Titans Welcome Utah to Open Regular Season
Aug. 20, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
8/23 vs. Utah (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m.
8/28 vs. St. John's (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 6 p.m.
8/30 vs. Mexican Women's National Team (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m.
KICK-OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (0-0) officially opens its 2009 campaign on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 23) at 1 p.m. as the Titans welcome Utah to Southern California for its season opener at Titan Stadium.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor Utah are listed among the nation's top 25 this week.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Utah, 1-0-1, with includes a 1-1 double overtime tie last season in Salt Lake City... the Titans' lone victory in the series came in 2005 when they posted a 4-0 shutout of the then-No. 25 ranked Utes at the Four Points Arizona Classic in Tucson... Sunday will be the first meeting between the two schools in Fullerton.
CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH: For those fans who can't make the trip to Titan Stadium, live Internet audio will be available for Sunday's match as veteran broadcaster Mike Martinez will have the play-by-play. Live streaming video will also be available (on a subscription basis) via the Big West TV platform. Log on to Big West TV by clicking here to catch all the action.
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE: Cal State Fullerton has seen success against teams from the state of Utah, posting an 8-7-1 all-time mark against five opponents: BYU (0-3), Southern Utah (1-0), Utah (1-0-1), and Utah State (6-3).
ABOUT THE UTES: Utah opens the season on Friday (Aug. 21) against Utah Valley before heading to Southern California to take on Cal State Fullerton... the Utes finished 11-9-2 overall in 2008 and finished as runners-up in both the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament... Utah was picked to finish second (tied with TCU) behind BYU in the Mountain West in 2009... head coach Rich Manning is in his eighth season at the helm of the program, holding a career 95-38-16 (.691) record entering the season... the Utes return 14 letter winners and nine starters off of last season's squad while welcoming seven newcomers to the fold... senior midfielder Kelly Isleib is the team's leading returning scorer after netting six goals and assisting on six more a season ago... junior forward Lauren Hair also has a knack for finding the back of the net after scoring five times and assisting on another in 2008... senior goalkeeper Emalee Rogers returns in net after posting a 6-8-2 mark and a 1.63 goals against average with 64 saves and four shutouts last season.
FOR OPENERS: The Titans enter the 2009 campaign with a 6-10 mark in season openers, winning last year for only the second time in its last five such contests... Fullerton is 5-8 when opening the regular season at home, splitting its last six matches dating back to 2001.
A DAUNTING TASK: The task of returning the squad to the top of the Big West Conference table in 2009 will be difficult as third-year head coach Demian Brown has assembled a difficult slate of matches for the upcoming season. The Titans will meet five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago in USC (3rd round), San Diego (2nd round), Washington (2nd round), Long Beach State (1st round), and UC Santa Barbara (1st round). In addition, Fullerton will also host an exhibition against the Mexican Women's National Team on Aug. 30.
HOME, SWEET HOME: However tough the schedule may be, the Titans will have the backing of the hometown faithful for most of the year as Cal State Fullerton will contest 12 of its 19 regular season matches within the friendly confines of Titan Stadium where it has posted a 47-21-4 (.681) mark over the last eight seasons.
TRAVELIN' TITANS: A couple of former Cal State Fullerton standouts will be racking up the frequent flyer miles this year as Karen Bardsley (2002-06) and Jenae Gibbens (2006-08) take their games across the pond to compete in Europe. Bardsley will rejoin the England Women's National Team for the 2009 UEFA European Championships in Finland beginning on Aug. 25 after spending most of the summer competing with Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer. Gibbens is also in Finland after signing on to compete with PK-35 Vantaa in the Finnish First Division. She has already made an impact, scoring a goal in her debut and playing all 90 minutes while earning a card in her second appearance with the team.
WPS UPDATE: Two former Titans shined on the professional stage this past summer as part of the Women's Professional Soccer league's inaugural season. Kandace Wilson (2002-05) appeared in eight matches (starting six) for FC Gold Pride before an injury put her on the sidelines for the rest of the season. She had taken six shots and posted an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Freedom on April 26. Karen Bardsley appeared in four matches for Sky Blue FC, making three starts, and posted a 0.57 goals against average with eight saves and a shutout while helping her side to a WPS playoff berth before leaving to join the England Women's National Team.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: The 2009 Titans return 12 letter winners and eight starters off of last season's young squad that finished 7-11-1 overall and 2-6 in the Big West Conference (9th place).
