FULLERTON, Calif. --
KICK OFF: The 20th season of varsity women's soccer at Cal State Fullerton kicks off this weekend as the Titans (9-8-3 overall, 3-4-1 in the Big West Conference in 2011) battle a pair of Southern California rivals. Fullerton opens on Friday (Aug. 17) at 7 p.m. against USC and former head coach Ali Khosroshahin at Titan Stadium before making a return trip to Los Angeles for a 1 p.m. kick-off at LMU on Sunday (Aug. 19).
IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton, USC, nor Loyola Marymount are nationally ranked entering the weekend.
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.
"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. Veteran Cal State Fullerton soccer broadcaster Mike Martinez will have the play-by-play. 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?": Can't make it to Titan Stadium? Cal State Fullerton and the Big West Conference have teamed up to bring you live streaming video of every Titan home match FOR FREE during the 2012 season. Please visit www.BigWest.org/TV in order to access the links.
FOR STARTERS: Friday night's contest will mark the 17th time in 20 seasons that the Titans will open a regular season on their home field, looking to improve on a 5-10-1 mark when doing so. Cal State Fullerton is 6-12-1 all-time in regular season openers and will open against SoCal rival USC for the first time in the history of the program.
WELCOME BACK: Friday night's clash with the Women of Troy will mark a homecoming of sorts, taking on their former head coach, Ali Khosroshahin, for the first time at home since he left the Fullerton program for USC following the 2006 season. Khosroshahin, who led the Women of Troy to the 2007 NCAA Championship in his first season at the helm, posted a 76-40-6 record in six years with the Titans and a 34-13-3 mark in Big West play. He was a three-time Big West Coach of the Year, leading Fullerton to three NCAA Tournament berths -- including the round of 16 and a school-record 19-4 mark in 2005.
USC BRIEFLY: Picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 according to a vote of the league's coaches, the Women of Troy return 12 letter winners and six starters off of last season's squad that finished 7-13 overall and eighth in the Pac-12 at 4-7... 20 newcomers dot the USC roster, but the Women of Troy return seven of their 11 goal scorers from a season ago paced by junior Elizabeth Eddy, who scored four times in 2011... USC defeated Cal Poly, 3-0, in exhibition play on Aug. 11 in San Luis Obispo.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Women of Troy lead the all-time series with the Titans, 5-2-3... the two schools haven't met since 2009 when USC posted a 4-0 victory at the USD Nike Classic in San Diego... the Women of Troy have won four of the last five meetings dating back to 1996 with Fullerton's only win in that stretch coming in 2005 (3-1) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Titan Stadium... the Titans are 2-3-1 against USC at home, also posting a 3-2 victory in 1995.
LMU BRIEFLY: Picked to finish seventh in the West Coast Conference in 2012, the Lions return 17 letter winners and eight starters off of last season's squad that finished 7-10-3 overall and 1-6-1 (t-7th) in the WCC a season ago... Head Coach Michelle Myers is in her first season at the helm of the LMU program... All-WCC selections Tawni Martino (4 goals, 2 assists) and Etajha Gilmer (2 goals, 1 assists) lead the offense while goalkeeper Brittany Jagger returns in net after posting a 1.25 goals against average and six shutouts a season ago... the Lions, who defeated Cal State Northridge by a 2-1 score in an exhibition, face Cal Poly on Friday (Aug. 17) before hosting Cal State Fullerton.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: LMU leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 8-6-1, having won the last three meetings with the Titans dating back to 2007... the Lions have taken home identical, 1-0, results in each of the last two seasons, including last year's meeting at Titan Stadium... Fullerton's last win over LMU came in 2006 as the Titans handed the Lions a, 3-0, loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at UCLA... Cal State Fullerton is 2-4-1 against LMU on the Lions' home field, falling in its last trip in 2010... the Titans' last win at LMU was in 2005 by a 2-0 score.
TITANS DRAW IN EXHIBITION OPENER: Cal State Fullerton junior Janali West scored in the 82nd minute on Aug. 12, helping the visiting Titans forge a 1-1 draw with host UNLV in an exhibition contest at Peter Johann Memorial Field in Las Vegas. With temps hovering around 108 degrees at kick off, West slotted home a cross from fellow junior Nikki McCants with eight minutes to play in regulation to draw Fullerton even after the Rebels had taken the lead in the 65th minute on a goal by Jennifer Wolfe. No overtime periods were played. The Titans had a solid chance to get on the board first in the opening half as redshirt senior Stacey Fox had UNLV's goalkeeper beat 1-v-1, but was denied by the post off a pass by West. The Titans put 10 of their 17 shots on frame for the match, outshooting UNLV, 17-5, on the night. Fullerton also had a 5-2 advantage in corners.
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.
AS THE WORLD TOURNEY'S: Cal State Fullerton will host a regular season tournament for only the second time since the 2003 campaign this season, welcoming Army, Texas Tech, and Long Beach State for the two-day Under Armour Invitational on Sept. 14 and 16. The Titans last hosted a tournament in 2010, facing Purdue and #18 UNC Greensboro.
ON A ROLL, HOLD THE MAYO: Fullerton enters the 2012 regular season 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.
MORE ON STACEY: Fox enters the 2011 season ranked tied for second among active players in the Big West Conference with her 13 goals and fourth in points.
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.