Sept. 3, 2011
Northridge, Calif. - Oscar Aguero scored in the first minute and Kevin Venegas added a pair of goals and an assist Saturday evening to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 5-1 rout of UNLV in the Labor Day Men's Soccer Classic hosted by Cal State Northridge.
The win also gave the Titans the tourney championship on goal differential when Akron defeated Northridge, 2-1, in double overtime.
Aguero converted a through ball from Jameson Campbell past UNLV goalkeeper Ryan Harding 54 seconds into the match. Venegas netted the eventual game winner from a well weighted through ball down the right side of the pitch from Aguero. Venegas collected the ball and caressed it off the inside of the far post and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 less than two minutes later.
UNLV got a goal after a failed clearance, the first allowed by the Titans this season, from Salvador Bernal in the 14th minute but the Titans scored twice more in the first half. Venegas tallied again in the 26th minute on an assist from Ritchie Gonzalez. A short time later Jonathan Birt struck an absolute banger from 30 yards into the top right corner and past the diving keeper to increase the lead to 3-1 in the 35th minute.
The scoring concluded when freshman substitute Ian Ramos tucked in a cross from Venegas to the bottom left corner for his second goal of the young season. The Titans were able to get valuable playing time for a number of Titans in the second half while still neutralizing the Rebels' attack. UNLV was held to just one shot after the halftime intermission.
"Today's result shows the maturity of this group," said Head Coach Bob Ammann. "We stressed not having a letdown (after tying No. 2-ranked Akron on Thursday). Obviously, scoring 2 early goals got us going. The exciting part is we can still improve in a lot of areas. We realize it's not about playing our best at this early point of the season but to take positive steps each and every game."
Trevor Whiddon got the win in goal needing to make only one save because of the solid defense in front of him anchored by Bobby Reiss. Whiddon bowed out for the final 7:32 in favor of Bryan Escalante.
The Titan men outshot UNLV, 16-8, including 8-1 in the second half. UNLV's Harding finished with 2 saves.
The all-tournament team consisted of Fullerton's Venegas, Reiss, Aguero and Michael Denny; Akron's David Meves, Scott Caldwell and Darren Mattocks; UNLV's Bernal, Mike Mota and Jonny Espinoza and CSUN's Joe Franco and Michael Abalos.
Fullerton will travel again next weekend to play Wisconsin-Green Bay and USF in a tournament in Las Vegas.