Nov. 6, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
Christopher Santana's volley shot bounced over the goalkeeper's head to break a 1-1 tie and UC Irvine went on to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 3-1, Saturday night, to claim the regular season Big West Conference men's soccer championship and the No. 1 seed in the post-season tournament.
The Anteaters bounced back from an upset loss to Cal State Northridge on Wednesday to improve to 14-2-3 and 7-1-2 in the Big West to finish one point ahead of UC Santa Barbara, which beat UC Riverside, 2-0.
The Titans are now 6-11-2 and 4-6-0 in the Big West and finish in a tie for fourth place with UC Davis. By virtue of their head-to-head victory over the Aggies, the Titans earn the No. 4 seed and will play at UCI on Wednesday night. Cal Poly is the No. 3 seed and will play at No. 2 UCSB.
Santana's volley in the 49th minute took a high hop over CSF goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon, who had punched the ball out to the corner of the penalty box in turning away a long free kick by Corey Attaway. The other two UCI goals also came on fortuitous hops. UCI tied the match in the 43rd minute when 6-foot-4 Joel Bagby got a body part on a ball bouncing high above a crowd in the goal mouth and beat Whiddon. The clinching goal came when Amani Walker beat everyone to the ball near the left post after Whiddon had a hard shot from Brett Berman carom off of him in the 71st minute.
Fullerton scored the first goal on a penalty kick by Oscar Aguero. UCI's Everett Pitts was cited for knocking down Nick Posthuma from behind as the Titan junior was streaking diagonally through the box to receive a pass.
Both Whiddon and victorious keeper Andrew Fontein made saves of point-blank shots. Whiddon totaled 8 saves while Fontein was credited with two.