Titans Advance to Big West Playoffs with 1-1 Draw Against Matadors

Titans Advance to Big West Playoffs with 1-1 Draw Against Matadors

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team played through two overtimes Wednesday night at Matador Soccer Field to tie CSUN 1-1 behind goals from Fullerton's Mark Vasquez and CSUN's Juan Samayoa.

Fullerton was able to get the fast start in this contest when a CSUN defender turned the ball over to Vasquez.  The senior midfielder wasted no time, bolting toward the middle of the field where he found himself alone on Matador goalkeeper Adam Hobbs.  Vasquez kept his shot low, sliding the ball under a diving Hobbs and into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Titans a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.

Minutes later, in the 43rd minute CSUN capitalized on a Titan defensive turnover when a low shot by Samayoa got past CSF keeper Jeff Salt to equalize the score at 1-1 as the teams headed into halftime.

The Matadors came out firing at the start of the second half, and it almost gave them the lead.  In the 58th minute a foul was called on a Fullerton defender in the box handing CSUN a penalty shot, and the chance to go ahead in the must-win season finale. But Salt came up with the save to keep the score tied at 1-1.

CSUN's chances of getting an outright victory over the Titans took a hit in the 80th minute when Yarden Azulay was booked with a yellow card, and seconds later a red card for dissent.  The Matadors, desperate for a win, were forced into trying to score against a stingy Titan defense while playing a man down.

The last chance for the Titans came in the 90th minute when Hobbs made two point blank saves on Titan forwards to keep the Matadors' hopes alive and send the two teams to overtime.

The Titans will take the pitch for Big West Playoff action Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against UC Davis at Aggie Soccer Field.

Notes:  Cal State Fullerton all-time series record against CSUN now moves to 15-20-3…The 39th minute goal by Mark Vasquez was his first of the season, and he becomes the 11th different player to score a goal for the Titans this season…The Titans will face the UC Davis Aggies in the first round of the Big West Playoff tournament, the last time the Titans made the postseason, in 2012, they lost to the Aggies 2-0…Jeff Salt has saved three out of four penalty attempts he has faced this season after his save on Big West goal leader Sagi Lev-Ari in the 58th minute tonight…The Big West South Division has been finalized with the Titans and Matadors' draw, UC Riverside tops the division with 15 points, UC Irvine comes in second with 13 points, Fullerton is one point behind in third place with 12, and CSUN finishes in fourth with 10 points.


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