Nov. 9, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -
The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (17-3 overall, 6-1 in the Big West Conference), both the 2005 Big West Conference regular season and tournament champion, is ready to add another chapter to its storybook 2005 season this weekend as the Titans play host to the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Titan Stadium.
The tournament begins on Friday night (Nov. 11) at 5 p.m. as Southern California takes on Gonzaga before Fullerton, which is one of four national No. 3 seeds, opens the tournament against UNLV on Friday night 30 minutes following the completion of the first match.
The second round match up between Friday night's two victores will be held on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 13) at 1 p.m.
TITANS' NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY:
Fullerton will be making only its second-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament and will be first time hosts this weekend with both of those NCAA berths coming under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ali Khosroshahin. In his rookie season as head coach, Khosroshahin led the Titans to the 2001 NCAA Tournament at UCLA where Fullerton fell to the host and nationally seeded Bruins, 3-0, in the first round to conclude a 13-7 season and a Big West title.
ON THE AIR... SORT OF:
Cal State Fullerton's run through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Fullerton student Mike Martinez will provide the play-by-play.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
17-3 Overall; 6-1 Big West Conference
Big West Regular Season and Tournament Champs
The Titans earned their second straight Big West regular-season title and fourth overall (1996, 2001, 2004, 2005), claiming the league's automatic NCAA berth by winning the Big West Tournament for the first time in school history... set school records for single-season wins (17) and shutouts (11) ... The Titans have won their last nine consecutive matches - also a school record... Cal State Fullerton is making only its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament (2001, 2005) since the program's inception in 1993... Fullerton has outscored opponents, 45-12, and outshot opponents, 364-134... 11 different players have scored goals for the Titans - all but one with two-or-more goals... Junior captain Lauryn Welch leads the offense with eight goals and four assists (20 points)... Redshirt junior Karen Bardsley leads the Titans in net with a 0.58 goals against average and 9.5 shutouts.
12-5-2 Overall; 6-2-1 Pacific-10 Conference
3rd-Place Pac-10 Finish; At-Large Selection
The Women of Troy won six of their final seven matches to blast into the NCAA Tournament... USC swept its final two regular season matches by identical 1-0 scores at Arizona and Arizona State... USC has scored only one goal in each of its last four matches, but has come away with wins in three of them... The Women of Troy are making their seventh NCAA Tournament apperance... USC has outscored the opposition, 35-17, with 13 different players finding the back of the net... USC signed the nation's best recruiting class for 2005 according to Soccer Buzz... Freshman Amy Rodriguez leads the offense with nine goals and seven assists while Rosa Anna Tantillo has four goals and 10 assists... Sophomore goalkeeper Veronica Simonton has appeared in all 19 games, amassing a 0.87 goals against average with 65 saves and 10 shutouts.
12-3-4 Overall; 3-1-1 West Coast Conference
3rd-Place WCC Finish; At-Large Selection
Gonzaga earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA Tournament after finishing third in the powerful West Coast Conference behind past NCAA Champions Portland and Santa Clara... The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last six matches (3-0-3), including a double-overtime tie with No. 5 Santa Clara and a 1-0 win over No. 10 Pepperdine... Gonzaga has set single-season records for victories, fewest goals allowed (14), longest win streak (7), and most shutouts (11)... the third place finish in the WCC is the highest in school history... Sophomore Nanda McCormick leads the offense with nine goals and three assists while the team has outscored the opposition, 28-15... Senior goalkeeper Ashley Haugen has started all 19 matches for the `Zags, amassing a 0.70 goals against average, 63 saves, and 11 shutouts.
13-6-3 Overall; 5-2 Mountain West Conference
2nd-Place MWC Finish; MWC Tournament Champs
The Rebels are making their second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament after earning an at-large selection in 2004... The Rebels fell in the first round last season to San Diego by a 1-0 count in overtime at UCLA... UNLV set school records with 13 victories, longest win streak (6), and most shutouts (11)... The Rebels advanced through the Mountain West Tournament with wins over Texas Christian (3-0), San Diego State (2-1 in OT), and New Mexico (1-0 in OT)... Sophomore Katie Carney leads the offense with seven goals and seven assists while junior Tanya Roberts has scored six times and assisted on six others... UNLV has won its last four straight and 10 of its last 12... Goalkeepers Jenna Huff and Ciera Nero has split time in net with Huff tallying a 0.28 goals against average and six shutouts to lead the way.
TITANS CONTINUE MOVING UP THE POLLS:
The Titans' regular season and tournament championship has them moving up the polls for the fourth consecutive week, making the biggest jump in the Soccer America poll by moving up five spots to No. 17 in the nation. Both Soccer Buzz and the National Soccer Coaches Association moved Fullerton up to a school-record No. 15 in the nation, with Soccer Buzz jumping the Titans four spots and the NSCAA two. Soccer Times has the Titans ranked No. 19 in the country, up one spot from last week.
Fullerton has been ranked in at least one top 25 poll for the last five consecutive weeks and seven of the last eight. It is the longest run in the national rankings for the Titans in the history of the program, breaking the three-week run in the top 25 back in 2002.
Regionally, Cal State Fullerton is ranked as high as fifth by Soccer Buzz and tied for fifth by the NSCAA (both of those school bests) while ranking No. 6 by Soccer Times and No. 7 by Soccer America.
