NCAA Tournament Play Begins at UCLA as Titans Open With Loyola Marymount
Nov. 9, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (11-7-2 overall), winners of the 2006 Big West Conference Tournament after a third-place regular season finish, make their second-straight NCAA appearance - and third overall in the history of the program - this weekend as the Titans head to UCLA's Drake Stadium for the opening rounds of the 2006 NCAA Women's College Cup hosted by the Bruins.
Top-seeded and No. 2 national seed UCLA will host UNLV in the day's first match at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening (Nov. 10). Fullerton then faces-off against Southern California rival Loyola Marymount at 8 p.m. The winners of Friday's matches will meet in the second round on Sunday (Nov. 12) at 1 p.m.
UCLA is unanimously ranked No. 3 in the nation according to four major polls and is No. 1 in the West Region according to the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz... LMU is ranked No. 19 according to Soccer Buzz, No. 25 (tie) according to Soccer America, and is receiving votes according to Soccer Times... UNLV and Cal State Fullerton are unranked nationally, although the Titans are No. 10 (tie) in the West according to the NSCAA and No. 11 according to Soccer Buzz.
TITANS' IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Fullerton is making it third overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2006, holding a 2-2 overall record in postseason play. The Titans fell to UCLA, 3-0, in their first-ever tournament appearance in 2001 and won a pair of matches at Titan Stadium in 2005 over UNLV (1-0) and No. 24 Southern California (3-1) before falling to No. 6 Virginia (2-1) in the "Sweet 16" round in Charlottesville.
JANKE, BARDSLEY, KHOSROSHAHIN EARN BIG WEST HONORS
Cal State Fullerton seniors Karen Bardsley and Erica Janke each earned individual accolades while Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin was named the Big West Conference's Coach of the Year for the third time as the league office announced the 2006 All-Big West teams on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 7).
Bardsley was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the third-straight season and also earned the third First-Team honor of her storied career. Janke, who was named to the First Team for the second-straight season, became the second Titan in as many years to be named Defensive Player of the Year, joining former Fullerton All-American Marlene Sandoval, who earned the honor in 2005. Janke also scored twice and added an assist to finish the regular season in a tie for seventh on the team in scoring.
Khosroshahin was named the league's top coach for the second straight season after sharing the honor last year with UC Riverside's Veronica O'Brien. He also earned the honor in his head coaching debut in 2001 after leading the Titans to a 13-7 overall record, the Big West regular season title with an 8-1 mark, and the school's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
Three Titans were named to the All-Big West Second Team as senior Lauryn Welch earned her third career all-conference honor despite missing the second half of the season due to injury. Welch finished the season with five goals and two assists.
She was joined on the second team by a pair of first-timers in senior Desiree Flint, who had a pair of goals and two assists, and redshirt sophomore Jenae Gibbens, who was an integral part of the Titans' defense in 2006 while also adding an assist.
CHAMPIONSHIP HEROICS EARN BOUJOS SPOT ON NATIONAL TEAMS OF THE WEEK
A championship performance from Cal State Fullerton junior Kristen Boujos this past weekend has earned the Titans' forward a spot on both the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz National Teams of the Week it was announced on Wednesday morning.
It is also the fourth selection for a Titan player to the Soccer America weekly honor roll this season, joining Bardsley (Sept. 5), Lauryn Welch (Sept. 20), and Janke (Oct. 11).
Boujos was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Big West Conference Tournament after her two-goal performace against Cal Poly in the championship match lifted the Titans to their second-straight conference tournament title and third-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The junior from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, had entered the weekend with only two goals on the season, but it was her third goal in the last three games that proved to be one of the biggest game-winning goals of the year.
Boujos got the Titans on the board first against the Mustangs in the 11th minute and netted the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute after Cal Poly had fought back to tie the match early in the second half.
Entering this weekend's NCAA Tournament matches, Boujos ranks third on the team in scoring with four goals and an assist (nine points).
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT REDUX
Third-seeded Cal State Fullerton got a pair of goals from tournament Most Valuable Player Kristen Boujos to lift the Titans to their second-straight Big West Conference Tournament championship, 2-1, over fourth-seeded Cal Poly on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 5) at George Allen Field in Long Beach, Calif.
