September 10, 2012

Titans Face Trio of Teams on the Road

THIS WEEK: After playing just once last week, the schedule for the Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team (1-4 overall) picks up considerably in the next seven days as the Titans are slated to take on a trio of schools on the road to close out a four-match road swing. The week gets off to a quick start on Monday (Sept. 10) as Fullerton takes on CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. before leaving the state of California for the first (and only) time this season for the UNLV Nike Invitational in Las Vegas.

UNLV TOURNEY SCHEDULE: The complete schedule for this weekend's UNLV Nike Invitational is as follows:

Friday (Sept. 14)
Cal State Fullerton vs. Canisius, 4:30 pm
UNLV vs. Syracuse, 7 pm

Saturday (Sept. 16)
Cal State Fullerton vs. Syracuse, 10:30 am
UNLV vs. Canisius, 1 pm

IN THE RANKINGS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor its opponents are ranked in the top 25 according to the polls dated Sept. 4. Updating rankings will be released on Sept 10 or 11.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats will be available for all three matches this week at both CSU Bakersfield and UNLV. Links will be posted on the men's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com when available.

BAKERSFIELD BRIEFLY: CSU Bakersfield, which was receiving votes nationally to start the season, is fit to be tied to start the 2012 campaign, rolling out to an 0-1-3 overall record… the Roadrunners fell to Portland, 2-1, on Aug. 31 while posting draws against UC Davis (0-0), Washington (0-0), and Saint Mary's (1-1)… Gyasi Zardes and Eduardo Caldaza have each tallied unassisted goals this season for all of Bakersfield's offense while outshooting the opposition, 63-53, in four matches… Eric Shannon has started all four matches in net for Bakersfield, posting a 0.64 goals against average and 18 saves to go with a pair of shutouts.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE ROADRUNNERS: The series between Fullerton and Bakersfield is tied at 2-2-1 after the two programs battled to a scoreless draw at Titan Stadium last season… both teams finished with 18 shots while Trevor Whiddon made eight saves to preserve the shutout… Fullerton's last win in the series came back in 2007 at Titan Stadium in a 3-1 victory while the Roadrunners are unbeaten in the last three against the Titans after wins in 2008 (3-2 in OT) and 2009 (2-1)… Fullerton is 1-1 all-time in Bakersfield, including an 8-0 win in 1982.
CANISIUS BRIEFLY: The Golden Griffins enter the weekend unbeaten at 4-0-2 overall, sweeping a pair of matches from Western Michigan (1-0) and Detroit (4-2) last week… Gavin Falconer leads the team in scoring with four goals and three assists for 11 points and paces the team with 27 shots in six matches… Asani Samuels and Regan Steele have also found the back of the net twice… Canisius has outscored its opposition, 12-7, and outshot its opponents, 125-83… Kareem Gray has started all six matches in net, posting a 1.09 goals against average and 25 saves to go with two shutouts.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Friday's match against Canisius will be the first between the two programs in men's soccer.
SYRACUSE BRIEFLY: The Orange enter the tournament at 5-1 overall and winners of their last three after posting victories over NJIT (4-0) and St. Bonaventure (5-0) during the weekend… Syracuse has scored 16 unanswered goals dating back to a 2-1 loss to Niagara on Aug. 31, including a 6-0 shutout of Colgate on Sept. 3… Tony Asante leads the team with five goals and 11 points on 18 shots as the Orange defense has allowed just two goals all year en route to a 19-2 advantage in the scoring column… Syracuse has also outshot the opposition, 96-45, this season… 10 different players have found the back of the net for the Orange… Alex Bono has started all six matches in net for Syracuse, posting a 0.33 goals against average and 20 saves (.909 save percentage) to go with four shutouts.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE ORANGE: Sunday's meeting with Syracuse will be only the second contest between the two schools in the history of the program and the first since 1999 when the Titans posted a 1-0 win in overtime at Titan Stadium.
SLOW STARTERS: If Cal State Fullerton is to get off the schnide to start the 2012 season, it's going to have to stop digging itself a big hole in the first half. The Titans have been outscored in the first half of its five games this season by a 6-0 count while playing the opposition even, 3-3, through the second half and overtime periods.
ROAD STRUGGLES: Speaking of schnides, the Titans are winless in their last seven road contests (0-5-2) dating back to their 3-0 victory over American University in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2011. Fullerton fell in its first road match of the 2012 season on Sept. 7 by a 1-0 score at LMU.
FAB FROSH: Cal State Fullerton redshirt freshman Dyllan Stevens hasn't been able to find the back of the net as of yet, but the rookie forward has been one of the most dynamic players thus far for the Titans, leading the team and ranking among the Big West's top 10 with 12 shots on the year. Stevens, who set a career high with five shots in his collegiate debut against American on Aug. 24, is the only Fullerton player with at least one shot in all five matches thus far and his five shots against the Eagles are the most by a Titan this season.
ZEPEDA BUSY EARLY: Another redshirt freshman has been put to the test early on in 2012 as goalkeeper Adam Zepeda has been a busy man in net through the Titans' first five matches. Zepeda has finished with at least four saves in four of the team's five contests, ranking second in the Big West with 20 saves overall and 4.00 saves per match.