A 53-Second Flurry Leads to a Draw
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton, (6-6-1, 3-1-1) and UC Irvine (7-4-3, 2-2-1) played to a draw, 2-2, in Big West South Division men's soccer action in front of 619 shell-shocked fans.
After Garrett Losee scored from a leading pass by Colin Okirie in the 36th minute, the Titans held the 1-0 lead until the clock struck 84:53 at Titan Stadium. The Anteaters scored on a corner kick by Enrique Cardenas which was deflected by Fullerton goalkeeper Bryan Escalante and then nicked in by the Titans defense while trying to clear the shot.
Nine seconds later Marc Fenelus broke away on the kick off and shot to the low far post past the diving Irvine goalkeeper, Michael Breslin, and the Titans regained the lead, 2-1.
But, don't leave your seats folks because the Anteaters played a ball from Mats Bjurman to Marco Franco who sent a cross in to the near post where Dennis Martinez tapped a goal in past a diving Escalante 46 seconds later for the 2-2 score. The teams went back and forth for two extra periods before the final horn sounded and everyone could blink.
"I'm proud of the team's effort tonight. It showed me that we have grown as a group. Dealing with the disappointment of giving up goals late when it seemed as if the points were ours is tough. I certainly felt we deserved them," said head coach Bob Ammann.
"We had the best chances and were deserving of the 1-0 lead at the half. The defense did very well minimizing their opportunities and the shots weren't of any real trouble. The own goal to tie the game was disappointing but our answer was as good as you could ever hope for," he continued.
"It looked to us like their was an offsides on their goal, but sometimes the calls don't go the way you want. Now we need to get prepared quickly for our game at Northridge with first place on the line."
Unofficially, the nine seconds between opponent goals ranks seventh all-time in NCAA men's soccer history. The last time opponents scored a goal under 10 seconds of one another was in 2007.
UC Riverside and No. 10 Cal State Northridge played to a draw in Riverside, so Cal State Fullerton remains in a draw with the Matadors in leading the Big West South. The team returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Northridge for a 7 p.m. match.