With Tournament Field Set, Titans Battle for Seeding, Make National TV Debut
Oct. 24, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (8-6-2 overall, 3-1-1 in the Big West Conference), unbeaten in its last two straight matches, closes out regular season play with a busy and important week.
The Titans, who have clinched a spot in the 2006 Big West Conference women's soccer tournament on Nov. 3 and 5, will make their national television debut on Wednesday evening against the league's co-leader Long Beach State at Titan Stadium on the Fox Soccer Channel beginning at 8 p.m. Fullerton's five seniors will be honored prior to kickoff in traditional "Senior Night" ceremonies beginning at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Fullerton then has three days off to prepare for its regular season finale with a Sunday night battle at UC Irvine. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium.
The field is set for the four-team 2006 Big West Conference Women's Soccer Tournament, with the tournament seeds all that is left to play for in the final week of the regular season.
The Titans currently sit in fourth place in the conference, just two points behind third-place Cal Poly, and three points behind co-leaders Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. However, the Titans will need some help if they are to clinch at least a share of their third-straight regular-season title and the tournament's top seed.
Fullerton needs two wins this week against the 49ers and UC Irvine and a loss or a tie by Long Beach State (vs. UC Riverside) and UCSB (at Cal Poly) on Oct. 29 to win the conference title outright and clinch the top seed.
Two wins by Fullerton, a win by the 49ers against UCR, and a loss by UCSB to Cal Poly would give the Titans at least share of the title and the tournament's top seed by virtue of their head-to-head win over Long Beach State.
Two wins by Fullerton, a win by Long Beach over the Highlanders, and a win by the Gauchos over the Mustangs would create a three-way tie for first, but UCSB would clinch the top seed in the tournament by virtue of their win over Cal Poly and ties by the 49ers and Titans against the Mustangs. Cal State Fullerton would be the second seed followed by Long Beach State and Cal Poly.
Long Beach State will clinch at least a share of the title and hosting privileges for the tournament with a win over Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday.
ON THE AIR
For those unable to attend or tune in to the Long Beach State match on Wednesday night, a live Internet broadcast will be available at www.FullertonTitans.com. Cal State Fullerton student Mike Martinez will handle the play-by-play, just as he has all season.
FOX SOCCER CHANNEL LISTINGS
Time Warner Cable - Channel 125
Dish Network - America's Top 180 package on Channel 149
DirecTV - Total Choice Premier package on Channel 613
Charter Communications - Channel 409
Cox Communications - Channel 244
For more channel listings, please visit www.FoxSoccer.com
Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine are unranked. Long Beach State entered last week's matches ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation by Soccer America and No. 30 by Soccer Buzz while receiving votes in both the NSCAA and Soccer Times top 25.
Fullerton leads the all-time series with Long Beach State, 5-3, having won the last two consecutive meetings by identical 3-0 scores on the 49ers' home field in 2004 and 2005... Long Beach State last won in 2003, a 2-1 decision at Fullerton... The Titans are 2-2 all-time against the 49ers at Titan Stadium... Cal State Fullerton leads the series with UC Irvine, 6-4-1, having not lost to the Anteaters since Ali Khosroshahin took over as head coach in 2001 (five consecutive meetings)... The Titans won last year's meeting by a 2-0 count in Fullerton... UCI's last win in the series was a 4-1 triumph in 2000 in Irvine, Calif.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Long Beach State enters the week with a 13-3-1 overall record and a 4-0-1 mark in conference play. The 49ers split their two matches last weekend, falling at UC Davis (2-1) before routing UC Irvine (3-0). Sophomores Kim Silos and Hayley Bolt lead the team offensively as Silos has eight goals and a team-high eight assists (24 points) while Bolt follows with eight goals and four assists (20 points). Sophomore goalkeeper Liz Ramos is one of the nation's best with a 0.43 goals against average and 10 shutouts in 17 starts. She has allowed only seven goals and made 54 saves this season.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine is 3-12-1 overall and winless in Big West play at 0-6. The Anteaters are winless in their last six matches (outscored 13-0) dating back to a 1-0 victory over San Jose State on Oct. 1. UCI, which has been outscored 37-6 this season, is led offensively by Lauryn Birkinshaw's four points (one goal and two assists) while five other players have found the back of the net. Erin Henry has seen the majority of time in net, amassing a 2.35 GAA and two shutouts while making 64 saves.
