Reigning NCAA champion Akron found little to like in its first game this year in Southern California, a rugged 0-0 draw Thursday with Cal State Fullerton that left Zips coaches crying foul. Literally.
The Titans (1-0-1) took a physical approach to the Labor Day Classic encounter at Cal State Northridge, keeping 11 men behind the ball and committing 28 fouls -- to only seven by Akron -- benefiting from a masterful performance by goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon, who made nine saves.
“We're not going to make excuses. We didn't play our best game today,” Akron coach Caleb Porter told his school's athletics website. “But, clearly, Fullerton's game plan was to chop the game up with fouls and be physical and not allow us to get into a rhythm.
“We could be disappointed with the way the game was officiated, but bottom line is we didn't handle [the physical play] very well. To me, we looked like a young team that wasn't ready to deal with a physical team that came to play. Fullerton wanted to rattle us, and in some ways it worked. We have to do better next time.”
The Titans, who survived a first-half onslaught and outshot Akron, 12-10, after halftime, nearly scored three times: Roberto Vernaschi hit the left post from distance at the start of the second half, and Zips goalkeeper David Meves was required to make two big saves. Fullerton cleared a Scott Caldwell shot off the goal line in the 29th minute.
UNLV beat Cal State Northridge, 2-1, in the second game on Jonny Espinoza's overtime goal. Edwin Rivas (Los Angeles/Santee Education Complex) had pulled the Matadors (1-1-0) even in the 79th minute.
CSUN (1-1-0) meets Akron (1-0-1) in Saturday's tournament finale at 7 p.m.
In other men's action:
UC Riverside (1-1-0) crushed Sacramento State, 3-0, in its home opener as Aaron Long (Oak Hills/Serrano HS), Ivan Garcia (Corona/Santiago HS) and Hayden Leslie (Apple Valley/Apple Valley Christian HS) scored first-half goals.
Second-half goals by Gonzaga transfer Mitch Boland (Villa Park/Orange Lutheran HS) and Connor Hunsicker carried Loyola Marymount (1-1-0) past Oral Roberts, 2-0, in Tulsa, Okla.
Randy Dodge won his 100th collegiate game as NAIA fourth-ranked Vanguard bounced back from back-to-back losses to start the season with a 7-0 rout of William Jessup. The Eagles outshot the Northern Californians, 41-0, and Jack Plummer (Irvine Valley College) scored or assisted three goals in the first 27 minutes.
Timo Schwar scored twice and assisted a third to lead Cal State L.A. past visiting St. Martin's (Wash.), 6-0. Area California Collegiate Athletic Association teams went 5-0-0 on the opening night of the NCAA Division II season, with Cal State L.A.'s women also beating St. Martin's, and Cal State Dominguez Hills' men and Cal Poly Pomona's and Cal State San Bernardino's women winning. Cal Baptist, playing a Division II schedule in the second year of its transition from NAIA, won (women) and lost (men).
Cody Carlson (Burbank/Burbank HS) scored twice and assisted one of Jamie Griffin's pair as D3 Redlands routed Carthage (Wis.), 4-0, in its opener.
Cal Baptist 1 (Rupert 32), UC San Diego 2 (Lamming 31, Zernik 44)
Cal State Fullerton 0, Akron 0, OT
Cal State Dominguez Hills 2 (Gutierrez 7, Vasquez 79), Colorado Mesa 1 (Neuwirth 36)
Cal State L.A. 6 (Cedano 41, Schwar 54, 63, Faulkner 56, Arvola 64, Sanchez 84), St. Martin's (Wash.) 0
Cal State Northridge 1 (Rivas 79), UNLV 2 (Mota 67, Espinoza 93), OT
Embry-Riddle 0, The Master's 2
Oral Roberts 0, Loyola Marymount 2 (Boland 53, Hunsicker 60)
Pomona-Pitzer 0, Rutgers-Newark (N.J.) 1 (Kypriano 45)
Redlands 4 (Griffin 13, 34, Carlson 48, 70), Carthage (Wis.) 0
UC Riverside 3 (Long 27, I. Garcia 26, Leslie 45), Sacramento State 0
Vanguard 7 (Pellow 14, Plummer 18, O'Brien 27, 45, Ilich 43, Siemonsma 59, 86), William Jessup 0
Menlo 0, Hope International 1 (Hoffer 29)
Biola 1 (Shelton 65), Cal State San Marcos 0
The Master's 6 (Egeler 17, 60, 69, Taves 25, own goal 27, Peluffo 53), Marymount 1 (Smith 87)
Cal Baptist 4 (Allard 21, Witchey 30, Perea 69, Lammers 80), Northeaster State (Okla.) 0
Cal Poly Pomona 4 (Sauve 29, Garcia 33, Alino 74, Paez 78), Grand Canyon 2 (Scott 26, Nesic 45)
Cal State L.A. 2 (Ohberg 19, Pablo 79), St. Martin's (Wash.) 0
Cal State San Bernardino 2 (Hirsch 47, Wilding 78), Dixie State (Utah) 0
Concordia 5 (Vaughn 10, Franco 11, Hook 38, Turner NA, NA), William Jessup 0
The Master's 5 (Trevino 11, Coyle 21, Hollinger 29, Richards 35, Hartenberger 82), Marymount 0
Biola 0, Cal State San Marcos 1 (Cohen 54)
Home teams listed first