Titans Set to Conclude Preseason Play With UNLV
FULLERTON, Calif.— Cal State Fullerton readies for its second and final exhibition contest this Thursday, 7 p.m. vs. UNLV at Titan Stadium before the Titans kickoff the regular season Aug. 30 vs. Memphis.
There will be a live video feed available for Cal State Fullerton's game vs. UNLV. To access video for the game visit www.fullertontitans.com, click the men's soccer schedule page then click the "video" link to watch through BigWest.TV.
There will be no audio coverage available for this game.
There will be live stats available for Cal State Fullerton's game vs. UNLV. To access live stats for the game visit www.fullertontitans.com, click the men's soccer schedule page then click the "live stats" link.
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Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/CSUF.Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and YouTube.com (YouTube.com/csfathletics). In addition, the men's soccer team has established its own official Facebook (Facebook.com/csufmenssoccer) and Twitter pages (@CSUFMensSoccer).
Men's Soccer Ticket Information
Admission for Thursday's game is free for all fans.
Single-game tickets for regular season matches are priced $5-$8. Tickets for future games can be purchased at FullertonTitans.com, in-person at Cal State Fullerton's Athletic Ticket Office (M-F 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.) or over the phone at 657-278-7547. Game day ticket sales will also be available starting one hour before kickoff at the ticket windows outside Titan Stadium.
All Cal State Fullerton students are admitted FREE to regular season men's soccer home games. Each student must present a valid Titan Card at the main entrance to Titan Stadium for admission. All student sections are general admission. Admission is first-come, first-served and based on availability. Just show your Titan Card for admittance.
In the Polls
The Titans and Rebels both enter the 2013 season unranked by Top Drawer Soccer and the NSCAA
A Look at the Series…
While Thursday's game won't count toward the overall series between these two schools. Here's how the Titans stack up with the Rebels historically.
Overall Record 19-13-2
Home Record 13-4-1
Away Record 5-9-1
Neutral Site Record 1-0
Longest Win Streak 4 games
Longest Losing Streak 4 games
Current Streak Win 2
Record in Last 10 Meetings 7-3
Sept. 16, 1975 in Fullerton (T, 3-3)
Sept. 2, 2012 in Fullerton (W, 2-1 OT)
The Rebels are one of six teams that decided to make the move from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to the Western Athletic Conference this season. UNLV has been picked to finish third in the WAC in 2013 according to the conference's preseason conference poll that was released earlier this week. The Rebels are led by fourth-year head coach Rich Ryerson, and return seven players from last year's squad that finished sixth in the MPSF. UNLV is led by midfielder Julian Portugal, who was selected to the preseason All-WAC team member and finished third on the club in points scored with a year ago with 11. Junior forward Salvador Bernal also should provide a huge impact, as he is the top returning scorer of any player in the league after collecting eight goals and 21 points in 2012.
Amara Soumah- Listed day-to-day with a rib contusion suffered in Monday night's exhbition game vs. California.
Breaking Down the 2013 Titans
Cal State Fullerton returns six starters and 13 letter winners overall from a 2012 squad that finished 8-12-1 overall (4-5-1 Big West), but ended the season strong, winning four of its last six games to earn a berth in the Big West Tournament for the second time in three seasons.
A new-look 2013 team hopes qualify for the conference tournament for a second consecutive year, as the Titans bring in one of the largest classes in recent years, welcoming 16 newcomers to the program, including five quality transfers. While Fullerton losses two All-Big West selections from a year ago, in top point getter Jesse Escalante (8 goals, 2 assists) and Gerzon Blanco, Fullerton does welcome back one of the league's most dynamic players in junior midfielder and 2012 All-Big West first team member Ian Ramos. Ramos led the Titans in points, goals, shots, and shots on goal during conference play a season ago.
Last Time Out For the Titans
Cal State Fullerton senior midfielder Ritchie Gonzalez took a match-high four shots and recorded a goal, as the Titans dropped a close one to California, Monday night at Titan Stadium in the team's exhibition opener by the final of 3-2.
"I thought apart from a few issues at the beginning we played pretty well," said head coach Bob Ammann. "We created some scoring chances, but we made a couple of errors. Those errors are things we need to make sure we minimize, but they're controllable."
"Overall for our first game out I thought we looked good, especially vs. a tough opponent like Cal."
