Titans Seek 2nd Title
Sept. 9, 2011
Las Vegas, NV -
AT A GLANCE: The Titans go for their second tournament championship in as many tries at this weekend's Nike Invitational at Peter Johann Memorial Field in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV is the host school but Fullerton will face Green Bay and San Francisco.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (2-0-1, 0-0-0): is off to its best start since the 2007 team opened 3-0-0. The Titans won the Labor Day Classic at Cal State Northridge via goal differential after a scoreless tie with defending national champion Akron and a 5-1 win over UNLV. Kevin Venegas, Michael Denny, Bobby Reiss and Oscar Aguero were selected to the all-tournament team. The Titans opened the season with a 1-0 home victory over Hope International.
GREEN BAY (U. of Wisconsin): This is the first meeting between Green Bay and Fullerton in men's soccer. The Phoenix have a first-year head coach in Kris Kelderman and are 1-0-1 after a season-opening, weather-impacted road trip. Playing in 104-degree temperature, Green Bay won at SIU Edwardsville, 1-0, on a goal by senior Tony Walls. Two days later in Peoria, the Phoenix played Bradley to a 1-1 tie around thunderstorms. Sophomore Luke Goodnetter found the net for Green Bay. Junior goalkeeper Ryan Wehking made 5 saves at SIU Edwardsville and 9 at Bradley.
SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons have staggered out of the gate with an 0-3 record for Head Coach Erik Visser. USF lost twice at home, 1-0 to Cal and 3-1 to Cal State Bakersfield, before losing at Sacramento State, 2-0. Mauric Diaz de leon has the lone Don goal. Brendan Roslund is 0-2 and Jojo Vitale is 0-1 in the net. USF leads the all-time series vs. Fullerton, 11-3-2. The teams tied last year, 1-1, in a season-opening tournament in Moraga, California. Fullerton's last win was 4-3 in 2002 on a neutral field and USF's last win was 2-0 on a neutral field in 1996.
FAST STARTS: Prior to the 3-0 start in 2007, you have to go back to the 6-0 beginning to the 2000 season to find a more impressive launch to a CSF campaign. That team then lost four in a row, went 9-0-1 in the next 10 games but then lost an MPSF playoff game and an NCAA Tournament match to finish 15-6-1.
GOAL SCORERS: The Titans have gotten expected scoring from senior Kevin Venegas (2 goals, 1 assist, 5 points), last year's No. 2 scorer, and unexpected production from true freshman Ian Ramos (2 goals, 4 points) from Lehi HS of Highland, Utah. Last year's leading scorer, Nick Posthuma, saw his first action of 2011 in reserve Saturday against UNLV after recovering from a leg injury that kept him out of Fall training.
PRE-SEASON POLL: The Titans were forecast for third place in the annual Big West coaches' pre-season poll. Defending tourney champion UC Santa Barbara is the favorite followed by Cal Poly, Fullerton, 2010 regular season champion UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside and UC Davis.
LOOKING AHEAD: Sacramento State will join the Big West Conference as an associate member for men's soccer beginning with the 2012 schedule. Currently, there is a 7-team alignment with each team playing 10 games -- home-and-home with four foes and single games with the remaining two programs.