FULLERTON, Calif. --
KICK OFF: After splitting its first two matches to open the 2013 season, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (1-1 overall) concludes a three-match homestand with two games over Labor Day weekend, welcoming Utah and Montana to Orange County. The Titans and Utes kick off on Friday night (Aug. 30) at 7 p.m., before battling the Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 1) at 1 p.m. at Titan Stadium.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Utah, Montana, nor Cal State Fullerton are ranked nationally entering this week's matches.
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 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?": For the sixth consecutive year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara women's soccer contests. For the 2013 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge. Head to www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly event schedules.
BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's nine member institutions. Now in its ninth 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 men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be available for all of Cal State Fullerton's home matches and selected road contests throughout the year. Follow along by accessing the links on the women's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.
"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Cal State Fullerton junior midfielder Chelsey Patterson has been named team captain for the 2013 season.
STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Listen as Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Demian Brown previews his side's 2013 season in stunning HD via the lens of team videographer Matt Brown. Access the entire interview on Cal State Fullerton's YouTube page at youtube.com/csfathletics.
UTAH BRIEFLY: The Utes enter Friday night's clash unbeaten after the first weekend of the regular season, opening a season-long four-match roadtrip with a win over Western Kentucky, 2-0, before batting Kentucky to a scoreless draw in Lexington... after the Titans, Utah will head to in-state rival BYU on Sept. 6 to close out the road swing... sophomore Baylee Nielsen has accounted for the team's only two goals thus far this season on a team-high five shots while three different players have added assists... redshirt sophomore Lindsey Luke, a transfer Wake Forest, returns after earning Pac-12 All-Freshman honors... through two matches, Luke has made seven saves and pitched a pair of shutouts in 200 minutes.
MONTANA BRIEFLY: The Grizzlies have yet to win a match this season, but they also haven't lost a match after opening the 2013 campaign with a pair of draws at home against Air Force (1-1) and Wyoming (0-0) in their own season-opening tournament... Montana will take on Loyola Marymount on Friday evening (Aug. 30) before traveling to meet the Titans... junior midfielder Ashley Robertson has scored the Grizzlies' only goal this season (assisted by senior midfielder Mary Makris... senior goalkeeper Kendra McMillen has been steady in net, allowing just one goal over 220 minutes (0.41 GAA) and making five saves to go with a shutout.
THE SERIES: The series with the Utes is knotted at 1-1-2, but Utah is unbeaten in the last three meetings since a 4-0 Fullerton win in Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 18, 2005... including Friday, the last three meetings will have been played in Orange County with the last two resulting in a Utah win (3-1) in 2009 and a scoreless draw in 2011 ••• Cal State Fullerton's series with Montana is also tied up, 1-1, but the two programs have not met since a tournament in Irvine in 2002 (won by the Titans, 3-1)... this will be the first meeting at either school's home field after the Grizzlies won the first-ever meeting at a tournament in Provo, 5-0, in 1997.
WHO DOESN'T LIKE CLEAN SHEETS?: Senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic earned her first shutout of the season in the Titans' 1-0 win over Fresno State, saving all three attempts punted her way. The shutout was the 12th of her career, putting her just one back of Laura Janke (2000-03) for second on the all-time list.
SAVE IT!: While she didn't get the win against No. 6 BYU, Maricic was nonetheless stellar in net against the nationally ranked Cougars, making a career-high 11 saves in the loss -- tied for 10th on the school's single-match list and the most since Karen Bardsley finished with 14 stops in an NCAA Tournament match against UCLA on Nov. 12, 2006 (which stand second for a single match in school history).
WHITE NETS HER FIRST: Cal State Fullerton freshman Ali White became the first newcomer to collect her first career point as the rookie netted her first career goal on a big stage in the Titans' 3-1 loss at No. 6 BYU to spoil the Cougars' bid for a shutout. It's not a surprise from the freshman, who scored 32 of her 44 career high school goals in her final two prep seasons at nearby Valencia HS and was named the Empire League's Offensive MVP three times.
AWWW, SHOOT!: After giving up 21 shots to No. 6 BYU two nights earlier, the Fullerton offense turned the tables on Fresno State in its 1-0 victory, unleashing a barrage of 19 shots against the Bulldogs -- the most in a single match for the Titans since they took 24 shots in a 4-0 win over Cal Poly on Oct. 21, 2012.
GOOSE EGGS RARE AT FULLERTON: Cal State Fullerton has only been shutout five times in its last 42 matches dating back to the 2011 season -- including 21 of its last 22 contests.
TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE BEST: Cal State Fullerton's non-conference schedule will be a solid test to prepare for the Big West Conference season as five of the Titans' opponents are either ranked or receiving votes among the NSCAA's preseason top 25. Including Fullerton's exhibition against No. 11 San Diego State, the Titans will also face off against No. 6 BYU, No. 24 Texas Tech, and vote-getters Pepperdine and USC.
TITANS PICKED TO DEFEND TITLE: The defending Big West Conference champion Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team was picked to defend its league crown in 2013 according to a vote of the conference's head coaches released by the Big West office on Aug. 15.
It is the first time since 2002 that the Titans have been the preseason pick to win the league, finishing second in the voting twice, and third on three other occasions. Fullerton received five first-place votes and 72 points overall to edge out both Long Beach State and UC Irvine, which tied for second place with a first-place vote and 62 points overall.
Cal Poly (2 first-place votes and 59 points) and defending Big West Tournament champion Cal State Northridge (54 points) round out the top five, followed by UC Santa Barbara (30), Hawaii (27), UC Davis (22), and UC Riverside (17).
