Box Score (PDF)
CHICAGO – Illinois-Chicago's Thomas Villamil used a header to find the back of the net for a golden goal in the 92nd minute to drop the Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team, 3-2, at Flames Field on Friday evening in overtime.
In the inaugural match of the George Kuntz era at Fullerton (0-1-0), the Titans fought back from a 2-0 deficit to send the game into overtime after a 90-minute duel in regulation. UIC's (1-0-0) aggressiveness to begin the opening minutes of extra-time turned out to be the difference, firing two quick shots in the period.
Following a shot by UIC's Piotr Lagowski, the Flames were given another crucial opportunity as Joel Salermon took the team's third corner kick of the match. Villamil delivered the header off of Salermon's corner to seal the victory and thwart the Titans bid for a come-from-behind win.
The Titans and Flames entered the second half scoreless as UIC held a slim edge on shots, 5-4. Scoring picked up in the second half as both teams began to execute down the stretch.
UIC's Jesus Torres was determined to make his mark in the second half as he found an opening in the Fullerton defense in the 53rd minute, tallying the opening goal of the match, assisted by Jose Fuentes. Torres continued to put the pressure on, sending a header in the 57th minute and another shot on goal just seconds later, both were wide left of Fullerton goalkeeper Jeff Salt.
Sergio Fuentes of UIC added to the lead with a goal in the 65th minute off an assist by Torres, creating a 2-0 hole for the Titans. With a shot advantage of 8-6 and a corner kick edge of 4-0 in the second half, Fullerton was making strides to sway the momentum.
After several close calls in front of the goal, Fullerton caught a break in the 69th minute as a Flames defender deflected in an own goal to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
With the match winding down in the final minutes, the Titans forced a corner kick at the 87:44 mark to create a late opportunity. Marc Fenelus took the corner as Alex Heilmann made another play at the ball within the skirmish in front of the net. Senior Amara Soumah came up in the clutch as he headed in the equalizer off of Heilmann's touch to get past UIC's goalkeeper, Andrew Putna, stunning the Flames deep in regulation.
With the momentum clearly shifted towards the Titans' sideline, Villamil and company jolted UIC's late heroics to deliver the final blow.
Game Notes: A trio of Titans were booked for yellow cards, Gabriel Quintero (20:20), Amara Soumah (75:14) and Marc Fenelus (78:04)…freshman midfielder Robert Coronado made the first start of his career for the Titans…Jeff Salt, Gabriel Quintero and Colin Okirie were the only CSF student-athletes to be on the pitch for the entire 91 minutes of game time…Fullerton assistant coach Carlos Aguilar was given a red card at the end of regulation…Jeff Salt snatched a pair of saves in each half to lead both sides with four saves in the match.