Sept. 29, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
Senior Antonio Vernaschi kicked in a loose ball in the goal mouth after Cal State Fullerton's first corner kick of the match in the final minute of the first overtime Wednesday night to give the TItans a 1-0 win over No. 17 (Soccer America) ranked UC Santa Barbara in the Big West Conference opener for both teams. Fullerton beat UCSB for the first time since Oct. 25, 2003, snapping an 11-game losing streak to the defending conference champions.
The Titans are 2-4-1 overall while the Gauchos see a 3-game win streak end and fall to 3-3-2.
Michael Denny launched the corner kick from the left corner and it landed in a mob of players. Eric Escobedo got a foot on the ball and it caromed to Vernaschi, who scored his first goal of the season. Goalkeeper Sam Hayden of UCSB protested the lack of a foul or offsides call and received a red card after the match.
The Gauchos dominated the game, outshooting the Titans 22-8 and having 12 cornerkicks to Fullerton's one. But Sam Garza received a second yellow card in the 77th minute and the Gauchos played a man down the rest of the way.
UCSB had numerous close calls as Fullerton goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon was credited with 10 saves, several by his fingertips near the cross bar. His best save came at point blank range against Garza in the 64th minute. The Gauchos' Luis Silva rattled a long shot off the left post in the 37th minute.
Hayden was called on to make only 2 saves for UCSB as the Gauchos possessed the ball at least two thirds of the match.
Fullerton hosts Cal State Northridge on Saturday while UCSB hosts UC Davis. CSF and UCSB have a quick rematch in Goleta on Oct. 6.