PATTERSON EARNS PRESEASON ALL-BIG WEST NOD: Junior midfielder Chelsey Patterson was the lone member of the Titan squad named as one of 12 players to the preseason All-Conference Team as voted on by the coaches. Patterson, an All-Big West Honorable Mention honoree in 2012, made 18 starts as a sophomore, scoring her lone goal of the season in the semifinal match of the conference tournament semifinal against UC Irvine -- a match the Titans would win in penalty kicks to advance after a 1-1 draw.
TITANS CLAIM 2012 BIG WEST TITLE: Defending conference champion Cal State Fullerton is out to claim back-to-back crowns in 2013 after the Titans clinched their sixth regular season title in school history a season ago -- tied with Cal Poly for the most in the history of the league. It was the school's fourth solo crown after sharing the top spot in 2004 and 2007, the program's fifth in the last 12 seasons, and the second under Head Coach Demian Brown (2007, 2012).
DEFENSE RULES IN EXHIBITION WITH AZTECS: Cal State Fullerton junior midfielder Lauren Stupin took a match-high six shots and three Titan goalkeepers combined on the shutout as the home side held No. 11 San Diego State to just five shots in a scoreless regulation draw on Aug. 16 at Titan Stadium.
In an exhibition match for both teams, Fullerton held a 16-5 advantage in shots overall for the match -- including a 12-2 lead in the second half -- but could not find the back of the net despite playing the final 64 minutes a man up after an Aztec was sent off with a red card in the 27th minute.
Eight different Titans finished with shots on the night, but were thwarted by San Diego State's goalkeeping trio of Melanie Vaughn, Sophia Trujillo, and Elise Nord, who each made three saves on the night.
QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns five starters and 17 letter winners from last season's Big West Conference championship squad that finished 10-9-1 overall and 7-2 in league play, missing out on a fifth NCAA Tournament trip by only an overtime goal in the championship match of the conference tournament. The Titans, who finished with a 7-2-1 mark in their final 10 games of the season, lost their top two scorers from a season ago in Stacey Fox (7 goals, 2 assists) and Ann Marie Tangorra (6 goals, 3 assists) to graduation, but return a quartet of All-Big West Honorable Mention selections in sophomore Christina Burkenroad (5 goals, 12 points), junior Rebecca Wilson (1 goal, 2 assists, 51 shots), junior Chelsey Patterson (18 starts, 1 goal, 15 shots), and senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic (0.98 GAA, 54 saves, 5 shutouts), as well as senior playmaker Erica Mazeau (1 goal, 7 assists, 21 shots).
BY THE NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton returns just under half (15) of the team's 31 goals scored, 20 of the 29 assists, and just over half (162) of the team's 296 shots taken a season ago. What does it all mean? Probably only that numbers are fun.
NEW FACE, SAME PLACE: Fullerton's coaching staff remains largely intact for 2013 with one exception as a familiar face slides over a few seats with the addition of Stacey Fox as an assistant coach. Fox, who completed her eligibility in 2012, takes for the now-departed Lauryn Pehanich, who became the head coach of the women's program at Division III University of La Verne. Fox was a two-time All-West Region selection by the NSCAA during her Titan career -- one of only 10 Fullerton players to make an all-region squad since 1996 and only the third to earn multiple honors (Karen Bardsley and Jenae Gibbens). Fox led the team in scoring with a team-high seven goals and 16 points as a senior last season and ranks among the career top 10 in points (9th - 45), goals (6th -20), goals per game (9th - 0.29), game-winning goals (t3rd - 6), and shots (7th - 110).
AND, BOY, WERE HER ARMS TIRED: No Titan will have travelled further to join her teammates than freshman Tatyana Ungacta, who hails from Hagatna, Guam -- a mere 7,806 miles (as Google Maps flies) from her new home in North Orange County. She edged out former Titans Emma Humphries (6,730 miles from her home in Wellington, New Zealand), Darcy Frenzel (2,359 miles from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska), and Kristen Boujos (2,185 miles from her home in Whitby, Ontario, Canada). Ungacta joins Humphries and Boujos as the only three players in the history of the program not from one of the 50 States to don a Titan uniform.
SPEAKING OF "FOREIGNERS": A little closer to home, but nonetheless significant, incoming freshman Tara LeBaron is only the 13th player (out of 578 overall in the history of the program) from outside the state of California (not counting the aforementioned "international" trio) to join the Fullerton program. A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, LeBaron is the third "foreigner" to come from "The Silver State" -- tied with with the state of Colorado for the most. Other states to be represented on a Titan roster: Washington, Alaska, Montana, Kansas, Idaho, Indiana, and Arizona.
"STATE" OF THE ROSTER: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart (Arizona), redshirt junior goalkeeper Savannah Wood (Washington), and LeBaron (Nevada), give the Titans three non-native Californians (not counting international players) for the 2013 season -- the most since 2005 when Colorado natives Lisa Kosena and Randa Helmers joined Montana's Rebekah Patrick.
WELCOME TO THE "U": Ungacta and fellow freshman Nicole Ulrich have the honor of becoming only the second and third Titans with a surname that begins with the letter "U," joining trailblazer Tennli Ulicny (1998-2001).
A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER: Freshman Nicole Ulrich and senior Erica Mazeau will be carrying on a tradition of sorts in 2013 as their No. 2 and No. 5 jerseys are the only two numbers in the history of the Fullerton program to be worn every season since the program began in 1993.
THAT'S FRESH... MAN: The 2013 crop of 10 true freshmen are the most for a Cal State Fullerton squad since the 2009 team featured the same number to start the season.