Sept. 12, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton looks to build off of its first win of the 2007 regular season this weekend as the Titans host a pair of afternoon contests at Titan Stadium.
Fullerton opens the weekend against its second consecutive Pacific-10 Conference foe in No. 14 California on Friday (Sept. 14) at 2 p.m. before welcoming Big 12 power Oklahoma to Southern California for the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Sunday (Sept. 16) at noon.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Fans can catch all the sights and sounds of this weekend's action from Titan Stadium thanks to live audio and video streaming available through Fullerton's official website at www.FullertonTitans.com. Mike Martinez will carry the live play-by-play while streaming video will be available to Big West TV subscribers. Please visit www.bigwest.org/TV for more information on how to sign up.
IN THE POLLS: The Golden Bears are ranked as high as No. 14 in the Soccer America and NSCAA polls... California also stands No. 23 in the Soccer Buzz polls... Oklahoma and Cal State Fullerton are unranked.
SERIES RECORDS: The Titans lead the all-time series with the Golden Bears, 1-0-1, as the two programs battled to a scoreless tie through two overtimes last season at the California Invitational... Fullerton's win in the series came back in 1997, a 1-0 victory at home... Sunday's match with the Sooners will be the first meeting.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS: California sports a perfect 4-0 mark heading into the weekend - all via the shutout. The Golden Bears earned a pair of 1-0 victories over Columbua and Colorado College (in overtime) before shutting out Cal State Bakersfield, 3-0, and Vermont, 4-0, last weekend. Cal has outshot its opponents, 82-14, including a 46-7 advantage in shots on goal. Eight players have scored for the Golden Bears led by Caitlin Hannegan's two tallies. Three keepers have seen action, but sophomore Gina Pellegrini has started three of the four matches, making six saves and posting a pair of solo shutouts.
ABOUT THE SOONERS: Oklahoma is unbeaten thus far this season, sporting a 3-0-1 record in the early going. The Sooners will meet Long Beach State on Friday before heading to Fullerton for their match-up with the Titans. Oklahoma has outscored the opposition by a combined 14-2 total this season and is coming off a 2-1 win over William & Mary and a scoreless tie against Virginia Commonwealth last weekend. Whitney Palmer leads all players with four goals and eight points as eight players have contributed goals to the Sooners' attack - four of those with multiple goals. Senior Jennifer Nichols has seen the most time in net, sporting a 0.53 goals against average and 13 saves in four starts.
\#1 PORTLAND 2, TITANS 1: Elli Reed's first goal of the season in the 37th minute snapped a 1-1 tie and helped lift top-ranked Portland to a 2-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton. Portland's Rachael Rapinoe scored her team-best fourth goal of the season in the third minute of the match off a pass from teammate Michelle Enyeart for the 1-0 advantage. Fullerton wasted little time in getting the goal back as junior Jenae Gibbens drew her side even with her second goal of the season. Gibbens volleyed home a cross from teammate Nicole Scheid from 15 yards out to knot the match at 1-1. The score remained that way until Reed's strike in the 37th minute as she blasted home the game-winning from the top of the box for the unassisted tally to make it 2-1. Portland then shut the game down from there, allowing Fullerton just four shots over the final 53 minutes - just one of those coming in the second half.
TITANS 3, WASHINGTON 1: Senior Stacey Thompson scored twice, including the game-winning goal in the 76th minute, to help lift the Titans to their first victory of the 2007 season, a 3-1 triumph over Washington. Thompson got the Titans on the board first in the 39th minute by converting a penalty kick to give Fullerton the 1-0 lead that lasted through halftime. In the second half, Washington got an equalizing penalty kick of its own in the 67th minute as Dani Bridges netted the Huskies only tally after teammate Melissa Beal was taken down in the box. However, just under two minutes later, Thompson put away the go-ahead score in the 76th minute, collecting a rebound off a Lauren Cram blocked shot, sending it home from 15 yards for the 2-1 advantage. Senior Brianna Buffington added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute, stealing a pass and dribbling through the box before sending a rocket from 12 yards away for the final 3-1 decision.
FOR OPENERS (HOME EDITION): Fullerton is 5-8-1 all-time in home openers dating back to 1993, including a 1-1-1 record when opening the home schedule against a Pac-10 Conference school... the last Pac-10 team to open the Titans' home schedule was UCLA in 1999 - a 4-1 loss to the Bruins... Fullerton has won three of its last five home openers, including a 4-0 shutout of Idaho in 2006... The Titans hold a 80-56-7 (.584) all-time record at Titan Stadium as exactly half of Fullerton's 76 overall wins in the past six years have come at home.
BROWN GETS HIS FIRST: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Demian Brown earned his first career coaching victory in Sunday's win over Washington after helping the Titans to 42 wins in his three years as an assistant coach. In what could be the start of something big, it also took former Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin four matches to earn his first coaching win at the helm of the Titans in 2001, helping them to 13 wins, a Big West Conference title, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. A good omen, indeed.
DON'T BLINK: Or you may miss something big. Fullerton has been forced to play catch-up right off the bat in three of its first four matches this season, as three of its six goals allowed in 2007 have come in the first five minutes of matches against UNLV, Idaho State and Portland.
THOMPSON MATCHES `06 OUTPUT: After two seasons of starting every single match for the Titans, the bench was a strange place for Fullerton senior Stacey Thompson to be. However, after her two-goal performance against Washington on Sunday, she may not see the pine again. Thompson's two scores, including the game-winner in the second half, matched her goal-scoring output for all of 2006 and gave her seven for her career.
THIS IS GETTING TO BE HABIT: And a good one at that. Junior defender Jenae Gibbens, who has spent a career stopping opposing players from finding the back of the net, tallied her second goal of the year against top-ranked and previously unbeaten Portland in the Titans' narrow 2-1 loss to the Pilots. Gibbens, a second-team all-conference defender who had an assist in her first season with Fullerton in 2006, took eight shots last year without a goal, but has scored twice in a very efficient three shots this season.
SIMPSON DEBUTS: Six seconds wasn't much time for a proper debut, but it was enough for freshman Shannon Simpson to get into Friday night's match against top-ranked Portland after starter Shayla Sabin was issued a red card in the waining moments of regulation. Sunday's match was much better for the rookie as she made her first career start against Washington and performed admirably, getting some help from her defense and making a pair of saves on the day to help the Titans to the 3-1 win over the Huskies. In an eerie comparison, Simpson's stat line in her first career start was almost exactly the same of that of former Titan Karen Bardsley, who made three saves in 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over Eastern Washington in 2002.
TITANS BEAT THE "PAC": Cal State Fullerton earned its first-ever win against Washington in women's soccer on Sunday and only the program's seventh victory against a Pacific-10 Conference school in 32 chances, snapping a three-match winless streak dating back to a victory over USC in 2005 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Titans have not met Pac-10 opponents in back-to-back matches since 1997 (UCLA and California) and have not defeated two Pac-10 schools in the same season since 1995 (Arizona and USC).