Boujos, who entered the match having scored only twice on the year, scored the game's first goal off a perfect cross from teammate Candice Byler in the 11th minute and netted the game-winner in the 76th minute off a deflected shot by Stacey Thompson to down the Mustangs.
The Titans advanced to the championship match thanks to an identical result in Friday's semifinal match against UC Santa Barbara as sophomore Casey Schostag's first career goal in the 66th minute gave Fullerton a 2-1 victory over the second-seeded Gauchos, who shared the conference's regular season title with top-seeded Long Beach State.
Schostag chested down Thompson's shot off the crossbar and punched it in past goalkeeper Katie Wright for the go-ahead score. Byler, got the Titans on the board early in the 34th minute, firing home a rocket from 30 yards out for the 1-0 lead. UCSB tied the score in the 64th minute as Allie Kueny converted a penalty kick after she was taken down in the box.
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The all-time series between the Titans and Lions is knotted at 5-5-1, but Fullerton has emerged victorious in each of the last two meetings in 2001 (1-0 at Titan Stadium) and 2005 (2-0 at LMU)... LMU and Cal State Fullerton met in a preseason scrimmage on Aug. 17, with the Titans emerging with a 1-0 win thanks to a 55th-minute goal by Brianna Buffington... the two schools have never met in the NCAA Tournament... UCLA: The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Titans, 9-0, winning the last meeting between the two schools, 3-0, in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament at Drake Stadium... five of the nine meetings between the two schools have been decided by a single goal... UNLV: The Rebels lead the all-time series with the Titans, 2-1, but Fullerton snapped a two-match losing streak in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament on an overtime own goal at Titan Stadium... UNLV won the first two meetings in 1999 (3-2 in Las Vegas) and 2000 (3-1 in Fullerton).
ABOUT THE LIONS
Loyola Marymount finished the regular season with a 10-2-6 overall record and a 2-1-4 mark in the always difficult West Coast Conference to finish in fourth place... LMU was one of three WCC schools to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament, joining defending national champion Portland and Santa Clara... The Lions are unbeaten in their last five matches (3-0-2), which includes a scoreless draw against Portland in their regular season finale... Junior forward Jamie Bell leads the LMU offense with seven goals and a pair of assists while junior goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek has a 0.58 goals against average and eight shutouts in 18 starts this season.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
No. 2 national seed and host UCLA finished the regular season with a 17-3 overall record and an 8-1 mark in Pacific-10 Conference play to win the regular season title by four points over second-place Oregon... UCLA is one of four conference schools to make the NCAA Tournament field, joining USC, Stanford, and California... The Bruins won 11 of their last 12 contests, including 10 in a row at one point until a double-overtime loss to the Ducks (2-1) on Nov. 3... Freshman Lauren Cheney leads all Bruins offensively with 15 goals on the year - including seven game-winners... Junior Valerie Henderson has amassed a 0.56 goals against average in net to go with eight shutouts and 45 saves in 16 matches.
ABOUT THE REBELS
UNLV finished the regular season with a 9-10-3 overall record and is one of three schools in this year's NCAA Tournament field with a sub-.500 record (UAB and Oakland)... The Rebels, who finished third in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-4 mark, earned a berth into the NCAAs after downing Wyoming, 1-0, in the first round of the conference tournament and then advancing to the championship by downing BYU, 4-1, in penalty kicks after a scoreless tie... UNLV then repeated the feat in the championship match against Utah, taking the Utes to a double-overtime scoreless tie before winning the tournament on penalty kicks, 6-5... Armani Rice (5 goals, 1 assist) and Katie Carney (4 goals, 3 assists) lead the team with 11 points apiece... Ciera Nero has started 14 matches in net for the Rebels, amassing a 1.13 goals against average and six shutouts.
