Ranked Opponents Visit Titan Stadium
Aug. 31, 2005
Fullerton, CA - Fri., Sept. 2 - UCLA vs. Santa Clara, 5 p.m.; Cal State Fullerton vs. Maryland, 7:30 p.m., Titan Stadium
Sun., Sept. 4 - Cal State Fullerton vs. Santa Clara, 2 p.m., Titan Stadium
Maryland was 17-6-2 and placed third in the NCAA Tournament.
Santa Clara was 15-6 and UCLA was 14-4-2 and both competed in the NCAA Tournament.
Cal State Fullerton was 6-10-2.
For the first time since the 1994 NCAA Tournament, Cal State Fullerton men's soccer will have play-by-play audio coverage. It will be available via the Titans' new website -- www.FullertonTitans.com -- for all home matches. CSF students Mike Martinez and Brian Reed will provide the commentary.
Both Fullerton weekend opponents are ranked in the national pre-season Top 20. Maryland is No. 4 in the Soccer America pre-season poll while Santa Clara is No. 13. UCLA, which faces Santa Clara on Friday night in Titan Stadium and hosts Maryland on Sunday, is ranked No. 2. In the NSCAA/adidas poll, Maryland is No. 2, UCLA is No. 9 and Santa Clara is No. 21.
ABOUT THE TITANS:
Fullerton opens its season with a considerably new look. Six starters return but more than a handful of newcomers are likely to be in the starting lineup. A recruiting class featuring several experienced international players is augmented by the return of several players who missed the 2004 season due to injury.
Despite their lofty pre-season rankings, the Terrapins are picked only third in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the head coaches behind Duke and North Carolina. The Terps' recruiting class was ranked No. 2 in the nation by CollegeSoccerNews.com. Maryland played two pre-season "scrimmages," beating UConn, 1-0, and losing to host Akron, 2-0.
INJURIES HURT AGAIN:
Fullerton is off to a similarly bad run of luck in terms of injuries as in last year's red-crossed season. Eugene Brooks, the team's No. 2 scorer in 2002 who missed all of 2004 with foot injuries, is out 5 to 7 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Marco Rodriguez, who played in only the 2004 season opener where he suffered a knee injury, was forced to have further surgery in early August and will sit out another campaign. Several other players are questionable at this writing.
Fullerton is meeting Maryland for the first time and has a 6-10-2 record vs. Santa Clara. The last meeting with the Broncos came in 2002 and resulted in a 3-2 Santa Clara win at Santa Clara in an early-season tournament.
According to the pre-season NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls, the Titans will play eight games against top 25 teams -- one each with Maryland, Santa Clara, Penn State and Ohio State and two each with UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge. Fullerton plays eight games against teams that were in the 2004 NCAA Tournament field.
BIG WEST POLL:
Defending champion UC Santa Barbara was picked to repeat by the Big West Conference coaches in their pre-season poll. Cal State Northridge was No. 2 and Cal State Fullerton was No. 3 with one first-place vote. Following in order are UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Cal Poly SLO.
COACH MISTRI'S SWAN SONG:
Coach Al Mistri is retiring after this, his 25th season as Titans' head coach. He has a career record of 260-189-39, which makes him No. 20 on the victory list of active coaches and No. 37 (tie) all-time.
In the Mistri Era, the Titans are 16-8-0 in season openers -- 11-4 at home, 4-2 away and 1-2 neutral. In Titan Stadium the Titans are 8-3 in openers.