Mustangs Handle Titans in Big West Opener, 3-0
Oct. 1, 2008
San Luis Obispo, Calif. -
Courtesy Cal Poly sports information office
Julian Alvarez scored twice to lead Cal Poly to a convincing 3-0 win over Cal State Fullerton Wednesday night before a crowd of 1,513 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in the opener of Big West Conference play.
The Mustangs (6-2-2 overall, 1-0-0 Big West) controlled most of the match, often times forcing the Titans to shoot from outside the 18-yard box. Cal Poly goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco, who recorded his 19th career shutout, wasn't troubled by either of Cal State Fullerton's two shots on goal.
"Tonight was a great way to start the Big West campaign with a shutout and a win," said third-year Cal Poly head coach Paul Holocher. "Cal State Fullerton is a skillful team and I thought we did a strong job in limiting their chances. We know each game in this tough conference is a battle and now we'll begin to focus on UC Davis."
Ryan Anderson accounted for Cal Poly's third goal on an assist by Jeff Meyer Jr. The Titans were playing a man down at the time after defender Matt Sanders was sent off for a hard tackle in the 65th minute. Sanders was playing with one yellow card at the time.
The match saw eight cautions handed out. David Zamora, Branagan-Franco, Alvarez and Evan Richter had yellows for Cal Poly as well as Kevin Venegas, Celso Alvarez, Shay Spitz and Sanders for the Titans (3-7-0, 0-1-0).
Cal Poly outshot the Titans 18-11 and put eight more, 10-2, on goal. Kevin Puder had seven saves for Cal State Fullerton.
Alvarez put the Mustangs on the board early with a goal in the 9th minute. Cameron Walters took a throw-in down the line toward Jacob Hustedt. Hustedt took one touch then curled a cross to the near post where Alvarez won position on his defender and directed a header that deflected off a Titan player back into Alvarez and then into the net.
Cal Poly's offense regrouped in the second half and again Alvarez found himself in the right spot. Jose Garcia played a corner kick to the far post where Richter sent a header toward the goalkeeper's feet. Before the ball reached the keeper, Alvarez flicked the ball, back turned away from the goal, using his left foot that fooled the keeper and netted the attacking midfielder his third score of the season.
Anderson capped Cal Poly's scoring in the 75th minute via a cross from the far side of the field by Meyer Jr. The cross arched into the box where Anderson one-timed a booming shot into the net.
The Titans play only their third home match of the season Saturday night against Houston Baptist.