WEEKLY RELEASE (PDF)
Cal State Fullerton men's soccer will welcome UC Santa Barbara to Titan Stadium for its Big West Conference home opener, Thursday, at 8 p.m. The Titans will stay at home for more conference action when the Cal Poly Mustangs make the trip to Titan Stadium, Saturday at 7 p.m. The week wraps up Monday, with a trip to Stockton, Calif. to take the field against a non-conference opponent, Pacific at 3:30 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
Cal State Fullerton fans can follow the action as the Titans take on the Gauchos Thursday at 8 p.m., and the Mustangs Saturday at 7 p.m., by logging on to FullertonTitans.com
OPPONENT & HISTORY
UC Santa Barbara | 8:00 PM
Thursday, Oct. 9 | Titan Stadium
Coming into Titan Stadium Thursday night, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos will be bringing a 12-game conference win streak with them after shocking previously number three-ranked UC Irvine 1-0 last Saturday night.
A 35-yard yard shot by Nick DePuy, in the 90th minute of play, sent the Gaucho faithful home in a frenzy by handing UC Irvine its first loss of the season. UCSB is tied for first place in the Big West North division with UC Davis, after both teams earned the full six points through the first two games of conference play.
Head-to-Head: The Gauchos hold the edge in the all-time series edge against the Titans; Fullerton's record is 22-29-3 versus UC Santa Barbara.
Last Time Out: Two first-half goals were more than enough for UC Santa Barbara as it took down Cal State Fullerton by the final of 3-0 in the Big West opener on Oct. 4, 2013 in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Cal Poly | 7:00 PM
Saturday, Oct. 11 | Titan Stadium
Cal Poly visits Titan Stadium for Big West Conference play Saturday at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are riding a hot start to their season and have been unbeaten in nine of their last ten games this year. Junior midfielder Chase Minter comes into this week leading the Mustangs in goals (3), but red-shirt freshman forward Kaba Alkebulan is close behind after his first two-goal game last Sunday against conference opponent CSUN pushed his season tally to two.
With a total of three points earned through two games, Cal Poly is in third-place in the Big West North Division.
Head-to-Head: The Titans hold the all-time series lead against the Mustangs 16-12-0.
Last Time Out: A timely first-half goal, on a penalty kick from Fullerton's Jaime Cano and stingy Titan defense were enough to shut out Cal Poly by the final of 1-0, Oct. 6, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Pacific | 3:30 PM
Monday, Oct. 13 | Knoles Field
In their first season back on the pitch since the program was disbanded in 1985, the Tigers are off to a slow start (2-7-0) as they start conference play. In its last time out, Pacific jumped out to an 2-0 lead on Portland, only to see that lead fade with five unanswered goals in the second half by the Pilots, to win the game 5-2.
Freshman forward Tristan Blackmon is the man to watch out for when facing the Tigers, he leads the team with six goals this year, fellow freshman forward Tyson Fox is the closest player behind Blackmon with two.
Head-to-Head: It has been 29 years since the last time these two teams played, but from 1975 through 1985, Fullerton dominated the all-time series with a 5-0-0 record.
Last Time Out: Sept. 6, 1985 was the last time these two schools met, when the Titans scored three unanswered goals to earn the win at Titan Stadium 3-0.
• 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 14 goals this season coming from seven different players as Mitchell Bell added his name to the list with his first goal of the season Sept. 28, against Grand Canyon.
• Cal State Fullerton has lost its last four Big West Confrence openers. The last conference opener the Titans won was Sept. 29, 2010 against this week's oponent, UC Santa Barbara.
• UC Santa Barbara comes into Thrusday's Big West showdown on a 12-game conference winning streak, earning them votes in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll.
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.
NOT SHY ABOUT SHOTS
There have been two games this season where the Titans have challenged the opposing goalkeeper with 22 total shots, in both instances Fullerton has lost the game. Sept. 12, 2014 the Titans lost to Detroit 2-1 after outshooting Detroit 22-16, and last Saturday against Sacramento State where they outshot the Hornets 22-9.
DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE
The Titans have now shut out four of their eleven 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.
LET'S PLAY TWO
The men's and women's soccer teams will both be at Titan Stadium Thursday against conference opponents. The women will play Long Beach State at 5:30 p.m. and the men will be playing UCSB at 8 p.m. The last time the men and women played a doubleheader at Titan Stadium was Sept. 30, 2012. The men's opponent in that game was also UCSB, playing the Gauchos to a 0-0 double-overtime draw.
PROMOTIONS THIS WEEK
• Cal State Fullerton students receive FREE admission when presenting their student I.D. at the entrance gate
• Thunderstick Giveaway while supplies last
• The first 400 CSF students in attendance will receive food from Jersey Mike's Fullerton/Brea, served in between the women's and men's games.
• An eating contest between five CSF students between games. The first to finish a Giant #13 will win prizes from Jersey Mike's Fullerton/Brea & Titan Athletics.
• Saturday's conference game, featuring Fullerton and Cal Poly, will be #wearyourcolors night, with a free T-shirt giveaway while supplies last.
PREVIOUS BUFFALO WILD WINGS STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK:
Sept. 22 - 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.
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 still leads the team in goals (3) through eleven games.
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.
ON THE BOARD EARLY
Mitchell Bell's goal in the third minute of play Sunday, Sept. 28 against Grand Canyon not only ended up being the game-winner, but Bell's goal is the earliest goal the Titans have scored all season.
BIG WEST PLAY AT TITAN STADIUM
Fullerton will host Big West Conference play for the first time this season, Thursday at 8 p.m., when UC Santa Barbara visits Titan Stadium. The Titans will look to earn their first conference points of the season after starting 0-2 against UC Davis and Sacramento State last Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Throughout this season the Titans have played many close games, taking five of their 11 games into overtime. Having overtime experience will come in handy this week with Cal Poly coming off its first overtime win since Sept. 23, 2013. Before their overtime win against CSUN last Sunday, the Mustangs had drawn their last five games that went beyond the full 90 minutes.
• Cal State Fullerton leads the league in corner kicks (67).
• Cal State Fullerton moved into second in the Big West Conference averaging 14.4 fouls per game, and the Titans are tied for fifth in the league with 20 yellow cards issued.
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.