Oct. 31, 2011
FULLERTON, CA - One day after playing in her final collegiate match at Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton senior defender Caitlin Mellano was named the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week after helping lead the Titans to a pair of victories to finish out the 2011 season.
Mellano, who was honored by the conference office for the first time in her four-year career, joined teammate Ann Marie Tangorra as Fullerton honorees this season. Tangorra was voted the league's Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19.
The Titans' senior co-captain closed out a brilliant four-year career by leading a stifling defense that held visiting Pacific to just two shots on goal and limited UC Davis to just seven shots - including no shots and no corner kicks in the second half - two days later.
Against the Tigers, she also tallied the game-winning assist in the second minute of overtime, bending a corner kick into the box that was headed home by her sister, Lauren, to punctuate Fullerton's 1-0 victory and give the Titans their fifth shutout of the season. On the defensive end, she led a back line that limited Pacific's leading scorer, Kristina Wavomba, to just three shots (none on goal) for the match after the Tigers' senior had entered the match ranked third in the Big West in shots, fourth in points, and fourth in goals.
Two days later against the Aggies, she finished off a successful "Senior Day" performance by helping hold back a UC Davis offense that ranked second in goals entering the week and held leading scorer Allison Kelly to just a single shot in the Titans' 4-1 victory.
A three-year starter who appeared in every match for Fullerton over the last three seasons, Mellano finished her career with nine career assists and 40 shots (including a career-high 21 shots this season) in 74 career games. She assisted on at least two goals per year from 2009-11, including five as a junior in 2010 - a total that ranked fifth in the Big West that season.