It wasn't an easy start for the Titans, as starting goalkeeper Bryan Escalante picked up a quick red card in the 10th minute, after he charged out of the box and challenged the ball with an aggressive tackle.
Despite being sent off, both sides agreed to still play at full strength because of the exhibition circumstances.
Fullerton then started to find a rhythm offensively, as it generated six shots, aided by three corner kicks in the first half.
The Titans were able to finally break through in the 37th minute, as Gonzalez slotted one into the left corner, after junior midfielder Garrett Losee delivered a perfect touch pass in the center of the box.
Fullerton went into the intermission with a 1-0 advantage, thanks in part to numerous saves by junior goalkeeper Robbie Hannon, who replaced Escalante after he was sent off.
However, It didn't take long for the Bears to strike back in the second half, as forward Stefano Bonomo netted one in the bottom left corner, taking advantage of a counter attack to level things up at 1-1 in the 47th minute.
The Bears continued to get their chances in the second half, outshooting the Titans 7-to-4, while also having three more corner kick opportunities. Within 12 minutes Cal put away two more goals to make it a 3-1 lead.
But the Titans were resilient, as Losee got involved on his second goal of the day, this time scoring it in the 70th minute, after freshman defender Elliott Braund fed him a beautiful ball that ended up in the left corner of the net to pull Fullerton within one.
With still over 20 minutes left in regulation, the Titans nearly tied things back up on several occasions, as junior midfielder Ian Ramos showed why he was a 2012 first team All-Conference selection, as he dribbled his way into the box numerous times, but never could quite find a chance for the equalizer.
After 90 minutes of play, both sides agreed to play an additional 30 minutes to get some extra work in. Neither team scored in the extra time, but sophomore forward Dyllan Stevens picked up a yellow card for the Titans, while Tommy Padia was issued a yellow as well for Cal.
(A Lot of) New Kids on the Block
2013 truly represents a new era of Titan soccer, as the program welcomes in the largest class of new players in the Bob Ammann era, with 16 newcomers (11 freshman and five transfers).
While Fullerton holds one of the younger squads in the nation, that doesn't mean the Titans don't hold plenty of experience. Out of Fullerton's 11 newcomers, five of them are transfers in forward Marc Fenelus, midfielder Garrett Losee, midfielder Alex Cannas, forward Amara Soumah, and midfielder Erik Stephenson. Forwards Fenelus and Soumah were both named as NJCAA First Team All-Americans in 2012, while Fenelus also led Western Texas College to its first ever National Junior College National Championship appearance.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Cal State Fullerton boasts a rigorous eight-game non-conference schedule, which includes six games away from Titan Stadium. For the season the Titans will play four teams that are either ranked or received votes in the NSCAA's preseason top 25 poll. Fullerton will take on ranked opponents in back-to-back games on the road on Sept. 8 at No. 16 San Diego and Sept. 13 at No. 22 Cornell. Once the Titans enter Big West play, Fullerton will continue to take on top-tier competition, as it'll face Cal State Northridge twice and UC Santa Barbara once. Both schools received top 25 votes.
The Titans will play 11 of their 18 (61 percent) regular season games away from Titan Stadium this season, which is the most since Fullerton also spent 11 games away from home during the 2009 campaign. Six of Fullerton's eight non-conference games will be away from home, including six of the first seven contests to begin the year. The six non-conference games away from home are the most Fullerton has had since it played seven in 2008. The Aug. 30 regular season opener vs. Memphis will mark the first time the Titans have started a season on the road since 2010.
The Titans currently have 29 players on the 2013 roster. 20 players are from the state of California, five are from outside of the United States, three are from Utah, and one is from Colorado.
Filling in the Holes
Cal State Fullerton returns just 26 percent (7) of the team's 27 goals scored last season, 55 percent (12/22) of all assists produced, and 46 percent of shots taken (139/299).
Better Chance to Dance
The Big West Tournament format has changed in 2013. Now instead of the top two teams from each division qualifying for the conference tournament, starting this year the top three teams from both the North and South divisions will advance to postseason play with each division's No. 1 seed receiving a first round bye, for a total of six teams in the field. The tournament schedule is as followed:
Tuesday, November 12 - First Round
Friday, November 15 - Semifinals
Sunday, November 17 - Championship