Women's Soccer Kicks Off With Exhibition at UNLV

Nikki McCants
Nikki McCants

2011 Stacey Fox Action Photo KICK-OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (9-8-3 overall, 3-4-1 in the Big West Conference in 2011) unofficially opens its 2012 season this weekend as the Titans look to have "Lady Luck" on their side in an exhibition match at UNLV on Sunday (Aug. 12) at 6 p.m. in Las Vegas. It will be the only tune-up for Fullerton this preseason as the Titans kick-off the regular season on Friday (Aug. 17) at 7 p.m. against Southern California rival USC at Titan Stadium.

IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor UNLV are ranked in the preseason polls.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans). In addition, the women's soccer team has established its own Facebook and Twitter presence. Search for "Cal State Fullerton Women's Soccer" on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @CSUF_WSoccer.

UNLV BRIEFLY: Picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll, UNLV enters its first season under the direction of long-time Penn State assistant Michael Coll, who assumed control of the program on April 19 after spending eight seasons with the Nittany Lions... the Rebels finished the 2011 season with an 8-10-3 overall record while reaching the conference tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season... UNLV returns seven starters and a pair of all-conference selections in senior midfielder Macy Jo Harrison and senior defender Caitlin Allen.

SERIES NOTES: Although Sunday's match doesn't count in the overall record, Fullerton is 1-3-1 all time against UNLV, posting a 1-1 draw with the Rebels last season at home... the Titans' only win over UNLV came during the 2005 NCAA Tournament when Fullerton scored an own goal in overtime for the 1-0 first-round win... the Titans have lost their only two trips to Las Vegas with a 3-2 defeat in 1999 and a 2-0 loss in 2007.

LOADED FOR BEAR: After a challenging spring that included matches against defending NCAA Champion Stanford, West Coast Conference champion San Diego, future Big West rival San Diego State, WCC power Pepperdine, and a trio of Big West Conference rivals, one might think that Head Coach Demian Brown would try and take it easy in the fall. Quite the opposite, however, as Brown has put together a fall schedule that includes five NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, including national semifinalists Florida State, quarterfinalists Long Beach State, and first-round participants, Army, Oregon State, and UC Irvine. The Titans' non-conference opponents finished 99-67-20 (.586) combined last season with six of the nine schools posting at least 10 wins.

A LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns nearly everyone off of last season's squad, welcoming back 21 letter winners and 10 of its 11 starters from a year ago. Senior Ann Marie Tangorra paced the offense in 2011 in her first season at the Division I level, scoring five goals and assisting on six others for 16 points. The offensive load will be shared by another pair of five-goal scorers in redshirt senior Stacey Fox and junior Nikki McCants as well as sophomore Rebecca Wilson, who added three goals and four assists while coming off the bench in 15 of her 17 appearances. Defensively, Fullerton returns three-fourths of its back line, losing only Caitlin Mellano to graduation, and junior Lindsey Maricic returns in net after playing every minute of the Titans' 20 matches in 2011.

ON A ROLL, HOLD THE MAYO: Fullerton enters next week's regular season opener on a bit of a streak after finishing last year's campaign on a three-match unbeaten run. The Titans, who narrowly missed out on a spot in the four-team Big West Conference Tournament for the second-straight season, opened the streak with a 1-1 draw at UC Riverside on Oct. 23 before running off victories over Pacific (1-0 in OT) and UC Davis (4-1) to close out the year.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT P90X: No need for a workout here, Fullerton got enough of that last season. The Titans are coming off a year where they tied an NCAA record with 11 overtime matches (six of those going to double overtime), posting a 4-4-3 mark in those contests. In all, Cal State Fullerton played an astounding 128:47 of extra time last year, amounting to an entire game plus, almost, an additional three overtime periods.

SLY AS A FOX: Redshirt senior Stacey Fox has a chance to establish herself as one of the top scorers in the history of the Cal State Fullerton program in 2012, entering her final season in a tie for 10th on the career goals scored list (13) -- one of only 17 players in the history of the program to reach double digits in goals scored -- and her 29 points rank just six points shy of Barbie Gil (1995-97) for 10th place on the school's all-time points chart. Her 74 shots entering the 2012 campaign are also just shy as Fox needs 16 more this season to break into the top 10 in that category.

ALOHA!: The Big West Conference women's soccer lineup will look a little different beginning with this season as Hawaii rejoins the league as the conference's 10th women's soccer member in 2012. Hawaii returns to the league in all sports except for football (Mountain West) after only its women's athletic programs were part of the Big West from 1984-96.

WOMEN'S SOCCER PICKED THIRD: The Titans were picked to finish third in the new-look Big West Conference in 2012, gaining 71 points to finish behind Long Beach State, which was a near-unanimous choice for the top spot with nine first-place votes and 99 points -- and defending conference champion UC Irvine, which received one first-place vote and 86 points overall. Fullerton edged out fourth-place Cal State Northridge (69 points) and were followed by UC Santa Barbara (53), Cal Poly (48), UC Davis (44), Pacific (44), UC Riverside (18), and conference newcomer Hawaii (18).

TANGORRA GARNERS PRESEASON HONORS: Senior forward Ann Marie Tangorra was selected as one of 12 players to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team on July 31 according to a vote of the league's head coaches. Tangorra, an All-Big West Second-Team selection in her first year with the Titans in 2011, tied for 10th in the league with 16 points and also ranked among the conference's best in points, shots (t5th - 53), shots per game (t5th - 3.12), points per game (8th - 0.94), assists (t5th - 6), and assists per game (5th - 0.35). Her assist total was tied for sixth in a single season (and the most for a Titan since Jenae Gibbens finished with seven helpers in 2008) while her 53 shots were 10th-best in a season.

BY THE NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton returns every single of its 28 goals from a season ago (excluding an own goal against BYU on Sept. 2), 91 percent of its assists (20 of 22), 95 percent of its points (74 of 78), and 93 percent of its shots (308 of 332). What does it all mean? Probably only that numbers are fun.

ALUMNAE NEWS: Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley (2002-06) became only the second Titan women's soccer player to compete in the Olympic Games (Marlene Sandoval competed for Mexico in Athens in 2004), shining for Team Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Bardsley made 13 saves and, along with her teammates in defense, did not allow a goal in helping Great Britain to a perfect 3-0 record in group play, posting wins over New Zealand, Cameroon, and perennial power Brazil. Bardsley's run ended in Great Britain's quarterfinal match-up with eventual bronze-medalists Canada, which scored twice in the first 26 minutes of the match to secure the win. It was the first-ever appearance in the Olympic Games for Great Britain in women's soccer as Bardsley finished the tournament with 17 saves.


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