Offensively, four of the team's top six scorers return for Fullerton, led by sophomore All-Big West Honorable Mention forward Stacey Fox (5 goals, 3 assists) and junior Christina Murillo (4 goals, 3 assists). Overall, the Titans return 19 of their 28 goals scored last season (68 percent) and 52 of the team's 79 points (66 percent) from a year ago.
TITANS PICKED SIXTH IN BIG WEST RACE: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference for the 2009 season according to a vote of the league's coaches released on Aug. 4.
The Titans finished with 32 points in a bunched middle-of-the-pack, finishing just one point shy of Cal State Northridge (33 points) for fifth and one point ahead of UC Irvine (31 points) in seventh position. Defending tournament champion UC Santa Barbara was selected to win the regular season crown, garnering five of the nine first-place votes and finishing with 75 points overall to claim the favorite's position.
Three-time defending regular season champion Long Beach State was picked second with two first-place votes and 67 points overall and was followed by Cal Poly (one first-place vote, 65 points), and Pacific (one first-place vote, 53 points) in the top four.
Northridge, Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Davis (28 points), and UC Riverside (21) round out the coach's selections.
HEAD COACH Demian Brown: Former Cal State Fullerton letter winner Demian Brown returns to his alma mater for his third season at the helm of the Titans' women's program, continuing to develop the Fullerton side into a national contender. Brown, the 2007 Big West Conference Coach of the Year, sports a 19-19-3 overall mark as head coach of the Titans after spending three seasons as an assistant and helping Cal State Fullerton to three conference tournament crowns, three regular season titles, and back-to-back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2005-07). He has coached three Titans to Big West Defensive Player of the Year honors (Marlene Sandoval in 2005, Erica Janke in 2006, and Jenae Gibbens in 2007), 18 players to All-Big West First-Team laurels, and 11 more named to the all-conference second team and honorable mention squads.
ALSO ON THE SIDELINES: Joining the staff for his first season on the Titan Stadium sidelines is Diego Bocanegra, who spent the previous two years as the head coach of the women's program at Cal State San Bernardino where he was 18-13-9 with the Coyotes. Returning from a season playing overseas is former Titan letter winner Lauryn Welch, a three-time All-Big West Conference selection and the MVP of the 2005 Big West Conference Tournament. Assisting with the Titans' goalkeeping corps is volunteer assistant Brian Mason, a standout keeper at Saint Mary's where he set school records for goals against average (1.27) and shutouts (13.5) while standing third with 5,013 minutes played and fourth with 246 saves.
ALUMNAE EDGE '09 TITANS, 2-1: Former Cal State Fullerton standouts Erica Pryor and Kate Brunet-Colosi each tallied goals on the day for the alumnae while newcomer Brisa Gonzalez found the back of the net for the 2009 Titans as the two groups battled in a 2-1 victory for the alums on Saturday evening at Titan Stadium.
The two teams played three, 30-minute periods with the alumnae netting a goal in each of the first two.
Pryor (2002-05) got the alumnae on the board with just over a minute to play in the opening period as Tiffany Craig (2007-08) took control of the ball at the top and tipped a little pass onto the waiting Pryor, who struck a low shot to the left side for the 1-0 advantage.
Brunet-Colosi (2003-06) added the second goal late in the second period as Erica Janke (2003-06) made a long run down the right side and served up a perfect cross to the other side of the box, finding the head of Brunet-Colosi. The shot was well-placed back across to the right post and in the net for the 2-0 lead.
Gonzalez broke up the shutout just four minutes into the third period, converting on a well-played ball by teammate Danielle Bitonti. Bitonti drove the ball down the far-left side, drawing out goalkeeper Laura Janke (2000-03) and placed a perfect looping pass to the far side for Gonzalez, who was wide open on the right side for the goal and the final 2-1 tally.
Bitonti had a chance to tie the score three minutes later, but her point-blank shot off a cross from Gonzalez was smothered by Laura Janke to preserve the lead.