Oct. 7, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
10/9 at UC Santa Barbara* (Santa Barbara, CA) &\#149; 7 p.m. | Gametracker
10/11 at Cal Poly* (San Luis Obispo, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m.
KICK-OFF: Fresh off a conference-opening victory on the road, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (3-5-3 overall, 1-0 in the Big West Conference) continues league play on the road this weekend as the Titans head to California's Central Coast to take on a pair of Big West opponents. Fullerton opens the weekend under the lights on Friday (Oct. 9) at UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. before heading to San Luis Obispo to meet Cal Poly on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 11) at 1 p.m.
IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly, nor Cal State Fullerton are ranked entering this week's matches.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with UC Santa Barbara, 10-6-1, winning last season's meeting against the then-No. 23 Gauchos, 2-0, at home... Fullerton is 3-2-1 all-time against UCSB in Santa Barbara, falling in 2007 by a 2-0 score and last posting a win on the road in 2005 by the score of 2-0... Cal Poly leads the all-time series with the Titans, 10-5-4, and is unbeaten in its last three matches against Fullerton... the Mustangs handed Fullerton a 3-2 loss in Fullerton last season after the Titans had led 2-0... Cal State Fullerton is 2-4-1 all-time in San Luis Obispo.
CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH?: For those fans who cannot make the trip to Santa Barbara on Friday, you can follow the match live on the Internet. UCSB will provide live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker as well as a live audio broadcast via campus station KCSB. Links to both can be accessed from the women's soccer schedule page at UCSBGauchos.com.
ABOUT THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the weekend with a 4-7-1 overall record and a 1-1 mark in Big West Conference play... the Gauchos split their conference openers last weekend, falling at UC Irvine (3-0) before defeating Cal State Northridge (3-2)... UCSB has met five nationally-ranked squads this season, posting a 1-3-1 mark in those contests... all four of UCSB's wins have come on the road as the Gauchos are 0-2-1 at Harder Stadium this season... Jacqui Simon and Kailyn Kugler lead the team in scoring with eight points on three goals and two assists apiece... Kylie McDonald leads the team with three assists on the year... Tammy Lenham and Ali Cutler have split time in net with Lenham leading the way with a 0.89 goals against average and a pair of shutouts... UC Santa Barbara has been outscored 20-12 this season, but has outshot its opponents by a 140-128 margin.
ABOUT THE MUSTANGS: Cal Poly enters the weekend with a 6-5 overall record and an 0-1 mark in Big West Conference play after falling at Cal State Northridge (3-2) in its league opener... the Mustangs will host UC Riverside on Friday before welcoming in the Titans... the loss to the Matadors snapped a four-match winning streak for Cal Poly during which the Mustangs outscored the opposition, 6-0, including an upset of No. 7 California on Sept. 25... Morgan Miller leads the way offensively, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on four others for eight points... 11 different players have found the back of the net for the Mustangs - four of those with two goals... Coral Hoover has started eight of the team's 11 matches in net, posting a 0.87 goals against average and a 6-2 record to go along with 61 saves and four shutouts.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Last weekend's victory at UC Riverside was the Titans' first win away from the friendly confines of Titan Stadium in four tries after going 0-2 in true road contests and 0-1 on a neutral field.
NIL-NIL: Cal State Fullerton's scoreless tie with Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 1 marked the fifth in school history - all coming since the 2004 season. The Titans' last scoreless tie came in 2007 when they battled Cal Poly for 110 minutes without a goal in the championship match of the Big West Conference Tournament. Fullerton eventually won that match on penalty kicks by a 4-3 margin.
ROCK THE VOLK: Sophomore midfielder Casey Volk tallied her first point of the season in the Titans' Big West opener against UC Riverside, assisting on teammate Brisa Gonzalez's game-winner in the 60th minute as Fullerton went on to shutout the Highlanders, 1-0.
GOING... GOING... GONZALEZ: With her game-winner against UC Riverside last weekend, Gonzalez became the third Titan to tally multiple goals this season, joining teammates Tamara Dewey and Danielle Bitonti. Her five shots in the team's two matches last week also gave her 12 on the season - tops on the squad.
IMPROVING: After opening the season with an 0-4 record and trailing in the scoring column, 10-1, in that stretch, the Titans have shown dramatic improvement over the last month, posting a very solid 3-1-3 mark in their last seven matches with the only loss coming against No. 9 Santa Clara on Sept. 25 by a 1-0 score. The defense has been stingy, posting three shutouts and holding the opposition to just three goals in that span.
MY HERO ZERO: All three of Cal State Fullerton's victories this season have come via the shutout and, coupled with the Titans' 0-0 result against Cal State Bakersfield, have compiled four clean sheets on the year - one more than all of 2008 and the most since they posted eight shutouts in 2007.
AWW, SHOOT!: The Titans' offense, which had been held to single digits in the shots column in nine of their 10 matches entering Sunday's contest against UC Riverside, exploded for a season-high 17 shots against the Highlanders, led by three apiece from Brisa Gonzalez and Stacey Fox. The total was one shot more than Fullerton had accumulated over its three previous matches combined (16).
MAKING THEM COUNT: The stat sheet may say that the Titans have been outshot by a 122-84 margin this season, but Cal State Fullerton is making the most of the shots they have taken. The Titans, who rank last in the league in shots taken and have had 10 or more shots in a match only twice this year (10 vs. Hawaii and 17 at UC Riverside), have put 43 percent of their chances on frame with 36 shots on goal this season.
AHH... SIMPSON, EH??: Junior goalkeeper Shannon Simpson played well in net this past weekend, notching a pair of shutouts to help the Titans to a 1-0-1 record. The two clean sheets give her three for the season - one more than she tallied in her first two seasons as a Titan. Simpson enters this weekend's matches ranked fifth in the league with her trio of shutouts and stands fourth with 0.38 shutouts per match.
A REAL "GEM": Junior Geminesse Martinez was credited with an assist on teammate Danielle Bitonti's game-tying goal against San Francisco on Sept. 13, giving her eight for her career - just four away from the all-time top 10 list.
ON THE SPOT: Junior defender Tamara Dewey made it 2-for-2 in 2009 as she converted on her second penalty kick attempt of the season to tally the game-winner in a victory over Michigan. With the goal, Dewey remained perfect for her career from the spot as her PK goal improved the Murrieta native to 4-for-4 in that category overall after she converted both of her chances in 2008. The goal was the sixth of Dewey's career and her 13th career point - the second-most of any active Titan behind Christina Murillo's nine career goals and 21 points.
BARDSLEY, ENGLAND TAKE SILVER AT '09 EUROS: Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and the England Women's National Team fell to Germany, 6-2, in the 2009 UEFA European Championships in Finland, claiming the silver medal after reaching their first Euro final since 1984. England finished third in group play, but advanced to the knock-out round as one of the top two third-place teams in the tournament. The Three Lions then ousted the host Finns with a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals and defeated the Netherlands, 2-1, in extra time to punch their ticket to the final.
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 49-23-7 (.665) 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 has spent the better part of the month of August with the England Women's National Team for the 2009 UEFA European Championships in Finland 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. Since her professional debut, Gibbens has scored three times and has had another of her dangerous throw-ins headed in for an own goal.
TITANS SHINE IN WPS: 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 entering 2009 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.