South Division Play Begins This Weekend at UC Irvine
Cal State Fullerton at UC Irvine
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.
Game Coverage: Live Stats
KICK OFF: After a frustrating trip to Northern California last weekend, the Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team (4-9-1 overall, 0-3-1 Big West Conference) turns its attention to its South Division foes beginning this weekend as the Titans take a short jaunt cross-county for their only game of the week. Fullerton will meet UC Irvine on Saturday night (Oct. 13) at 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium to close out a three-match road trip.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton nor UC Irvine are ranked in the top 25 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 this weekend's match. 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.
UC IRVINE BRIEFLY: In almost a mirror image of the Titans' ledger, the Anteaters enter the week with a 3-9-1 overall record and a 0-4 mark in Big West Conference play, having lost seven-straight since a 2-2 draw with Missouri State on Sept. 14... UC Irvine hasn't won since a 3-1 victory over Detroit at home on Sept. 2... the Anteaters have been outscored, 10-5, in Big West play thus far... Gor Kirakosyan leads the team in scoring with 12 points on four goals and four assists... Cameron Iwasa leads the team with five goals and paces the 'Eaters with 47 shots on the season... Michael Breslin has started 12 of the team's 13 matches this season, posting a 1.61 goals against average and 57 saves to go with a pair of shutouts.
HEAD-TO-HEAD VERSUS THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine took the overall lead in the series with its two wins over Cal State Fullerton last season, pulling ahead with a 20-18-6 advantage since 1984... the Anteaters pulled off a pair of one-goal wins in 2011, posting a 2-1 victory at Titan Stadium on Oct. 5 and a 1-0 win in overtime on Oct. 22 at Anteater Stadium... Fullerton is 8-11-3 all-time in Irvine, last winning in 2010 by a 2-1 score in the semifinals of the Big West Tournament and the Titans are 2-7-1 in their last 10 trips to South Orange County.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB!: Junior Andrew Afia became only the eighth Titan player to find the back of the net with his second-half goal at Sacramento State last weekend, netting the first goal of his Titan career in the 82nd minute and the first for Fullerton in Big West play this season. Sophomore Ian Ramos also joined an elite club this season for the Titans, as his equalizer against UC Davis on Oct. 7 was his second of the year, becoming only the third Fullerton player to score multiple goals this season.
THANKS TO AFIA...: With Afia's first career goal, the junior ended a scoreless streak of 281:13 for the Titans since they posted the "golden goal" game-winner against San Diego six minutes into overtime on Sept. 23. Fullerton had suffered back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season with a 2-0 loss to Cal Poly and a 0-0 draw with No. 3 UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 28 and 30, respectively, before finally breaking through against the Hornets.
STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY, SIR!: The Titans have committed the most fouls in the league entering this weekend's contests (192) and rank third in the Big West with 25 yellow cards.
MISSED IT BY *THAT* MUCH: Fullerton's 2-1 loss to UC Davis on Oct. 7 marked the sixth time in nine defeats this season that the Titans have gone down by a single goal and the sixth time in 14 matches that a Fullerton match has been decided by a 2-1 score.
THAT'S IAN... NOW SPELLED WITH A "G": Sophomore Ian Ramos has also been a big part of Fullerton's offense recently, scoring all seven of his points this season in the Titans' last eight matches. His two assists on Sept. 23 against San Diego gave him three for the year (and also accounted for the first assists of her career), placing him in a tie for eighth with numerous players among the Big West leaders this week, while his goal against UC Davis on Oct. 7 was hist first since scoring against Syracuse in a 3-1 win back on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas.
WRAP HIM UP: Since going off for five goals in five consecutive matches in mid-September, senior Jesse Escalante has been wrapped up offensively with the start of Big West play, held scoreless in each of the team's last four matches and limited to just six shots in that span compared to 14 shots during his scoring streak. That hasn't been enough to keep him off the Big West leaderboards, however, as Escalante continues to rank ninth in the league in shots (25), tied for third in points (13), and tied for third in goals scored (6).
ROAD WOE-IORS: Cal State Fullerton's struggles in Northern California kept the Titans winless on the road in 2012 and extended their winless streak in true road matches to 10 (0-8-2) dating back to a 3-0 victory at American University on Sept. 16, 2011, in Washington, D.C. A win on Saturday at UC Irvine would also end a nine-match road winless streak in conference play (0-8-1) as the Titans haven't won on the road in Big West action in two years dating back to a 3-1 win at Cal State Northridge on Oct. 13, 2010.
"STOP" ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE: Cal State Fullerton goalkeepers have combined to stop a league-high 66 shots this season, including 44 of those by redshirt freshman Adam Zepeda, who also ranks tied for fourth in the league overall and third with 4.40 saves per game. Zepeda finished with a career high-tying nine stops on Sept. 23 against San Diego to help the Titans to a 2-1 overtime win after setting the bar with nine saves at Bakersfield on Sept. 10.
FAN APPRECIATION: Cal State Fullerton's doubleheaders with the women's team on Sept. 28 & 30 drew the Titan faithful to Titan Stadium in droves as Friday night's clash with Cal Poly brought in 1,182 fans while the battle against No. 3 UC Santa Barbara attracted 1,002 fans to the stands. The two crowds were the highest for a men's soccer home match in over two years dating back to a 3-2 loss to Southern California rival UCLA on Sept. 26, 2010 -- a match that drew 1,208 fans.
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 provides his own brand of offense, tallying his second game-winner in three matches for Fullerton on Sept. 20 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.