Familiar Faces Await at USD Nike Classic
Sept. 2, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
9/4 vs. USC (USD Nike Classic - San Diego, CA) &\#149; 5 p.m.
9/6 at \#12 San Diego (USD Nike Classic - San Diego, CA) &\#149; 1:30 p.m.
9/11 vs. Michigan (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 2 p.m.
9/13 vs. San Francisco (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m.
KICK-OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (0-2 overall) heads south for one of its few road swings this season as the Titans take on stiff competition at the USD Nike Classic hosted by the University of San Diego at Torero Stadium. Fullerton opens tournament play on Friday evening (Sept. 4) at 5 p.m. against 2007 NCAA National Champion Southern California before meeting the host Toreros on Sunday (Sept. 6) at 1:30 p.m. Ohio State is the fourth team in the mix this weekend.
IN THE POLLS: San Diego is ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America... USC, which opened the season ranked as high as No. 8 in the country, has fallen out of the top-25 in most of the major polls and are receiving votes... Cal State Fullerton and Ohio State are unranked.
SERIES RECORDS: USC leads the all-time series with the Titans, 4-2-3, but the two teams haven't met since the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2005, won by Cal State Fullerton (3-1) at Titan Stadium... this will be the first neutral site meeting between the two California programs separated by just 35 miles...San Diego leads the all-time series with the Titans, 7-4, having won the last two meetings... The Toreros were victorious in the last match between the two squads - a 1-0 victory for USD on Nov. 4, 2007, in Fullerton... The Titans are 2-4 all-time against the Toreros on their home pitch.
CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH?: For those fans unable to make the trip south this holiday weekend, Gametracker live stats will be available for all four contests on the USD campus. Links for Cal State Fullerton's matches are available on the women's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com as well as on San Diego's webpage at USDToreros.com.
ABOUT THE WOMEN OF TROY: USC of the Pacific-10 Conference enters the weekend with an 0-2 mark after opening the year with a 3-0 shutout loss at then-No. 7 Texas A&M and a 2-1 defeat at the hands of St. John's, which also downed the Titans, 1-0, in overtime last week... Megan Ohai has the Women of Troy's lone goal this season, converting on a penalty kick in the 54th minute against the Red Storm to tie the match... in net, senior Hermann Trophy candidate Kristin Olsen has posted 10 saves and a 2.50 goals against average in two starts.
ABOUT THE TOREROS: San Diego of the West Coast Conference enters the weekend with a 2-1-1 overall record this season having posted a victory over Arizona (4-1) and forging a 1-1 tie with No. 7 UCLA last week... freshman Erica Peeples leads the Toreros with three goals in four matches this season while five other players have also found the back of the net... sophomore keeper Courtney Parsons has started all four matches for USD, posting a 0.95 goals against average and 21 saves.
CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is just 9-20-6 (.343) against Pac-10 schools in women's soccer, but the Titans have won three of their last four contests against members of that league, defeating California twice and Washington once over the last two seasons with the only loss coming against a top-ranked UCLA squad at the 2007 NCAA Tournament... Fullerton is 20-31-3 (.398) against the West Coast Conference having won two of its last three against league members with wins over Pepperdine and Saint Mary's last season.
HEY, WE KNOW YOU: Friday's match with USC will be the first between Cal State Fullerton and former head coach Ali Khosroshahin since the latter left Orange County in 2006 to head-up the Women of Troy and lead them to a national championship in 2007. Khosroshahin, who became the first head coach to win the national title in his first year with a team in NCAA history, spent six seasons as head coach at Cal State Fullerton, guiding the Titans to three NCAA Tournament appearances and compiling a 76-40-6 overall record, including a 34-13-3 mark in Big West play. Also at Troy, former Titan goalkeeper Laura Janke enters her third year as Khosroshahin's assistant coach. Janke was a four-year letter winner for Fullerton in net from 2000-03, earning a pair of All-Big West awards and setting the school record for saves with 366. Her 186 saves in 2000 are also a single-season record.
THAT'S RANK: Friday's match against USC will be the first against a team ranked or receiving votes in the national top-25 this season with the possibility of meeting at least four more opponents this season in a similar position: San Diego (No. 12), Santa Clara (No. 22), Washington (RV), and Long Beach State (RV). In addition, the Titans' other two regular season opponents, Utah and St. John's, have also broken into the top 25 this week, ranked No. 21 and No. 25, respectively.
LOOKING FOR ONE THAT COUNTS: Cal State Fullerton has scored three goals this season, but only one of those has been added to the official stat sheet this season as the Titans' two other goals have come in exhibition contests against the Alumnae team and the Mexican National Team. Junior Tamara Dewey has Fullerton's lone strike this season, converting a penalty kick against Utah on Aug. 23.
DON'T GET FROSH WITH ME: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Demian Brown has not been afraid to throw his young roster into the fire this season as five freshmen (JeAnne Mazeau, Felicia Franco, Brisa Gonzalez, Jennifer Smith, Jessica Luevano) and two sophomores (Stacey Fox and Katie Gibson) have started for the Titans in each of their first two contests to start the year.
NOOOOOOOO... OT: Last week's overtime loss to St. John's ended the Titans' four-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2) in extra time dating back to the end of the 2007 season and marked their third loss in their last four single-overtime matches. Cal State Fullerton is 16-20-20 (.464) all-time in overtime matches overall (4-3-3 under Head Coach Demian Brown) and just 8-16-7 (.371) in single-overtime contests in school history.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE: Despite being outshot by a 20-15 count through two matches this season, the Titans' offense has seen numerous players take their swings at finding the back of the net. Nine different Fullerton players have taken shots on the year led by three apiece from sophomores Casey Volk and Stacey Fox.
SLY AS A FOX: Speaking of Stacey Fox, Fullerton's leading scorer from a season ago, finally returned to the pitch this past weekend after missing the Titans' season opener due to injury. Fox took a season-high three shots against St. John's on Aug. 28 in her season debut and had one of the team's six strikes against Mexico in a friendly exhibition on Aug. 30. An All-Big West Honorable-Mention selection as a freshman in 2008, Fox appeared in all 19 matches with a team-high five goals and three assists during her rookie season and tied for second on the team with 25 shots on the year.
DEWEY DOES IT AGAIN: Got penalty kicks? Junior defender Tamara Dewey remained perfect for her career from the spot as her penalty kick goal against Utah on Aug. 23 improved the Murrieta native to 3-for-3 in PK's in her career after she converted a pair last season. The goal was also the fifth of Dewey's career and her 11th career point - the second-most of any active Titan behind Christina Murillo's nine career strikes and 21 points.
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 47-22-4 (.671) mark over the last eight-plus 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 and, eventually, the inaugural league championship 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 19-21-3 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. final 2-1 tally.