FULLERTON, Calif. – The 2013 Big West Tournament Champions will return to the pitch in 2014 with a challenging schedule as four of their opponents completed last year in the top-75 of RPI, while two competed in the NCAA Tournament.
Of 22 matches on the schedule, including two exhibitions and the alumni game, 12 will be played at Titan Stadium.
"The 2014 schedule is one of our most challenging in recent years," Cal State Fullerton women's soccer head coach Demian Brown said. "The idea of gaining national recognition was a major influence in putting this schedule together. I feel that the maturity and culture of the program will allow us to compete very well in the non-conference portion of our schedule. We look forward to hosting such great programs as BYU, Denver, Michigan State and Georgia in the opening weeks of the season. Ultimately the hopes and goals of the program are to build through the fall season and put us in position to once again represent the Big West conference in the NCAA Tournament."
The alumni game will unofficially start the season at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9, at Titan Stadium while the Titans will play two more tune-ups, visiting San Diego State at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 15, before hosting Grand Canyon at 2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17, in Fullerton.
The season officially kicks off on Friday, Aug. 22, as the Titans begin a four-match homestand with BYU, Michigan State, Denver and Georgia visiting Titan Stadium.
For the second straight year, the Titans open the season with the Cougars in a return match from the 2013 season opener played in Provo, Utah. In 2013, BYU opened the year with a 3-1 victory over the Titans and went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before suffering a 2-1 loss to Colorado. The Cougars completed the year ranked No. 23 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll after sharing the West Coast Conference championship with Santa Clara and Portland. Fullerton is 0-6 all-time against BYU.
Following BYU, Fullerton faces another tough test on Sunday, Aug. 24, as Michigan State from the Big Ten Conference visits Titan Stadium. The Spartans and Titans met once before as Fullerton edged MSU, 1-0, on Aug. 26, 2012 in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State completed the 2013 season with a record of 9-8-2.
Champions of the Summit League in 2013, the Denver Pioneers visit Titan Stadium on Friday, Aug. 29. Denver finished the 2013 season with an RPI of 17 as well as a No. 24 final ranking in the NSCAA final top 25 poll. The Pioneers completed league play with an undefeated record of 7-0 claiming the Summit League regular season and tournament titles. Denver completed its season with a record of 18-2-1 and suffered a 1-0 loss to Colorado in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Fullerton's opening homestand closes as Georgia from the Southeastern Conference arrives in Fullerton on Sunday, Aug. 31. This will mark the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Titans as Georgia finished the 2013 season with a record of 12-7-1 overall and a 5-5-1 mark in the SEC, resulting in a final RPI of 48. Fullerton last played an opponent from the SEC on Sept. 12, 2010 at Titan Stadium, suffering a 2-0 loss to Auburn.
After enjoying the pleasure of playing their first four matches at Titan Stadium, the Titans will play their next four games on the road beginning with a trip to the Northwest.
Fullerton's first trip on its road swing will be to two Pac 12 opponents in Oregon State (Sept. 5) and Oregon (Sept. 7). The Titans are 0-3 all-time against the Beavers, and the match will mark Fullerton's first trip to Corvallis as the three previous matches were played in Fullerton.
The Ducks and Titans have played just once before with Fullerton recording a 5-0 win over the Ducks in the only meeting on Sept. 28, 2003 at Titan Stadium. The Titans will play UO at Pape' Field which was opened in 2012.
The following weekend, Fullerton travels to Fresno State (Sept. 12) and Loyola Marymount (Sept. 14). The Titans' trip to Fresno marks a return match after Fullerton defeated the Bulldogs, 1-0, in last season's home opener at Titan Stadium. Fresno State finished 2013 with a 10-8-2 overall record and a 7-2-1 mark in the Mountain West, while managing an eight-match unbeaten streak during the year. Fullerton holds a 5-3 record all-time in the series, and the match will mark CSF's first visit to Fresno State since a 3-2 win on Sept. 30, 2007.
The match against the Lions marks a return game after Fullerton's 1-0 win at Titan Stadium on Sept. 13, 2013 when Brianna Chapman scored the game winner in the 89th minute. The match will mark the fifth consecutive year LMU and CSF square off as the Lions hold an all-time advantage of 9-7-1 including a 3-1 edge in the last four meetings.
Fullerton returns to Titan Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 18 to host Idaho State from the Big Sky Conference. The Titans have yet to record a win against the Bengals in their previous two meetings against ISU: a 1-1 tie in Las Vegas on Sept. 2, 2007 and a 2-0 Bengals' victory in Fullerton on Sept. 24, 2000.
Pepperdine travels to Titan Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 25, in a return match from last year's 1-1 tie in Malibu. The Waves hold an 8-4-2 in the all-time series, and last season, Pepperdine completed the year with a record of 10-7-2 and a 61 RPI.
Fullerton's final test before Big West Conference action begins will be on Sunday, Sept. 28 as Fullerton visits San Diego, playing its fourth WCC opponent of the year. The Toreros completed 2013 with a record of 12-8, and USD holds a 9-5 edge in the all-time series
The Titans begin league play with arguably the most testing travel trip of the year, opening league play against Hawai'i in Honolulu on Thursday, Oct. 2. The Rainbows finished the 2013 campaign fifth in the league standings. Last year, Summer Chavez's golden goal in the 93rd minute proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Titan victory at Titan Stadium as Fullerton holds a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series.
After the trip to Honolulu, CSF will visit UC Davis on Sunday, Oct. 5, as the Titans hold a 9-1 edge in the all-time series including a 5-1 mark in Davis, Calif. The Aggies finished tied for fifth in the league standings in 2013 and welcome first-year head coach Twila Kaufman for 2014. Last season, Eric Mazeau's golden goal penalty kick in the 110th minute pushed the Titans' to a 1-0 victory.
Brown's student challenge which he issued during basketball season is set for Thursday, Oct. 9, at Titan Stadium as rival Long Beach State travels to Fullerton. If 500 or more Cal State Fullerton students are in attendance, Brown will then appear at a men's basketball game during the 2014-15 season as "Tuffy." Last season, the 49ers and Titans played to a 1-1 tie in Long Beach, as Fullerton holds a slight 8-7-1 edge in the all-time series.
Fullerton will travel to Cal State Northridge on Oct. 19, before hosting UC Irvine (Thursday, Oct. 23) and UC Riverside (Sunday, Oct. 26).
The Titans ended the regular season with a 1-0 loss in Irvine last season as the Anteaters finished second in the league standings. Fullerton holds a 10-8-4 edge in the all-time series. Fullerton and UCR will play one another in a rematch of the 2013 Big West Tournament championship match. The Titans hold a 7-5-3 lead in the all-time series against the Highlanders.
Fullerton's final road match will be at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Oct. 30 before the Titans' host defending regular season champion Cal Poly on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Titan Stadium as CSF will celebrate senior day. Last year, the Mustangs defeated CSF 1-0 in San Luis Obispo in the regular season before a 1-1 tie in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament at Titan Stadium, as CSF advanced by way of penalty kicks. Cal Poly holds the edge, 13-7-5 in the all-time series.
The Big West Tournament will take place in San Luis Obispo on Thursday, Nov. 6 and Sunday, Nov. 9.
Fullerton has won six Big West regular season championships (1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012) and four Big West Tournament titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2013).