September 26, 2012

Conference Openers Bring Mustangs, #3 Gauchos to the O.C.

THIS WEEK...
Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton

Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.
Titan Stadium (10,000)
Fullerton, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video

#3 UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.
Titan Stadium (10,000)
Fullerton, Calif.
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video

Complete Release in PDF Format Adobe PDF icon

KICK OFF:
A streaking Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team opens Big West Conference play this weekend at Titan Stadium as the Titans welcome the league's Central Coast contingent to Orange County. Fullerton (4-6 overall) kicks-off the weekend on Friday night (Sept. 28) against Cal Poly before welcoming nationally ranked UC Santa Barbara on Sunday night (Sept. 30). As the second game of doubleheaders with the Titans' women's team, both matches will kick off at approximately 7:30 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: UC Santa Barbara is ranked No. 3 according to the NSCAA and No. 5 according to Soccer America... Neither Cal State Fullerton nor Cal Poly are ranked nationally this week.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans).

"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home matches, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly redesigned FullertonTitans.com and enjoy the action.

"CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?": For the fifth consecutive year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara contests. For the 2012 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge. Head to http://www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly event schedules. BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in women's soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats will be available for both of this week's tournament matches. Visit the men's soccer schedule page on FullertonTitans.com to access the links.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Senior defender Bobby Reiss was named team captain for the 2012 season.

CAL POLY BRIEFLY: The Mustangs enter the weekend with a 5-3 overall record after having their five-match winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss to #12 UCLA on Sunday... all three of Cal Poly's losses have been via the shutout while the Mustangs outscored the opposition, 11-3, during their winning streak... four of Cal Poly's five wins have come at home while the Mustangs are 1-2 on the road... Chris Bernardi and Mackenzie Pridham have each scored three times to pace the offense while Bernardi leads the team with seven points... Chase Hauser (0.75 GAA, 10 saves) and Wade Hamilton (1.00 GAA, 7 saves) have split time in net, but Hauser is 4-0 in his four starts while Hamilton is just 1-3 this season between the pipes.

HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS THE MUSTANGS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 15-12, snapping a seven-match losing streak to the Mustangs with a 1-0 win at Titan Stadium last season... Fullerton is 11-3 all-time against Cal Poly at home, winning the first 10 meetings before the Mustangs won three-straight in Orange County from 2007-09... the last four meetings between the two programs have been one-goal affairs while eight of the last 10 meetings have resulted in shutouts.

UC SANTA BARBARA BRIEFLY: The Gauchos enter the weekend with a 6-0-2 overall record and will meet UC Riverside on Friday in the Inland Empire before taking on the Titans... One of the nation's 12 remaining unbeaten teams, UCSB tied #12 UCLA, 1-1, and shutout Harvard, 1-0, last weekend... the Gauchos have allowed only seven goals on the season while scoring 20 of their own and outshooting opponents, 138-67... Achille Campion leads the team with five goals and 11 points as 10 different players have found the back of the net... Austin Mansker has played all but 45 minutes in net this season, posting a 0.76 goals against average and 14 saves to go with three shutouts... UC Santa Barbara is a perfect 4-0 in true road games this season with a neutral site draw. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with Cal State Fullerton, 28-22-2, after sweeping two matches from the Titans last season by the scores of 6-0 in Santa Barbara and 4-3 in Fullerton... the Gauchos have won four straight in the series and 15 of the last 17 dating back to the 2003 campaign... the Titans' last win in the series came at home in 2010, a 1-0 overtime victory at Titan Stadium... Fullerton is 15-9-2 all-time against UC Santa Barbara at home. 

ALL HE DOES IS SCORE GOALS: Senior Jesse Escalante picked up right where he left off during his Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week performance, scoring two more goals to help the Titans to a pair of wins last week. Escalante, who leads the team with six goals and 13 points overall, scored late in a 2-0 win over Air Force on Sept. 20 and added a dramatic game-winner in extra time on Sept. 23 to beat San Diego, 2-1. The scores extended his streak to five consecutive matches with a goal dating back to Sept. 10 at Bakersfield and the Placentia, Calif., native has accounted for nearly half of the team's 13 goals this year.

JESSE'S GOAL: Escalante enters the week ranked second in the Big West Conference in goals (6), third in goals per match (0.60), second in points (13), third in points per match (1.30), and tied for seventh in shots (19).

ESCALANTE NOT THE ONLY ONE STREAKING: Fullerton's win over San Diego extended the Titans' winning streak to three consecutive matches -- the longest since they won four straight from Sept. 3-16 last season. During their current run, Fullerton has outscored its opponents, 7-2, including posting the team's first shutout of the year against Air Force on Sept. 20 -- the last Big West Conference team to do so.

GOALS... NOW IN BUNCHES!: After scoring just four goals in their first six matches combined, the Titans' offense has been picking off goals in bunches, scoring multiple times in each of its last four matches -- including a season-high three times in a 3-1 win over Syracuse on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas. 

FIRST: Senior Gerzon Blanco and Ritchie Gonzalez added their names to the scoresheet on Sunday night against San Diego as they teamed up for their first goal and assist of the season, respectively, in the win over the Toreros. Blanco became the seventh different Titan to find the back of the net this season while Gonzalez tallied his fifth career assist.

ALL HE DOES IS WIN (GAMES): Everyone has heard the old adage, "Defense Wins Championships." Well, this defender wins games for the Titans. Aside from being charged with marking one of the opposition's top offensive threats, sophomore Anthony Rosales also provided his own brand of offense last week, tallying his second game-winner in the last three matches for Fullerton last week against Air Force. His goal with eight seconds remaining before the end of the first half proved enough to ground the Falcons just days after also scoring the game winner on Sept. 16 in a, 3-1, win over Syracuse, which also served as his first career score.

THAT'S IAN, WITH AN "A": Sophomore Ian Ramos has also been a big part of Fullerton's recent success, scoring all five of his points this season in the Titans' last four matches. His two assists on Sunday against San Diego gave him three for the year (and the first assists of her career) -- moving him into a tie for fourth in the league overall and ranking him eighth entering the weekend with 0.30 assists per match.

"STOP" ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE: Cal State Fullerton goalkeepers have combined to stop a league-high 48 shots this season, including 41 of those by redshirt freshman Adam Zepeda, who also ranks second in the league overall and third with 4.56 saves per game. Zepeda finished with a career high-tying nine stops on Sunday to help the Titans to a 2-1 overtime win over San Diego after setting the bar with nine saves at Bakersfield on Sept. 10.

FOR STARTERS... REDUX: That's more like it. After being outscored, 9-2, in the first half entering last weekend's contests, the Titans scored in the first 45 minutes in each of their last two matches and bucked a trend that saw the opposition score first in Fullerton's first eight games of the season.

ROAD WOE-IORS: Cal State Fullerton's win over Syracuse on Sept. 16 was the Titans' first win away from the friendly confines of Titan Stadium dating back to their, 3-0, win over American University on Sept. 16, 2011. The win, however, has not snapped a rather lengthy skid in "true" road matches as Fullerton, which suffered a one-goal loss at CSU Bakersfield on Sept. 10, is winless in its last eight true road contests (0-6-2).