Titans roll to two victories as offense begins to find its stride

Jeff Lyons
Midfielder Jeff Lyons leads the Titans in scoring with nine goals and nine assists.

I had a chance to see Cal-State Fullerton on Sunday, when the No. 18 Titans beat Channel Islands 18-3. As that score indicates, it was a very one-sided game, but Fullerton had to be happy winning its second in a row — the Titans beat USC 8-5 on Saturday — and scoring goals in bunches.

As we wrote last week, Fullerton has been trying to figure out where its offense will come from this season. Sunday, it came from everywhere. In all, 11 players registered points, with eight different players scoring goals and eight different players recording assists. Twelve of the 18 goals were assisted.

Jeff Lyons
Midfielder Jeff Lyons leads the Titans in scoring with nine goals and nine assists.

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Middie Jeff Lyon, a junior out of El Toro HS in Lake Forest, led the way with five goals and three assists, and attack Joe Wheeler, a senior out of Downey HS, had four goals and two assists. Attack Gabe Alamillo, a junior from Mater Dei who also is one of the Titans’ captains, scored three goals and had two assists.

Against USC a day earlier, Alamillo scored two goals as the Titans saw seven different players find the net, and all eight goals against the Trojans were assisted. All of this offense comes with senior attack Nick Lioi on the bench, having missed the last three games with an injury. Before getting hurt, Lioi had scored five goals in a three-game span.

One other factor in the Titans favor this season — and a big one, according to senior defender and co-captain Paul Morgan — has been the play of first-year goalie Trevor Wada. A junior in school but a freshman in eligibility, Wada has a save percentage above .500 in every game this season, even when the Titans were getting blown out 15-2 and 15-1. Wada, from El Dorado HS in Placentia, has a save percentage of .609 on the season and a goals-against average of 8.7. Against No. 1 St. Thomas a week ago in Las Vegas — the Titans’ third game in three days — Wada stopped 18 shots in a 6-3 loss.

Fullerton (4-3) has two more nonconference games to continue fine-tuning its game before starting SLC play March 16 against Cal-State San Marcos.