AGAINST THE FIELD
The Titans have faced four of the 64 teams in this season's NCAA Tournament field, posting a 1-2-1 record against those schools. Fullerton posted a 2-1 win over Texas A&M (one of four No. 2 national seeds) on Sept. 15 and battled California to a double-overtime scoreless tie on Sept. 3. The losses came to Texas and Santa Clara (two of the four No. 1 national seeds) by the scores of 3-2 on Sept. 17 and 2-0 on Sept. 24, respectively.
The "winner" of this weekend's second-round match would meet the "winner" of the tournament's first and second round matches hosted by No. 3 national seed Florida. The Gators (13-5-4) play host to Marquette (11-6-4), Purdue (14-5-3), and Loyola (Ill.) (14-6-3).
NO PRESSURE HERE
After a season of NCAA Tournament firsts in 2005, the Titans will be looking to accomplish another in 2006. Cal State Fullerton, which became the first Big West school to host an NCAA Tournament match and the first league school to advance to the third round in 2005, will be looking to become the first Big West school to win an NCAA Tournament match in consecutive years in 2006. Cal Poly was the last Big West school to have the chance, going 1-1 in the tournament in 1999, but were then eliminated in the first round in 2000 by Santa Clara.
BREAKING THE CURSE
Cal State Fullerton extended its winning streak in the Big West Conference Tournament to four consecutive matches with its victory over Cal Poly on Sunday and, in the process, snapped a three-match losing streak to the Mustangs in tournament play in the process. Cal Poly, which has combined with Cal State Fullerton to win five of the six Big West Conference Tournament championships, had eliminated the Titans in the tournament semifinals on three previous occassions in 1996, 1997, and 2004.
GREETINGS FROM SWITZERLAND
Much like the world's most famous neutral country, Cal State Fullerton has enjoyed its fair share of neutrality over the course of the past two seasons, boding well for Friday's NCAA Tournament opener against LMU. The Titans are a combined 7-0 in neutral site matches dating back to last year - including a 3-0 mark in 2006.
HELP ME HELP YOU
Junior Stacey Thompson had a pair of the most unusual assists you could ever see this past weekend at the Big West Tournament - both coming on the Titans' two game-winning goals. Thompson, who hadn't tallied a point since scoring a goal in a 3-0 win at San Diego State on Sept. 12, tallied her first assist of the season against UC Santa Barbara when her shot deflected off the crossbar to teammate Casey Schostag, who tapped it in for the 2-1 lead over the Gauchos. Two days later, Thompson's shot off a Cal Poly defender deflected to Kristen Boujos, who fired from the top of the box for the goal that beat the Mustangs, 2-1.
SCORE EARLY, WIN OFTEN
Cal State Fullerton held 1-0 leads at halftime in each of its Big West tournament victories this past weekend and improved on a pair of impressive records in 2006. With the win over Cal Poly on Sunday, the Titans moved to 11-3 this season when scoring first (San Diego, \#23 Texas, and \#24 Arizona being the only losses) and remained perfect when leading at halftime, improving to 7-0 on the season.
A FAMILIAR RESULT
Fullerton and its opponents have battled to a 2-1 result eight times this season, with the Titans posting a 5-3 record in those matches - including wins in their last three such matches. Coincidentally, all three of this weekend's matches at the Big West Tournament ended in a 2-1 final score.
The Titans' two victories this past weekend in the Big West Tournament gave them 11 for the season, marking the third straight year - and the fifth in the last six years - that Cal State Fullerton has recorded double-digit wins under the directon of Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. Prior to his arrival, the Titans had reached 10-or-more wins only twice in 1995 and 1996.
DEFENSE STEPPING UP
The record-setting numbers aren't there this season, but the Titans' defense has been just as effective in 2006. Fullerton is 11-1-2 this year when allowing a goal or less.
FULLERTON COLLECTS SIXTH-STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
With its victory over UC Irvine on Oct. 29, the Titans clinched their sixth-straight winning season under Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin since 2001. Prior to Khosroshahin's arrival, Fullerton had posted winning years only twice in 1995 (14-5) and 1996 (13-6-2).
SUCCESS IN LONG BEACH
Archrivals Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State did not get a chance to clash for the conference tournament championship this past weekend, but the Titans did continue their recent run of success on the 49ers' home field as the Titans improved to 5-1 all-time at George Allen Field since 1998, including posting wins in their last four matches there dating back to 2004.
