The Cal State Fullerton lacrosse club split its weekend at home losing to the defending national champion No. 8 Westminster College 10-5 Saturday, and beating Western Washington 10-7 Monday.
The win marks the best record in school history at 8-2 and highest national ranking at No. 15.
But the Titans’ goal remains winning the national championship.
“It is definitely a great feeling, but it is a small step towards our main goal,” Jesse Luchansky, midfielder, said. “We try to ignore the polls and play our game. When we play our game, no one can stop us.”
With the win, the Titans continue to hold third place in the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference.
“All of our hard work is paying off,” Ozhan Kashkooli, goalie, said. “Our guys are a lot more confident and have a lot more heart. We have a lot of talent and we can go really far.”
Monday the Titans faced a tough Western Washington team looking to upset the No. 15 Titans.
The Vikings came out strong scoring two goals and shutting down a talented Titan offense to take the lead after the first quarter 2-0.
CSUF picked it up in the second quarter scoring four goals and holding the Vikings to only one, taking the lead into the half 4-3.
“Our offense went with the game plan and did what they were suppose to do,” Kashkooli said.
Attackman Mike Ansel led the Titans with two goals and four assists, while attackmen Jimmy Lin and Chasen Cameron each scored a pair of goals.
Freshman midfielder Conor Stinde added two goals and an assist, helping the Titans take a commanding 9-4 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We had a solid third quarter and just ran with it,” Luchansky said.
Western Washington tried to answer back with three goals to start the period.
But the Titans were able to weather the storm picking up on both sides of the field, beating the Vikings 10-7.
Kashkooli contributed 10 saves in the winning effort.
“When I step up big, our defense steps up big,” Kashkooli said.
Saturday CSUF took on the defending National Champions No. 8 Westminster College.
The Griffins came to town expecting a great game and the Titans responded.
“It does not matter who we play. We just have to come out and play as hard as we can,” Kashkooli said.
Westminster started the game scoring two goals in the first quarter and shutting down the CSUF offense.
The offense continued to struggle most of the second quarter as the Titans went down 4-0 with only minutes remaining in the half.
“Our offense was not controlling the ball well,” Kashkooli said.
But the Titans were able to gain some momentum as Ansel scored two goals and Cameron scored a goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in the half to cut the Griffins lead to 4-3.
“It is a big confidence booster to know that we are able to compete with a team who won the national championship last season,” Luchansky said.
The Titans hung close with an aggressive Westminster team who started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Both teams scored in the third, but the Griffins were able to pull away as the Titans struggled to contain attackman Josh Condas who finished the game with six goals.
“They have really good stick skills,” Stinde said. “They came out and got the job done.”
CSUF was able to put up two more goals but came up short as the Griffins got the win, 10-5.
“The game showed us where we are at right now,” Stinde said. “If we make it to the national championship, we are going to have to play teams of that caliber.”
Kashkooli finished the game with 21 saves and midfielder Luchansky added a goal and two assists in the loss.
“We are a top team,” Luchansky said. “We can compete at that level and winning a national championship is not out of reach.”
This Friday the Titans travel to Los Angeles to take on Occidental College.