Nationally Ranked Virginia Next Up for Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Third Round

Nationally Ranked Virginia Next Up for Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Third Round

Nov. 16, 2005


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A season of firsts just keeps getting better for the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (19-3 overall) as the Titans continue exploring uncharted territory with a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, for a match-up with the No. 7-ranked Cavaliers in the third round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament this weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday afternoon (Nov. 20) at 1 p.m. (EST).

In only its second trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Titans earned the first two postseason victories in the history of the program this past weekend with wins over UNLV (1-0 in overtime) and \#24 Southern California (3-1) in the first and second rounds at Titan Stadium, moving Fullerton to 2-1 all-time in NCAA play. The Titans' first berth into the NCAA's came in 2001 when they won the Big West Conference title, but fell to nationally seeded UCLA, 3-0, in the first round.

For those fans who cannot make the trip to Virginia, Cal State Fullerton's third round match-up with the Cavaliers will be broadcast live over the Internet at Just as he has all season, Fullerton student Mike Martinez will make the trip and handle the play-by-play duties from Charlottesville.

Virginia is one of four No. 2 national seeds remaining in the 64-team draw, entering the weekend with a 17-5-1 overall record and an 8-2 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference to finish second behind North Carolina. The Cavaliers have won eight of their last 10 matches and reached the third round after wins over Liberty (4-0) and Tennessee (3-0). Jess Rostedt (11 goals, 5 assists) leads an offense that features 14 different goal scorers - 11 with multiple goals. Goalkeeper Christina de Vries has a 0.82 goals against average and 10 shutouts in 1,864 minutes.

Cal State Fullerton and Virginia have never met in women's soccer as this will be only the second time that the Titans women's soccer program will play a match east of the Mississippi River - both have come this season (Fullerton played Auburn and South Carolina in Alabama in September). The Titans are 1-0 against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, defeating a nationally-ranked Clemson squad by a 1-0 tally at Titan Stadium on Sept. 19, 2003.

With it's victory over Southern California in Sunday's second round, the Titans became the first Big West Conference team to advance past the second round of the NCAA Tournament since the league began sponsoring women's soccer in 1996. Only two other Big West programs have reached the second round: Pacific in 1998 (lost to Santa Clara, 5-0) and Cal Poly in 1999 (lost to Stanford, 3-1).

Cal State Fullerton extended its winning streak to 10 consecutive matches at home this season as the Titans improved to 10-1 on the friendly pitch at Titan Stadium with its two wins over UNLV and USC in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament and, in the process, the Titans tied the 1996 squad for the most home field wins in the history of the program.

The fans had a lot to do with Fullerton's success in 2005 as the 6,645 fans through the Titan Stadium turnstyles this season are the most in the history of the program, besting the 6,482 fans in 2001. The 1,288 in attendance for Friday night's opening round is the second-largest women's soccer crowd in school history while Sunday's 942 fans is the sixth-best total since 1993.

Fullerton is now 35-9-2 (.783) all-time at Titan Stadium under fifth-year Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. Fullerton has won 13 of its last 14 at home and are 77-53-6 (.588) all-time since 1993.

The 942 fans in attendance for Sunday's second round match-up against Southern California was the fifth-largest attended second round match-up in the nation, trailing the crowds at North Carolina's win over Virginia Commonweatlh (1,799), Notre Dame's win over Valparaiso (1,530), Santa Clara's win over Saint Louis (1,387), and Texas A&M's win over Southern Methodist (1,274).

Cal State Fullerton's regular season and tournament championship put the Titans squarely in the national spotlight, ranking as high as No. 15 in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of American and Soccer Buzz. Soccer America has the Titans ranked No. 17 in the nation with Soccer Times posting Fullerton at No. 19 in the country.

Regionally, the Titans are ranked as high as No. 5 by Soccer Buzz and tied for fifth by the NSCAA, while ranking sixth by Soccer Times and No. 7 by Soccer America.

Fullerton finished out the regular season ranked in the top 25 in at least one poll for the final five weeks of the season 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.

Virginia enters the weekend ranked as high as No. 6 in three major polls and No. 7 in another as the Titans take on their fifth ranked opponent of the season. Soccer America, Soccer Buzz, and Soccer Times all have the Cavaliers ranked No. 6 in their final regular season polls while the NSCAA has Virginia one place lower. Regionally, the Cavaliers rank either No. 2 or No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic region depending on the poll.

The Titans improved to 3-1 against nationally-ranked foes this season with its 3-1 victory over No. 24 Southern California on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as the Women of Troy joined Utah and Cal Poly as ranked teams to be defeated by the Titans this season. Fullerton's only loss to a top 25 opponent this season came in a 1-0 defeat to No. 6 Santa Clara on Sept. 11. With the win, the Titans improved to 5-9-3 all-time against ranked teams under Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin.

Cal State Fullerton junior goalkeeper Karen Bardsley ranks No. 16 in the nation with her 0.572 goals against average while the Titans rank No. 16 as a team in the same category with a 0.584 GAA. Fullerton's .864 winning percentage ranks tied for sixth-best in the country with Florida State's identical 19-3 overall record.

There isn't a more stingy defense in the Big West Conference this season than Cal State Fullerton's. The Titans have allowed only 13 goals this season - including three in their last nine contests combined - and have a team goals against average of 0.58. Offensively, the Titans' backline has also contributed as senior Marlene Sandoval has scored four times (converting on all four of her penalty kick opportunities this season) and assisted on three more goals while junior Erica Janke also has an assist.

With its 19 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 (.864), shutouts (12), most neutral field victories (4), and consecutive victories (11) while tying the record for home field wins (10). Fullerton has reached 10 or more wins in four of the last five seasons, improving to 64-31-4 (.667) in that span.

Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley earned the win in net in both of the Titans' NCAA Tournament victories, catapulting her to the top of yet another single-season record list. Her 16 wins this season breaks Suzy Strazzulla's mark of 14 victories which had stood since 1995, while her 11 goals allowed are the third fewest all time.

Bardsley, the two-time defending Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, has lowered her current career school record goals against average to 0.74 and has broken school career records for goalkeeper victories (35) and shutouts (18). She is 242 minutes behind Laura Janke's record of 4,513 minutes played. Her GAA of 0.57 this season would break her own school single-season record of 0.71 set last year and her 10 solo shutouts this year are already a season best.

After scoring all four of their goals after the break in last weekend's NCAA Tournament matches, the Titans continue to punish opposing sides in the second half this season, outscoring the opposition by a 33-7 margin (including two overtime goals) after the break. Of Fullerton's last 30 goals scored, 19 of those have come in the second half en route to a 12-1 record in those matches. At one point this season, the Titans' scored 11 straight goals in the second half beginning on Sept. 9 against Gonzaga through their Sept. 25 victory over Loyola Marymount.


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