Oct. 12, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. -
AT A GLANCE: The Titans try to avenge an Oct. 2 home loss to Cal State Northridge when they visit the Matadors' pitch for a match Wednesday night under the new lights at CSUN. They then host cross-street rival Hope International in a non-conference match on Saturday night in Titan Stadium.
THE TEAMS: Fullerton is 3-6-2, 2-2-0 after a split week that saw the Titans lose (3-0) at UC Santa Barbara before winning at UC Riverside (2-1) to claim a share of second place in the early Big West standings.
Cal State Northridge (2-7-2, 1-1-1) got off to a slow (0-6-1) start with only three goals in its first seven matches. But the Matadors erupted for wins over Air Force (4-0) and Fullerton (3-0) before playing to a 2-2 tie at Cal Poly and losing at home to UC Davis, 1-0.
Hope International (6-6-0, 1-4-0 Golden State Athletic Conference) hosts Biola on Wednesday on the Cal State Fullerton practice field. The Royals started the season 5-1. Matthew Howard leads the team with 15 points on 5 goals and 5 assists while Edgar Bran is runnerup with 8 points on 3 goals and 2 assists. Goalkeeper Jake Brown has a 1.25 GAA.
ELECTRONICALLY: Mike Martinez will provide audio play-by-play of both matches via the Titans' website. Saturday's match also will televised on BigWest TV (subscription).
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Since Fullerton went to Div. I in 1975, the Titans are 13-16-2 vs. Cal State Northridge. The teams split last year's two matches, both teams winning at home -- Fullerton by a 2-1 margin and Northridge by a 1-0 score. The Titans had gone 0-7-1 in the eight meetings rior to their Oct. 7, 2009, victory over the Matadors.
This will be the first meeting between CSF and Hope, which occupies buildings south of Nutwood Avenue that originally were CSF dormitories and a commercial center that included the Titan bookstore.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Fullerton's first seven non-conference opponents to date have compiled a combined record of 40-28-11 (UCLA is 8-2-1; Washington is 7-4-1; San Jose State is 6-4-2; West Virginia is 6-3-2; Pittsburgh is 5-4-2; Saint Mary's is 6-4-1; and USF is 2-7-2). The Titans also played a tie scrimmage with Cal, which is 7-1-2.
CONFERENCE PLAY REVS UP: The Big West Conference schedule continues in earnest this week with a full slate -- Cal Poly is at UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday and hosts UC Irvine on Saturday; Northridge hosts Fullerton on Wednesday before a Saturday visit to UC Davis, which first hosts UC Riverside on Wednesday; UCR also hosts UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. UCSB also hosts a non-conference match with Duke on Friday night which will be televised on the Fox Soccer Channel.
GOAL SCORERS: Nick Posthuma has scored four of the Titans' 10 goals, matching his career total from his freshman and sophomore seasons combined. Kevin Venegas is second with three goals, two coming in the 2-0 win over Pitt and the third the game winner (2-1) at UC Riverside. Mark Nelson scored the first goal of his Titan career with a header off a corner kick in the UCLA match, Antonio Vernaschi did the same with a the golden goal vs. UCSB and Jesse Escalante got his first goal for a 1-0 lead at UCR.
GOAL STOPPER: Junior Trevor Whiddon has played all 1039 minutes of the season in goal and has allowed 18 scores including one penalty kick (1.56 GAA) while making 68 saves and logging 3 shutouts. He made 22 saves in two matches vs. UC Santa Barbara. His 12 saves on Oct. 9 tied him for seventh in the NCAA Div. I in single-game highs. His season mark of 6.18 saves per match is No. 6 in the nation. The leader is Ivan Dizdar of Seattle at 6.56.