The Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team will complete its three-game road trip this week with two games that kickoff the 2014 Big West campaign. First, the Titans will take on UC Davis, at 1 p.m. at Aggie Soccer Field, before traveling to Sacramento, Calif. to play another conference opponent, Sacramento State, 3 p.m. at Hornet Field.
• Cal State Fullerton head coach George Kuntz is in his first year with the Titans after spending 19 years at UC Irvine.
• In Cal State Fullerton's first win of the year, and its first win of the George Kuntz era at CSF, the Titans staged a 4-3 come-from-behind double overtime victory over then 14th-ranked Maryland, Baltimore County.
• Fullerton has totaled 13 goals this season coming from seven different players as Mitchell Bell added his name to the list with his first goal of the season last Sunday against Grand Canyon.
• Last Sunday's 1-0 victory over Grand Canyon marked Fullerton's fourth straight win, the Titans last winning streak of four games came September 3-16, 2011.
• CSF men's soccer has swept the first three weeks of the Buffalo Wild Wings Student Athlete of the Week award. Marc Fenelus was the week one recipient, Garrett Losee in week two, and Mitchell Bell takes home the award for his performance against Grand Canyon last Sunday.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Cal State Fullerton fans can follow the action as the Titans take on the Aggies Thursday at 1 p.m., and the Sacramento State Hornets Saturday at 3 p.m. by logging on to FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats vs UC Davis: Fullertontitans.com
Live Stats vs Sacramento State: Fullertontitans.com
OPPONENT & HISTORY
UC Davis | 1:00 PM
Thursday, Oct. 2 | Aggie Soccer Field
The Aggies start season's conference play on a school record-tying fourth straight draw, and record-breaking seventh consecutive double overtime game.
The UC Davis defensive unit has been impeccable through nine games this year, with no team, throughout its non-conference schedule, scoring more than one goal in any given game. In their last game, the Aggies, true to their style of play, took Saint Mary's to double overtime, ending in a 1-1 draw.
Head-to-Head: The Titans hold a slim all-time series lead against conference foe UC Davis 7-6-3.
Last Time Out: Jesse Vega headed a deflected shot off the crossbar in the fifth minute of play to net the only goal Cal State Fullerton would need to beat UC Davis, 1-0, Oct. 11, 2013 at Titan Stadium.
Sacramento State | 3:00 PM
Saturday, Oct. 4 | Hornet Field
Sacramento State heads back to Hornet Field to host UC Riverside to open conference play on Thursday, Oct. 2, and then welcomes Cal State Fullerton two days later, Saturday, Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. The Hornets have played a majority of their games at home this season, playing only their second road game of the season last time out, in a 5-0 loss to CSU Bakersfield.
The injury bug has hit Sacramento State recently, only having 13 healthy players available to play in its loss to CSUB.
Head-to-Head: The Titans have dominated this all-time series so far, earning a commanding 5-1-0 record against the Sacramento State Hornets.
Last Time Out: On the strength of a pair of first-period goals by Garrett Losee and Dylan Stevens, Cal State Fullerton's defense took control and shut out Sacramento State 2-0.
BE A FOLLOWER
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans). In addition, the men's soccer team has established its own Facebook and Twitter presence at Facebook.com/CSUFMensSoccer or at @CSUFMensSoccer.
RIDING THE HOT HAND
After splitting time between the pipes to start the year, sophomore goalkeeper Davis Rodriguez Elias has started the last four games for the Titans, each resulting in a win. The streak started with a come-from-behind victory against previously 14th-ranked UMBC, 4-3, and has continued during last Sunday's win versus Grand Canyon 1-0.
DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE
The Titans have now shutout four of their nine opponents on the year, tied for the Big West lead in that category. Keepers David Rodriguez Elias and Jeff Salt have shared the workload in those games, earning two shutouts each.
GET THE ICE PACKS READY
UC Davis now holds the league lead in total fouls through four weeks of play, taking over the top spot from the Titans. In nine games played this season, the Aggies have racked up 134 fouls. Number two in the league is Fullerton, close behind at 132 fouls. The two teams will face eachother 1 p.m. Thursday at Aggie Soccer Field.
WEEK 3 BUFFALO WILD WINGS STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: MITCHELL BELL
For the third straight week, men's soccer took home the Buffalo Wild Wings of Brea Student Athlete of the Week award. Sophomore defender Mitchell Bell scored the first goal of his Titan career leading Cal State Fullerton to a 1-0 shutout over Grand Canyon on Sept. 28. Bell's header, courtesy of a Robert Coronado cross, proved to be the game-winner in just the third minute as the defender went on to limit the Lopes to just three shots on goal. The Titans are on a four-game winning streak with Bell starting the last four games on the backline.
PREVIOUS BUFFALO WILD WINGS STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK:
Sept. 8 - Senior forward Marc Fenelus was the first Titan in any sport to earn the award. Fenelus scored two goals at the UNLV Nike Invitational, Sept. 12-14, including the game winner in Sunday's 4-3 upset of 14th-ranked UMBC, to earn the first Buffalo Wild Wings of Brea Student-Athlete of the Week honors.
