LAS VEGAS, Nev. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay (1-1-1) men's soccer team continued its four game road trip playing a tough fought battle against Cal State Fullerton (3-0-1) in the opening game of the Nike Invitational Friday night at Peter Johann Memorial Field in Las Vegas, Nev. The Phoenix came from behind to tie the game 1-1 in the second half before the Titans sealed the 2-1 win in the 72nd minute.
"Heading into this game we felt CSU Fullerton is a team that if we play well, we can and should have gotten a result," said head coach Kris Kelderman. "They weren't anything special tonight and neither were we."
Green Bay controlled the majority of the first half outshooting the Titans 12-3. In the 29th minute CSU Fullerton took a hard shot across the right of the box, which was too far out for Green Bay goalie Ryan Wehking (St. Louis, Mo.) to make the save. At the same time, the ball deflected off the foot of Andrew Stone (Green Bay, Wis.) for the own goal, giving the Titans the 1-0 advantage at the break.
Senior Stuart Grable (Neenah, Wis.) led the Phoenix with three shots; two on goal, while Luke Goodnetter (Elm Grove, Wis.) and Alonso Flores (Chicago, Ill.) fired two shots each, one on goal, in the first half of play.
Mid way through the second half after two CSU Fullerton players were issued yellow cards, senior Tony Walls (Wauwatosa, Wis.) tied the game 1-1 off a penalty kick for the Phoenix. The goal was Walls second of the season and first penalty kick attempt on the young season.
Four and a half minutes later, following a Green Bay foul, the Titans responded with a penalty kick goal of its own, regaining the final 2-1 advantage.
Green Bay outshot CSU Fullerton 15-11 while each team had three corner kicks in addition to a combined seven yellow cards issued in the contest.
"We had our chances to win the game," Kelderman said. "At the end of the day our execution wasn't strong and we just weren't sharp enough. We just need to regroup and get after it next game against UNLV."
Goodnetter and Grable led the Phoenix with three shots each while Flores and Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) each chipped in two. Wehking grabbed five saves in the contest.
ON DECK: The Phoenix will wrap up competition in the Nike Invitational against host UNLV (1-2-0) Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. CT. Green Bay will play its home opener as part of the Green Bay Soccer Classic which kicks off Friday, Sept. 16 with the Phoenix battling Niagara (2-1-1) at approximately 7 p.m. at Aldo Santaga Stadium. Prior to the Green Bay/Niagara contest, Eastern Illinois (2-1-0) will face Dayton (0-3-0) at 4:30 p.m.
THE MATCHUP: The Rebels fell 5-1 to Cal State Fullerton Sept. 3 before hosting San Francisco (0-3-0) in the first round of the Nike Invitational. Green Bay looks to finish 1-1 in the Nike Invitational, returning home with a winning record. The Phoenix fell 2-1 to Cal State Fullerton in the opening game of the invitational.
SERIES: Sunday's game will be the second meeting between the Phoenix and the Rebels. Last season UNLV traveled to Green Bay as part of the Green Bay Soccer Classic in which the Phoenix battled to a 2-1 victory on Sept. 17.
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Fans can follow the action live of Green Bay's game against UNLV. Just click here.
Season tickets and Fall Sports Passes are now on sale for men's soccer, as well as women's soccer and volleyball. Season tickets for each sport are available for $25 each, or a Fall Sports Pass can be purchased for admission to all three sports for just $50 for an adult and $25 for a youth pass. For more information and an order form, click here.