BARDSLEY NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR A SECOND TIME
Cal State Fullerton senior goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week for the second time this season after posting her second straight shutout on the road at UC Davis this past weekend. Bardsley, who also earned the honor back on Sept. 4, earned conference weekly laurels for the fourth time in her career. The Titans' senior netminder stopped all eight Aggies' shots directed at the net for her seventh shutout of the year in Fullerton's 1-0 victory. She has made five or more saves in 10 of her 16 starts this season, including matching a career-high with 12 saves at Texas A&M on Sept. 15 in College Station, Tex.
FORMER TITANS CLASH AS COACHES
Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin and Long Beach State Head Coach Mauricio Ingrassia, both letterwinners for the Titans' men's soccer program, will meet for the third straight season on the sidelines as coaches for their respective programs with Khosroshahin holding the edge in head-to-head coaching wins, 2-0. Khosroshahin was a two-year letterwinner for the Titans in 1989-90 before transferring to Cal State Los Angeles to finish his career while Ingrassia was a Titan for one season in 1992 after transferring from San Diego State.
AGAINST RANKED FOES
Fullerton is 1-3-1 this season against opponents ranked in the top 25 this season, posting a win over No. 6 Texas A&M on Sept. 15 and battling No. 10 California to a scoreless tie on Sept. 3. The Titans' three losses have come at the hands of No. 23 Texas (Sept. 17), No. 5 Santa Clara (Sept. 24), and No. 24 Arizona (Sept. 28). Dating back to 2001, Fullerton is 5-14-4 against opponents ranked in the top 25 at the time of the match.
GET THERE EARLY
Sophomore Leslie Munoz's goal in the fourth minute (3:24 to be exact) of Sunday's 1-0 victory over UC Davis was the fastest goal scored by a Titan this season and marked the fifth time this season that Cal State Fullerton had scored in the first 10 minutes of a match.
The Titans are sure keeping fans on the edge of their seats. Of Fullerton's 16 matches this season, 10 have been decided by a single goal with the Titans posting a 6-4 record in those matches. The school record for one-goal matches in a single season is 13 set twice in 1999 and 2004.
ONE WILL DO IT
The 1-0 decision at UC Davis on Sunday was the third such match for the Titans this season as they have posted a perfect 3-0 record in matches decided by a 1-0 count in 2006.
SENIOR NIGHT STRUGGLES
Fullerton is a lackluster 5-7-1 all-time in "Senior Night" match-ups (final home matches of the season), but has sent its seniors out in style the last three seasons as the Titans are currently riding a three-match "Senior Night" winning streak dating back to 2003. The Titans are 4-1 on "Senior Night" under current Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. Wednesday night, however, will mark the first time that the Titans will face archrival Long Beach State on "Senior Night."
EVERYBODY HELPING OUT
Each of Cal State Fullerton's last four goals have been scored by four different players as Leslie Munoz, Courtney Heinen, Erica Janke, and Brianna Buffington have gotten into the action. Nine different players have found the back of the net for the Titans, including eight of those players with multiple goals.
BARDSLEY'S BUSY SEASON
After being helped by a tenacious defense the last few seasons, senior netminder Karen Bardsley has been busy during her senior season as her Big West-high 96 saves surpasses her personal high of 88 saves set in her freshman season and ranks second on the school's single-season list. Her 280 saves are a Fullerton school record and stand sixth on the Big West career record list. With four more saves, Bardsley would become only the second Fullerton netminder to notch 100 saves in a season, joining Heidi Clauss, who had 129 stops in 1993.
WE DON'T NEED NO ASSISTS
Eight of Fullerton's 22 goals this season have been of the unassisted variety, including four of the Titans' first six goals scored this season.
GOING TO EXTREMES
Cal State Fullerton will go from defending the highest-scoring team in the Big West to taking on the league's worst defense in the span of four days this week. The Titans will have to be on their toes as Long Beach State brings its conference-high 30 goals scored to Titan Stadium on Wednesday before taking on UC Irvine, which has allowed a league-worst 37 goals on the year.
BARDSLEY CLOSES ON ANOTHER
More on Karen Bardsley. She notched her 25th career shutout against UC Davis on Sunday, moving her into sole possession of third place on the Big West list - just three clean sheets short of Pacific's Kim McCaskey, who set the league record with 28 shutouts from 1997-99.
TITANS PICKED SECOND BIG WEST RACE
The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team received two first-place votes (48 points overall) and was picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in 2006 according to a poll of the league's coaches. Long Beach State received three first-place votes and 56 points overall to finish atop the preseason poll for the first time in school history. UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly, Pacific, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, and UC Irvine round out the poll in that order.