Trio of Road Matches Ahead
Oct. 5, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton's men's soccer team begins a string of three consecutive road games with a quick rematch with UC Santa Barbara, which suffered a 1-0 overtime loss in Titan Stadium on Sept. 29.
AT A GLANCE: The Titans this week play the first two of a three-match road swing in Big West Conference play. They have a quick rematch with UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night in Goleta before traveling to UC Riverside on Saturday night and then to Cal State Northridge a week from Wednesday.
THE TEAMS: Fullerton is 2-5-2, 1-1-0 after opening Big West Conference play at home last week with a 1-0 overtime win over UC Santa Barbara and a 3-0 loss to Cal State Northridge.
UC Santa Barbara (4-3-2, 1-1-0) is coming off a 2-1 overtime win at home over UC Davis that evened its record after the loss to Fullerton. Goalkeeper Sam Hayden, who got a red card after the aforementioned match at CSF and bumped the official, sat out the Davis game and cannot play against the Titans nor a third match. Freshman Eric Reyes filled in against the Aggies and got his first collegiate win while making 2 saves. The Gauchos fell out of most polls but are ranked No. 28 by Top Drawer Soccer.
UC Riverside (3-6-1, 0-2-0) last week was shut out at UC Irvine, 3-0, and at home by Cal Poly, 1-0 in overtime. The Highlanders' wins came over Alabama A&M (5-0), Biola (1-0) and Air Force (1-0). Alex Racca leads the team with 3 goals while Arnie Sanchez is tops in points with 8 (2 goals, 4 assists). Nick Goldreich has played all but 23 minutes in the net with a 1.49 GAA.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Since Fullerton went to Div. I in 1975, the Titans are 22-24-2 vs. UC Santa Barbara but had lost the last 11 meetings before last week's victory. Nine of those losses were by one goal, two in overtime. The last time Fullerton won at Santa Barbara was in the 2000 season, 1-0 in overtime.
The Titans are 12-7-2 vs. UC Riverside. Fullerton won last year at home, 2-0, to end the season after a 2-2 tie in Riverside on Oct. 21.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Fullerton's first seven non-conference opponents to date have compiled a combined record of 36-23-7 (UCLA is 7-2-1; Washington and San Jose State are 6-3-1; West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Saint Mary's are 5-3-1; and USF is 2-6-1. The Titans also played a tie scrimmage with Cal, which is 5-1-2.
CONFERENCE PLAY PICKS UP: The Big West Conference schedule continues in earnest this week with a full slate of six matches in the seven-team alignment. Cal State Northridge is at Cal Poly and hosts UC Davis; UC Irvine visits UC Davis and hosts Cal Poly; UCSB hosts Fullerton and Fullerton visits UCR.
GOAL SCORERS: Nick Posthuma has scored four of the Titans' eight goals, matching his career total from his freshman and sophomore seasons combined. Kevin Venegas is second with two goals, both coming in the 2-0 win over Pitt. Mark Nelson scored the first goal of his Titan career with a header off a corner kick in the UCLA match and Antonio Vernaschi did the same with a the golden goal vs. UCSB. Four of Fullerton's last five goals have come off cornerkicks.
GOAL STOPPER: Junior Trevor Whiddon has played all 859 minutes of the young season in goal and has allowed 14 scores including one penalty kick (1.47 GAA) while making 48 saves and logging 3 shutouts. He made 10 saves vs. UC Santa Barbara.