Oct. 19, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. -
AT A GLANCE: Fullerton tries to stop a 5-match winless streak when the Titans host Cal Poly SLO Wednesday night at 7 p.m. At 6-5-2 and 3-2, the Mustangs are in a 3-way tie for second place in the Big West Conference.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (6-4-3, 0-3-1): Despite failing to win in the last five matches, at 6-4-3 the Titans still have their best 13-match record since the 2000 team opened 8-4-1. The Titans have won two tournament championships -- the Labor Day Classic at CSU Northridge (1-0-1) via goal differential and the Nike Invitational in Las Vegas (2-0).
CAL POLY SLO (6-5-2, 3-2-0): The Mustangs are coming off a last-minute 2-1 win over No. 13-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday night before a crowd of 11,075. Five different Mustangs share the team lead with 2 goals each. Cal Poly has scored only 14 goals in 13 matches but has given up only 11 (0.80). Patrick McLain is 5-5-2 in the net with 5 shutouts and a 0.82 GAA with 26 saves. Cal Poly has not won consecutive matches this season.
SERIES HISTORY: Cal State Fullerton holds a 14-12 lead in the all-time series including a 10-3 home mark. But the Mustangs have won the last seven meetings and nine of the last 10.
THE POLLS: The Titans cracked the Soccer America Top 25 at No. 24 after Sept. 11 but fell out of the poll after splitting two road matches the following week. Fullerton was receiving votes in the College Soccer News poll after being No. 28 two weeks ago.
GOAL SCORERS: Nine different Titans have scored goals led by Kevin Venegas with 6 and Oscar Aguero, Ian Ramos, Nick Posthuma, Ritchie Gonzalez and Jesse Escalante with 2 each. Venegas, Posthuma and Jameson Campbell lead the way with 3 assists each. With 15 points, Venegas leads the team.
QUICK STRIKE: If Oscar Aguero's fans arrived late, they missed his two goals. He got his first 54 seconds into the UNLV match at Northridge and he bested that vs. Denver with a goal 23 seconds into the contest.
SCORING DROUGHT: The Titans have managed only two goals -- a free kick by Michael Denny vs. UC Irvine and a diving header by Kevin Venegas -- in their last five matches after finding the net 18 times in the first 8 matches.
FULL STRENGTH: The Titans played two of the past three matches without a key starter. Leading scorer Kevin Venegas missed the UC Irvine match due to a red card and defender Michael Denny missed the UCSB match due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
ROSTER DEPTH: The Titans have managed to utilize 23 players so far this season. Four -- Alvarez, Birt, Reiss and Whiddon -- have started all 13 matches. A total of 17 players have made at least one start.
HOME FIELD DISADVANTAGE: Fullerton is a combined 8-8-3 away from Titan Stadium in 2010 and 2011 but only 5-8-2 at home during the same time period.
PRE-SEASON PICKS: The Titans were forecast for third place in the annual Big West coaches' pre-season poll. Defending tourney champion UC Santa Barbara was the favorite followed by Cal Poly, Fullerton, 2010 regular season champion UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and UC Davis. Big West teams currently are a combined 34-17-9 (.642) in non-conference play.
LOOKING AHEAD: Sacramento State will join the Big West Conference as an associate member for men's soccer beginning with the 2012 schedule. Currently, there is a 7-team alignment with each team playing 10 games -- home-and-home with four foes and single games with the remaining two.