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CAL STATE FULLERTON NOTEBOOK : Haro Gets Season’s Worth of Goals

Five goals is a decent season for some college soccer players, which makes Cal State Fullerton forward Raul Haro’s five-goal performance against San Jose State Sunday all the more remarkable.

Haro, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior, scored two goals in regulation and three in overtime to lead the Titans to a 7-3 victory in a Big West Conference game in Spartan Stadium.

“It’s incredible--I mean, I don’t know if I’m awake right now,” Fullerton Coach Al Mistri said Monday. “In soccer, 10 goals is normally enough for six games, so this was pretty spectacular.”

So was Haro’s third goal, which gave the Titans a 3-2 lead in the first of two, 15-minute overtime periods. Ricky Rodriguez had centered a pass from the right side, and the ball came toward Haro at about shoulder level.

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As the ball approached, Haro leaped and, with his body virtually parallel to the ground, booted it into the upper right-hand corner of the net from about 20 yards.

“It was one of the most spectacular goals I’ve seen in a long time,” Mistri said.

Haro, who scored both Fullerton goals in regulation, wasn’t through. After San Jose State’s Greg Schwager tied the score, 3-3, and Fullerton’s Dino Torres scored to give the Titans (4-4) a 4-3 lead, Haro added two more goals.

“It was one of those days when everything I shot went in,” said Haro, who played at San Pedro High School and El Camino College. “When you’re on, you’re on.”

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Honors: Haro, who also had a goal and an assist in a 5-0 victory over UC Irvine last Wednesday, was named Big West soccer player of the week.

The conference doesn’t keep individual records for soccer, but Haro’s five goals Sunday were a school record and brought his season total to eight.

Haro, who has three assists, now ranks second in the nation in points with 19, behind Creighton’s Brian Kamier, who has 25 (10 goals, five assists).

Mistri said San Jose State’s fatigue contributed to Haro’s last two goals Sunday. The hot weather also took its toll, and players weren’t marking very closely at the end. But Mistri said Haro was due for a big game.

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“It’s like hitting a baseball 400 feet--sometimes it’s an out and sometimes it’s a home run,” Mistri said. “Raul has had some very good games where he just couldn’t score, but all of a sudden everything came together Sunday.”

Ripe for an upset: Mistri wasn’t sure what feat was more amazing--Haro’s five goals or his team making it to the San Jose airport in time to catch a flight home.

Sunday’s game, scheduled to start at 2 p.m., began at 2:45 because the referee was late. With overtime, the game ended at 5:25 p.m., and the Titans had a 6 p.m. flight. The airport is about six miles from the stadium.

“It was funny because all the coaches were stressing out,” Haro said. “After the game finished, we didn’t even have time to take off our cleats. We just got in the vans and left.”

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It took about 10 minutes to get to the airport, and the players, sweaty and grimy from a long afternoon of soccer, barely made their flight.

“There were a significant amount of complaints on the plane,” Mistri said. “No one had showered.”

Thinned out: The Titans lost some depth on the offensive line when guards David Lamm, a sophomore, and Shannon Illingworth, a senior, quit the football team.

Lamm, who has played sparingly this season, met with Fullerton Coach Gene Murphy Monday. “He said football was no longer fun for him,” Murphy said.

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Illingworth, who gained a hardship year after missing all but one game of the 1990 season because of a knee injury, has not been seen by Titan coaches since Tuesday.

The former Tustin High School and Saddleback College lineman had been suffering from a bruised spleen and lost his starting job to Tim Drevno.

Pooh Jenkins, a 6-2, 250-pound offensive lineman from Glendale College who became eligible last week, could help, but he must pass a physical before joining the Titans for practice.

Murphy said Jenkins might make the trip to Georgia this weekend. “We’ll need every able body we have,” Murphy said.

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Whale of a day: Cornerback Darrius Watson, whose two fourth-quarter interceptions helped preserve the Titans’ 17-10 victory over Cal State Northridge Saturday, was named Big West defensive player of the week.

When was the last time a Titan defender earned such honors?

“When Moby Dick was a minnow,” Murphy said.

Whisper to a scream: Freshman quarterback Chad May’s arm didn’t look too strong Saturday--he completed only three of 14 passes for 28 yards and had two passes intercepted--but his strong vocal chords should keep him in the starting lineup this week.

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Terry Payne, who started the first two games before losing the job to May, broke a blood vessel in his throat and could barely speak above a whisper Saturday. Murphy said Payne’s condition is improving, but he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to call signals against Georgia.

Titan Notes

Previewing Saturday’s game against Georgia in his weekly football press release, Fullerton sports information director Mel Franks breaks up possible scenarios in two short categories--Food for Thought: Central Michigan 20, Michigan State 3; Memphis State 24, USC 10. Food for Regurgitation: Penn State 81, Cincinnati 0; Cal 86, Pacific 24. . . . Georgia will be the 21st state in which the Titans have played football. Only 29 to go. . . . Georgia’s 10-0 loss to Alabama Saturday was the first time the Bulldogs have been shut out since 1984. . . . For Titan fans hoping Georgia will be looking ahead to an Oct. 5 game against Clemson, note that the Bulldogs have won their last eight games in the week preceding the Clemson game. They are also 10-1 in the last 11 games after the Alabama game. . . . Fullerton running backs Arthur Davis (113.3 yards per game) and Reggie Yarbrough (83.7) rank second and third, respectively, among Big West Conference rushers behind Pacific’s Ryan Benjamin (156.3). The Titans rank third in the conference in rushing offense (178 yards per game) and third in rushing defense (177.7) and scoring defense (32.7 points). . . . As of Wednesday, Titan middle blocker Stephanie Scofield ranked 12th in the nation in digs per game with a 4.54 average, according to the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. . . . Fullerton will play host to the Comfort Suites Volleyball Tournament Oct. 4-5. Sacramento State, St. Mary’s, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Missouri will visit Titan Gym for the event. . . . The Fullerton men’s cross-country team finished eighth in an 11-team field and the Titan women placed seventh in a 12-team field at Saturday’s Aztec Invitational at Morley Field in San Diego. Steve Frisone (27th) and Heather Killeen (20th) were Fullerton’s highest finishers.


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