The Titans are sure keeping fans on the edge of their seats. Fullerton tied a school record with its 13th one-goal decision in 20 matches this season with its 2-1 victory over Cal Poly on Sunday (Nov. 5), as the Titans have gone on to post an 8-5 record in those contests in 2006. Four of Fullerton's last five matches have been decided by a single goal.
GET THERE EARLY
Brianna Buffington's game-winning goal in the fifth minute (4:26 to be exact) of the Titans 4-0 victory over UC Irvine on Oct. 29 was the sixth time this season that Cal State Fullerton had scored in the first 10 minutes of a match.
BUFFY PACING THE OFFENSE
Cal State Fullerton's speedy junior Brianna Buffington has been a catalyst for the Titans' offense in 2006 after senior Lauryn Welch went down with a knee injnury on Sept. 28 against Arizona.
Buffington, who leads the team with seven goals on the year, ranks tied for fourth in the league in goals and seventh in goals per match (0.37). She also ranks ninth in shots (34) and is tied for third in game-winning goals (3).
BYLER SNAPS OUT OF IT
Junior Candice Byler finally got back into the scoring column with a goal in the Titans' 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara to open Big West Tournament play. Byler, a transfer from Oklahoma State, hadn't found the back of the net since scoring in Fullerton's first two matches of the year against Idaho (Aug. 28) and Saint Mary's (Sept. 1) and hadn't logged a point since assisting on one of the Titans' two goals in a win at Pacific on Oct. 6. Byler later added an assist in Big West Tournament play in Fullerton's 2-1 win over Cal Poly.
CASEY IN THE NET
Sophomore Casey Schostag became the seventh Titan this season to score their first career goal in a Fullerton uniform when she netted the game-winning goal against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West Tournament. The Titans have now had 10 different players find the back of the net in 2006 - just two short of tying the school record of 12, which was set in 1996 and matched in 2005.
BARDSLEY'S BUSY SEASON
Senior netminder Karen Bardsley has been busy during her senior season as her Big West-high 111 saves surpasses her personal high of 88 saves set as a freshman and ranks second on the school's single-season list and tied for sixth on the Big West single-season list.
Her 295 saves are a Fullerton school record and stand fifth on the Big West career record list. Bardsley is only the second Fullerton netminder to notch 100 saves in a season, joining Heidi Clauss, who had 129 stops in 1993, and stands just five saves short of becoming only the fifth goalkeeper in Big West history to notch 300 saves in a career.
BARDSLEY CLOSES ON ANOTHER
More on Karen Bardsley. She notched her 25th career shutout against UC Davis on Oct. 22, putting her third 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.
KUDOS TO THE FANS
A hearty "thank you" to the fans of Cal State Fullerton women's soccer, who treated a national television audience to a packed Titan Stadium attendance of 1,187 on Oct. 25 against Long Beach State - the third-highest attendance for a home women's soccer match in the history of the program. The home field single-match attendance record is 1,570 fans, also for a match against the 49ers (a 1-0 Titans' victory), back on Oct. 19, 2001.
Cal State Fullerton leads the conference in attendance with 11,588 fans overall and 579 fans per game in 20 matches this season. The Titans, who were tied with Long Beach State for the fewest home matches of any Big West school this season at six, were third in home attendance at 3,596 (behind Cal Poly at 4,689 and Pacific at 4,306), but led the league with 599 fans per game.
THREE FOR BUFFY
Cal State Fullerton junior Brianna Buffington exploded for three goals in the Titans' 4-0 shutout of UC Irvine to close out the regular season on Sunday night at Anteater Stadium. It was the first hat trick for Buffington in a Fullerton uniform and the first for a Titans player since Kandace Wilson scored all three goals for Cal State Fullerton in a 3-1 victory over Fresno State on Aug. 29, 2004. The last Titan to tally a hat trick on the road was Jenny Mescher, who scored three times in a 4-0 win at UC Riverside on Nov. 9, 2001.
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.