OTHER RANKING STUFF:
USC: The Women of Troy are ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation this week by Soccer America, No. 20 by Soccer Times, and No. 24 by both Soccer Buzz and the NSCAA... Regionally, USC is ranked as high as No. 6 by Soccer America... GONZAGA: The Bulldogs are ranked as high as No. 18 by Soccer Buzz, while also ranking No. 19 by Soccer America, and No. 23 by Soccer Times and the NSCAA... Regionally, Gonzaga is ranked as high as No. 7 by Soccer Buzz... UNLV: The Rebels are not ranked nationally, but are ranked 14th in the region by Soccer Buzz and are receiving votes by the NSCAA.
TITANS SET SCHOOL, BIG WEST HONOR ROLL RECORDS:
Cal State Fullerton's 11 honorees on the various All-Big West Conference teams established a couple more firsts in this season of firsts for the Titans, as the 11 players honored in 2005 set a school record and the Titans' seven first-teamers broke the school and Big West Conference record for most players honored.
The previous overall school record with eight set by the 2001 Titans squad which advanced to the NCAA Tournament after a 13-6 regular season and a Big West title.
The seven first-team selections are the most-ever by a single team in the history of the conference, breaking the Titans' own record of five set in 2004.
TITANS SNAP TOURNEY SKID:
Fullerton's victory over Pacific on Friday night in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament was yet another first for the Titans this season, namely, their first win in the five-year history of the postseason tournament.
WHERE THERE'S A WILSON, THERE'S A WIN:
Senior forward Kandace Wilson enters her final season in a Cal State Fullerton uniform ranked No. 2 in all-time points (79), goals (34), and game-winning goals (12), but it's what happens when she accumulates those numbers that stands out. The Titans are 28-2-1 when Wilson scores a point and an even more impressive 24-1-1 when she scores a goal - including an unbeaten streak of 22 matches dating back to her freshman season.
vs. UNLV: The Titans are 0-2 all time against UNLV, but the two teams have not met since the 2000 season... the Rebels won the first meeting by a 3-2 tally in 1999 in Las Vegas and downed the Titans, 3-1, in the 2000 season opener... Fullerton is 2-1 against Mountain West Conference schools this season, defeating New Mexico and Utah while falling to San Diego State... vs. Southern California: The Women of Troy lead the all-time series with the Titans, 4-1-3, but the two schools haven't met since the 1998 season... USC has won the last three meetings by a 13-3 margin... Fullerton's last win came in a 3-2 victory in 1995... The Titans are 5-17-5 against Pac-10 teams, with the last win coming against Oregon in 2003... vs. Gonzaga: The Titans won the first-ever meeting with the Bulldogs earlier this year by a 3-2 count at the Santa Clara adidas Classic on Sept. 9... Fullerton is 2-1 against West Coast Conference teams this season (wins over Gonzaga and LMU, loss to Santa Clara) and 16-23-2 all-time.
COX AND PATRICK BRING NCAA EXPERIENCE TO TITANS:
The 2005 Titans are a very experienced squad, but few have tasted what it feels like to reach the NCAA Tournament. That's what makes seniors Kellie Cox and Rebekah Patrick so special. Cox is the only player remaining from the 2001 Titans squad that made the program's first-ever appearance, losing to UCLA in the first round. Patrick brings a little more experience in the form of the national championship ring she earned while with the 2002 Portland Pilots squad that claimed the national title under legendary head coach Clive Charles.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES:
Monday's announcement that the Titans would host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Titan Stadium came as a welcome sigh of relief.
Fullerton is currently riding an eight-game winning streak on the home pitch with its two victories last weekend in the Big West Tournament. The Titans, who were a not too shabby 5-2 away from home and 4-0 on neutral fields in 2005, posted an 8-1 record at Titan Stadium - just two short of the school single-season record for home victories held by the 1996 team (10-5).
Fullerton is now 33-9-2 (.773) all-time at Titan Stadium under Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. Fullerton has won 11 of its last 12 at home and are 75-53-6 (.582) all-time since 1993.
WELCH'S MVP PERFORMANCE:
Soccer is a team sport, but junior captain Lauryn Welch shined individually last weekend en route to Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Welch, who entered the weekend with five goals on the season, scored three times in helping the Titans to the tournament title, including the game-winners in both contests against Pacific in the semifinals and UC Riverside in the championship match.
BARDSLEY AT IT AGAIN:
Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley earned the win in net in both of the Titans' Big West Tournament victories, catapulting her to the top of yet another single-season record list. Her 14 wins this season ties Suzy Strazzulla's mark which has stood since 1995, while her 10 goals allowed are the third fewest all time.
Bardsley has lowered her current career school record goals against average to 0.75 and has broken school career records for goalkeeper victories (33) and shutouts (17). She is 426 minutes behind Laura Janke's record of 4,513 minutes played.
Her GAA of 0.58 this season would break her own school single-season record of 0.71 set last year and her nine solo shutouts this year are already a season best.
TITANS TAKE PROLIFIC OFFENSE TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT:
The highest scoring team in this weekend's foursome, the Titans will bring the Big West Conference's best offense to bear against some of the best the nation has to offer. Fullerton ranked first in nearly ever offensive category including shots (364), shots per match (18.20), points (120), goals (45), and goals per match (2.25) while ranking second in assists (30) and assists per match (1.50).
DEFENSE STILL STINGY:
There isn't a more stingy defense in the Big West Conference entering this weekend's NCAA Tournament. The Titans ranked first in the league in fewest goals allowed (12), goals against average (0.59), shutouts (11), and fewest shots allowed (134).
SIMPLY THE BEST:
With its 17 victories this season, the 2005 Titans became the winningest squad in the history of the program, setting school records for wins in a season, winning percentage (.850), shutouts (11), most neutral field victories (4), and consecutive victories (9). Fullerton has reached 10 or more wins in four of the last five seasons, improving to 62-31-4 (.660) in that span.