Sept. 15 - Senior Garrett Losee scored two goals for the Titans during the Sept. 19 and 21 weekend homestand against Santa Clara and Nebraska-Omaha,both goals became game-winners. He now leads the team in goals (3) through eight games.
ON THE BOARD EARLY
Fullerton's strong offensive play in the second half of games this year is contributing to the recent string of positive results, with eight of thirteen goals coming in the second half of play. But it was Mitchell Bell's goal in the third minute of play last Sunday against Grand Canyon that ended up being the game-winner. Bell's goal is the earliest goal the Titans have scored all season.
BIG WEST PLAY BEGINS
Big West action starts this week when Fullerton takes the field at UC Davis at1 p.m. on Thursday. Fullerton will look to keep the offense hot and avoid taking the game into overtime against a stingy UC Davis defense.
NOT AFRAID OF OVERTIME
Throughout this season, the Titans have played many close games, taking four of their 9 games into overtime. Having overtime experience will come in handy this week with UC Davis playing over the full 90 minutes in eight of its nine total games this season.
WIN NO. 50
Fullerton's 4-3 overtime win against UMBC on Sept. 14 was the 50th time the Titans have recorded a victory in OT dating back to 1975. The season-high of overtime wins is five set in the 2000 season.
• Cal State Fullerton leads the league in corner kicks (54).
• Cal State Fullerton moved into second in the Big West Conference averaging 14.7 fouls per game, and the Titans rank fourth in the league with 15 yellow cards issued.
WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
Cal State Fullerton has been whistled for three fouls resulting in penalty kicks for opponents this season. Junior goalkeeper Jeff Salt has stopped 2-of-3 opponent PK attempts. The transfer from CSUSB made his first stop at San Diego on Sept. 1, and on Sept. 5 against San Francisco, made a stuff in the 24th minute as the game was tied 1-1. However, in the 72nd minute, Colin Okirie was issued a red card for a foul in the box, and USF's Miguel Aguilar was able to strike the game winner past Salt.
Cal State Fullerton senior Ian Ramos was selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team as chosen by the league's coaches, it was announced on Aug. 21, 2014.
A native of Highland, Utah, Ramos is a two-time all-Big West honoree earning honorable mention accolades in 2013 after picking up first team honors in 2012.
UC Santa Barbara was picked to finish first in the North Division with eight first place votes, while CSUN was picked to finish first in the South Division with six first-place votes.
Cal State Fullerton was selected to finish last in the South Division.
• The Titans have 17 returning letterwinners and nine returning starters from last year's team, and have added 14 newcomers. Of the newcomers, five are transfers, three come from the junior college ranks and six are freshmen.
• Fullerton scored 23 goals and added 22 assists for 68 points in 2013, and six of the team's top scorers return in Ian Ramos (4 goals, 3 assists), Garrett Losee (3 goals, 1 assist), Amara Soumah (3 goals), Marc Fenelus (2 goals, 2 assists), Spencer Johnson (1 goal, 1 assist) and Alex Cannas (2 goals, 1 assists). In fact, the Titans return 97 percent of their scoring from a season ago.
KUNTZ ERA BEGINS
George Kuntz, a 26-year head coaching veteran, was appointed the eighth men's soccer head coach in Cal State Fullerton history, Athletic Director Jim Donovan announced on Dec. 16, 2013.
Kuntz joined Cal State Fullerton after serving 19 years as the men's head soccer coach at UC Irvine, turning the Anteaters into a perennial soccer power that have made four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last six years, winning four Big West Tournament championships (2008, 2009,2011, 2013) and three regular season titles (2008, 2010, 2011).Kuntz, a collegiate head coach no entering his 27th year was named the NSCAA/Adidas Far West Region Coach of the Year in (2006 and 2008) and has seen a number of players jump to the next level including 12 in Major League Soccer (MLS) and three on various U.S. National Teams.
His career record is 319-218-65, ranking second in Big West history with 141 victories as a member of the Big West Conference. In addition, his 62 Big West wins ranks third all-time.
Marc Fenelus competed in the 2014 Caribbean Cup for the Turks and Caicos Islands national team. Turks and Caicos suffered a 1-0 loss to Aruba and a 6-0 loss to French Guiana before the team's final match. In the 31st minute in a match against British Virgin Islands, Fenelus scored the team's first goal since 2008 as the team went on to a 2-0 victory.
HALL OF FAME
The most prolific scorer in the history of the men's soccer program, forward Mike Fox remains the "gold standard" when it comes to the Cal State Fullerton record books, embarking on an 11-year professional career following a standout four seasons with the Titans. He was inducted into the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 11, 2013.
Although records are incomplete from his freshman season in 1979, Fox is Fullerton's all-time leader in points with 119 and is the school record holder with 46 goals during a collegiate career that lasted until 1982. He holds three of the top 10 single-season scoring performances in school history, including a 40-point campaign as a senior in 1982 en route to second-team All-America honors on a career-high 17 goals -- a total that ranks tied for second in a season -- and six assists.
Fox also ranks second on the all-time list with 26 assists, including a single-season record of 13 assists as a sophomore in 1980 that still stands today.