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PCAA Soccer : Titans Beat Las Vegas to Gain Playoff Berth

November 01, 1986|BARBIE LUDOVISE

Cal State Fullerton senior Mark Lopez broke a 1-1 tie with his first goal of the season 17 minutes into overtime Friday night to give the Titans a 2-1 victory over Nevada Las Vegas and a berth in the NCAA postseason tournament.

Fullerton (4-1, 7-9-2) finishes Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. play in a tie for first with Fresno State.

"I'm numb," Fullerton Coach Al Mistri said. "When UNLV tied it up, I swear I thought we'd die. I'm so happy for these guys."

Fullerton came into the match needing a victory over the Rebels (2-2, 7-6-3) to advance to the playoffs. A tie would have given Fresno State--whom the Titans defeated, 2-1, last week--the PCAA championship.

The Titans took a 1-0 lead early in the first half when senior captain Reid Thibodeau scored on a breakaway.

Fullerton goalie Bobby Ammann had five saves and kept Las Vegas from scoring until late in the second half. Rebel freshman Jeff Wale tied the game on a breakaway with 10 minutes left.

The only shot taken in the 20-minute overtime was Lopez's game-winner.

"I feel great," Lopez said. "It was a do-or-die situation for us."

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