October 16, 2012

Division-Leading Matadors, Highlanders Up Next for Titans

THIS WEEK...
#14 Cal State Northridge at Cal State Fullerton
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 | 7 p.m.
Titan Stadium (10,000)
Fullerton, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video

Cal State Fullerton at UC Riverside
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 | 7 p.m.
UCR Soccer Stadium
Riverside, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats 

Complete Weekly Release in PDF Format Adobe PDF icon

KICK OFF: The Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team (4-10-1 overall, 0-4-1 Big West Conference) looks to get off the schnide with a pair of matches this week as the Titans continue Big West Conference South Division play. After falling at UC Irvine on Saturday, Fullerton has a quick turnaround with a Wednesday night (Oct. 17) clash against division-leading Cal State Northridge at Titan Stadium. The Titans then head to the Inland Empire for their penultimate road contest of the year at UC Riverside on Saturday (Oct. 20). Both matches are scheduled to kick-off at 7 p.m. at their respective sites.

IN THE POLLS: Cal State Northridge is ranked No. 14 in the nation according to Soccer America and No. 20 according to the NSCAA... Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside are unranked this week.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home matches, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly redesigned FullertonTitans.com and enjoy the action.

"CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?": For the fifth consecutive year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara contests. For the 2012 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge. Head to http://www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly event schedules. BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in women's soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats will be available for both of this weekend's matches. Visit the men's soccer schedule page on FullertonTitans.com to access the links.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Senior defender Bobby Reiss was named team captain for the 2012 season.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE BRIEFLY: The Matadors enter the week with a 10-4 overall record and is 4-1 in Big West Conference play overall (1-0 against the South Division)... Northridge has won three-straight and five of its last six outings, beating UC Riverside (2-1) in overtime on Saturday in its only match of the week... the Matadors have outscored the opposition, 28-10, this season led by 10 goals and 20 points from Sagi Lev-Ari... Edwin Rivas and Beto Velasquez are the only other multiple goal scorers with six apiece... Carlos Benavides leads the team with seven assists.... Michael Abalos has played all but 93 minutes in net this season, posting a 0.75 goals against average and 39 saves to go with five shutouts.

HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS THE MATADORS: Northridge leads the all-time series with Fullerton, 18-14-2, with the Matadors posting a 12-2-1 record in the last 15 meetings with the Titans... Fullerton is just 7-9-2 against Northridge at home, losing three of the last four... the Titans' last win in the series came in a 3-1 victory in 2010 in Northridge while their last win at home was by a 2-1 score in overtime in 2009... the Matadors swept the season series from the Titans in 2011 with a 3-0 win at home and a 2-1 win in Fullerton.

UC RIVERSIDE BRIEFLY: The Highlanders enter the week with an 8-5 overall record and a 1-4 mark in Big West Conference play (0-1 against the South Division) following a 2-1 overtime loss to Cal State Northridge last weekend... UC Riverside has lost three-straight since a 3-2 extra-time win over Cal Poly on Sept. 30... UCR has outscored its opponents, 25-15, this season led by four goals apiece by Aaron Long and Ruben Valencia... the Highlanders feature a diverse offense as 12 different players have found the back of the net this season... Ashkan Khosravi has played all but 31 minutes in net, posting a 1.16 goals against average and 46 saves to go with four shutouts.

HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS THE HIGHLANDERS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with UC Riverside, 13-8-4, after the two teams battled to a pair of 1-1 draws in 2011... the Titans are 6-3-3 against the Highlanders in the Inland Empire... the two programs have battled to a draw four times in the last nine meetings while Fullerton has posted a 4-1-4 record in that span... the Titans are unbeaten in their last six trips to Riverside (3-0-3), last losing to the Highlanders on their home field in 2005 (3-2).

GUESS WHO'S BACK?: For the first time since Sept. 23, senior Jesse Escalante found his way back onto the scoresheet, netting his team-best seventh goal of the year to give the Titans a 1-0 second-half lead against UC Irvine on Saturday. Escalante's seven goals are the most for a Fullerton striker since Nick Posthuma scored nine times to lead the team in 2010.

I WISH THAT I HAD JESSE'S GOAL: Our apologies to Rick Springfield. Escalante's strike on Saturday lifted the senior into third place in the Big West in goals scored this season and fourth in goals per game (0.47). The Placentia native also ranks sixth in the league in shots (31), third in points (15), and tied for third in points per game (1.00).

THE DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT: Cal State Fullerton's 2-1 loss at UC Irvine on Saturday marked the Titans' third-consecutive loss by that score and the fifth loss overall this season by a 2-1 count.

FIRST!: Jesse Escalante's goal in the 49th minute on Saturday at UC Irvine marked only the third time this season that the Titans have been the first team on the scoreboard, but the first time that they have tasted defeat in that situation.

MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT: Statistically, Fullerton has been a second-half squad in 2012, scoring 12 of its 16 goals and taking 133 of its 207 shots (64%) in either the second half or overtime. The Titans have been outscored, 13-4, in the first 45 minutes compared to just a two-goal (12-10) deficit in the second period and a 2-0 lead in overtime. However, it has been a big hole for Cal State Fullerton to dig out of as the Titans are just 1-10-1 this season when trailing or tied at halftime.

MISSED IT BY *THAT* MUCH: Fullerton's 2-1 loss to UC Irvine marked the seventh time in 10 defeats this season that the Titans have gone down by a single goal and the seventh time in 15 matches that a Fullerton match has been decided by a 2-1 score.

STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY, SIR!: The Titans have committed the most fouls in the league entering this weekend's contests (207) and rank fourth in the Big West with 28 yellow cards -- just two behind Northridge and Sacramento State for second and four back of Riverside for the top spot..

ROAD WOE-IORS: Cal State Fullerton's struggles on Saturday kept the Titans winless on the road in 2012 and extended their winless streak in true road matches to 11 (0-9-2) dating back to a 3-0 victory at American University on Sept. 16, 2011, in Washington, D.C. A win on Saturday at UC Riverside would also end a 10-match road winless streak in conference play (0-9-1) as the Titans haven't won on the road in Big West action in just over two years dating back to a 3-1 win at Cal State Northridge on Oct. 13, 2010.

FAN APPRECIATION: Cal State Fullerton's doubleheaders with the women's team on Sept. 28 & 30 drew the Titan faithful to Titan Stadium in droves as Friday night's clash with Cal Poly brought in 1,182 fans while the battle against No. 3 UC Santa Barbara attracted 1,002 fans to the stands. The two crowds were the highest for a men's soccer home match in over two years dating back to a 3-2 loss to Southern California rival UCLA on Sept. 26, 2010 -- a match that drew 1,208 fans.

ALL HE DOES IS WIN (GAMES): Everyone has heard the old adage, "Defense Wins Championships." Well, this defender wins games for the Titans. Aside from being charged with marking one of the opposition's top offensive threats, sophomore Anthony Rosales also provides his own brand of offense, tallying his second game-winner in three matches for Fullerton on Sept. 20 against Air Force. His goal with eight seconds remaining before the end of the first half proved enough to ground the Falcons just days after also scoring the game winner on Sept. 16 in a, 3-1, win over Syracuse, which also served as his first career score.