Titans Blank American
Sept. 16, 2011
Washington, DC - Kevin Venegas, Eric Escobedo and Jesse Escalante scored first-half goals Friday afternoon and Cal State Fullerton remained unbeaten with a 3-0 men's soccer victory at American University.
The Titans (5-0-1) won their fourth road match in succession to continue the program's best start since the 2000 team opened 6-0 before losing the next 4 matches.
American fell to 1-5-1.
Venegas scored an unassisted goal in the 13th minute and Escobedo made it 2-0 about 8 minutes later with an assist from Nick Posthuma. Venegas assisted on Escalante's goal in the 37th minute.
Fullerton outshot the Eagles, 14-9, and Trevor Whiddon posted his fourth shutout of the young season making 3 saves.
"It was always going to be a challenge," said Fullerton Coach Bob Ammann. "We had a very rough trip, getting to our hotel at 2:30 a.m. Thursday and the early kickoff Friday didnt help. We started the game very slow and if not for Trevor being on his game we would have found ourselves behind. Apart from the 3 goals, I wasn't pleased with our play in the first half. We were better in the second half and managed the final half well."
Fullerton completes the trip with a game Sunday at George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia.
FROM THE BENCH: After weathering a shaky first few minutes to begin the match, the Titans broke through with an unassisted strike from Venegas. The ball was sent into the Eagles' box from Titan defender Bobby Reiss. After a challenge in the air by forward Jameson Campbell, the ball fell to Venegas, whose shot deflected off a defender from 20 yards into the bottom right corner to put Fullerton ahead 1-0.
The insertion of the Titans' first two substitutions (Escobedo & Escalante) in the 21st minute paid immediate dividends as the Titans claimed a second goal when a swift give-and-go sequence by Escobedo and Posthuma allowed Escobedo the room to shoot from the top of the box. Escobedo took a touch and then curled a shot into the top right corner from 20 yards, easily beating the diving American keeper on just his second touch of the game.
The Titans concluded the match's scoring when Escalante scored his second goal in two games. After Venegas drove a cross from 30 yards out on the right side of the pitch, the cross was met with a powerful header by Escalante from 10 yards past the frozen Eagles' keeper to put the visiting Titans up 3-0.
Fullerton came out in the second half with a determined defensive mindset with the priority keeping the Eagles from getting on the board. The defensive effort was matched by quality possession as the Titans were able to get 19 players into the game. Hard tackles and a nonstop effort by the defensive line gave the Titans and keeper Trevor Whiddon their 4th shutout of the young season. Whiddon made two excellent saves at the start of the match when the Titans needed him most to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard.