those opportunities, but we can't expect to defend like we did and have a favorable result."

Mario Alvarez (65th minute) and Jesse Escalante (80th minute) scored late for the Titans, but by then, it was too late. Falconer, the two-time reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, got the scoring started in the seventh minute of the match with a blast to the top of the goal off a pass from the endline, then opened the floodgates with a score six minutes into the second half off a long free kick that slipped through the goalkeeper's hands.

That started a streak of three goals in an 11-minute span for the Golden Griffins as Paul Klopfer scored from 12 yards out in the 60th minute for a 3-0 lead and Denver Spearman, who also added an assist on Falconer's first goal, stole the ball and put it home from close range for the final Canisius score.

Fullerton, which also had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks, broke up the shutout with Alvarez's first goal of the year on a penalty kick and Escalante added his second of the year off a pass from Ian Ramos, who sent it in from the right side to a waiting Escalante, who tapped it in from close range for the final, 4-2, score.

Friday marked only the second two-goal offensive performance from the Titans this season, matching the season-high two goals scored in an overtime win over UNLV on Sept. 2. Freshman Dyllan Stevens led all players with a match-high four shots while Asani Samuels paced Canisius with three.

Cal State Fullerton closes out the tournament on Sunday morning (Sept. 16) at 11 a.m. as the Titans take on Syracuse.


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