Weekly Update

Sept. 7, 2005

Fullerton, CA - Cal State Fullerton Athletics Weekly Update...

Women's Soccer (3-1, 0-0)...

The Titans returned to Orange County on Sunday humming the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd tune, "Sweet Home, Alabama" after posting a pair of weekend victories against Southeastern Conference foes Auburn and South Carolina to win the Auburn/Reebok Classic.

Senior Kellie Cox got the team started on the right foot on Friday with her unassisted goal in the sixth minute against Auburn, but it was sophomore Stacey Thompson who saved the day for the Titans, launching a rocket from 25 yards out with a little over a minute remaining in the second overtime for the 2-1 victory.

Marlene Sandoval, who was named Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday, provided the only score the Titans would need on Sunday against South Carolina, converting on a penalty kick in the ninth minute after Cox was taken down in the box. Sandoval and the rest of the Titans' defense then held on for the win, posting their first shutout of the season.

The task gets tougher this weekend as Fullerton heads north to the Bay Area as one of four teams at the Santa Clara adidas Classic. The Titans will meet Gonzaga and the host Broncos in a field which also features defending national champion and top-ranked Notre Dame.

Men's Soccer (0-2, 0-0)... The Titans continue to look for their first goal of the season this week and they will have only one chance to find it, hosting San Jose State in a non-conference match on Sunday.

What was supposed to be a tournament weekend collapsed when a fourth team dropped out. The result in a Fullerton bye on Friday while Titan Stadium plays host to San Jose State and UC Irvine, the latter serving as home team. The UCI stadium is occupied by a weekend women's soccer tourney.

Fullerton suffered a pair of contrasting shutouts to open the season. On Friday night, No. 2-ranked Maryland looked all of that and more, logging a 7-0 whipping. It was the worst loss in Coach Al Mistri's career and the worst loss for a Div. I Fullerton team.

The difference from Friday night to Sunday afternoon was like night and day, literally. A more cohesive Titan defense stymied the Broncos for 85 minutes, even with freshman Kevin Puder forced into goal when starter goalkeeper Bobby Armstrong developed blurred vision after a collison with a teammate. Santa Clara finally broke through when Keith DeVey, who scored late to beat UCLA on Friday night, tapped in a rebound of a shot by Kelechi Igwe that bounced off Puder. Final score: 1-0.

Fullerton hopes to regain the services of injured Eugene Brooks, Anthony Dedeaux and German Moreno at least by the following week's tournament at Penn State.

Cross Country... The Titans have the week off after a successful Season Opener Meet at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton on Saturday.

Maria Blazquez ran fifth among collegians to pace the Titans' women's squad to a fourth-place finish behind UCLA, San Diego State and Loyola Marymount. She covered the often congested 5K course in 18:51.60.

On the men's side, Damien Nieves placed eighth to lead the Titans' pack to a sixth-place finish. He ran the 8K course in 26:32.60. Cal Poly Pomona was the team winner.

In the open division, Titan redshirt Jordan Horn was the winner in a time of 25:54.20. Former Titans Nick Arciniaga and Marcos Campos ran third and fourth, respectively, in 26:34.80 and 26:42.40, for Team Saucony. In the women's race, former Titan Luz Valdez ran 11th.

More than 250 women finished their race while more than 200 men crossed the finish line.

Women's Volleyball (3-1, 0-0)... The Titans don't have much time to celebrate their second consecutive Four Points Sheraton Titan Classic championship won over the weekend. They travel to San Diego State Wednesday night before traveling to Portland, Oregon, Thursday for another weekend tourney.

Fullerton twice came from 2-0 deficits to beat UMKC and previously unbeaten UTEP (6-0) after sweeping Marist in three games on Friday night. The Titans are now 3-1 on the young season.

Titan Classic MVP Alyssa Opeka collected 10 kills, 17 digs, 7 blocks and 4 service aces against UTEP and was joined by three other Titans on the all-tournament team in Sarah Morrison, Vanessa Vella and Brittany Moore. MVP runnerup Kari Stacy of UTEP proved her worth as she blasted 33 kills and tallied 24 digs, leading all players with 35.5 points in the match. She was joined on the all-tourney team by fellow Miner Brittany Stowers and Vanessa Portela of UMKC.

At Portland State, the Titans will face Evansville, San Francisco, Oregon and the host Vikings.

University Village Athlete of the Week... Senior Alyssa Opeka (Moreno Valley/Valley View HS) helped the Titans rally twice from 2-0 deficits to go unbeaten and win the Four Points Sheraton Titan Classic for the second year in a row over UMKC, Marist and UTEP. She was named MVP.

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