Tourney Opener at UCI
Nov. 9, 2010
Irvine, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton tries to prolong its 2010 season when the Titans open the Big West Conference Post-Season Tournament Wednesday night at UC Irvine. The winner advances to Saturday's final vs. the Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara winner.
AT A GLANCE: The Titans make their inaugural appearance in a Big West Conference Post-Season Tournament Wednesday night as the No. 4 seed but run into a much too familiar foe in host and No. 1 seed UC Irvine. The Titans have played the Anteaters twice in the last two weeks, losing at UCI, 7-2, on Oct. 23, and 3-1 in Titan Stadium on Saturday night. If UCI wins, it will host the winner of the Cal Poly (No. 3 seed) at UC Santa Barbara (No. 2 seed) match Saturday night at 7 p.m. If CSF wins, it will play at the No. 2 vs. No. 3 winner, at 7 p.m. if it's UCSB and 1 p.m. if it's Cal Poly.
THE TEAMS: Fullerton is 6-11-2, 4-6-0 after losing its last three games and five of its last six. The exception was an overtime 2-1 win over UC Davis on Oct. 27 which produced the tie-breaker that put the Titans in the tourney.
Nationally ranked UC Irvine (14-2-3, 7-1-2) bounced back from a surprising 2-1 loss on Wednesday to Cal State Northridge to beat the Titans on Saturday and claim the regular season title and the No. 1 seed. UCI's only previous loss was 2-0 at Sacramento State on Sept. 19. The Anteaters have allowed only 11 goals all season but 7 have come in the last 6 matches. Amani Walker leads the team with 11 goals and Spencer Thompson has 6. Goalkeeper Andrew Fontein has 11 shutouts and a 0.51 goals against average.
ELECTRONICALLY: Mike Martinez will provide audio play-by-play of the UCI match via the Titans' website. It also will be televised on BigWest TV (subscription).
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Since going to Div. I in 1975, the Titans have a 17-18-6 record against UC Irvine and the Anteaters are 14-1-4 in the last 19 meetings. Fullerton ended a 14-match winless (0-10-4) streak against UCI with a 3-1 road win on Nov. 3, 2007. The teams played only once in each of the last two seasons. A Fullerton own goal cost it a 2-1 road decision in 2008 and last year UCI won at Fullerton, 4-1, despite being outshot, 21-7.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: While this is Fullerton's first Big West Conference post-season tournament, the Titans have one conference tourney in their portfolio. In 2000, the Titans hosted both rounds of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation playoffs, beating Denver, 3-1, but losing to San Jose State, 3-2.
ROAD WARRIORS?: Fullerton has a slightly better record away from Titan Stadium than at home. The Titans are 3-7-0 at home vs. 3-4-2 on the road including 2-4-1 on hostile fields.
GOAL SCORERS: Nick Posthuma with 8 goals and Kevin Venegas with 6 lead the team and together represent almost two-thirds of the team's total. Posthuma has doubled his prior career total of four goals from his freshman and sophomore seasons combined. Venegas has three game winners -- vs. Hope, at UC Riverside and both goals vs. Pitt. Jesse Escalante with 3, Antonio Vernashi with 2 and Mark Nelson, Michael Denny and Oscar Aguero with 1 each complete the goal scorers. Aguero and Celso Alvarez lead the team in assists with 4.
GOAL STOPPER: Junior Trevor Whiddon has played 1,758 of a possible 1,766 minutes in goal this season and has allowed 37 scores including two penalty kicks (1.89 GAA) while making 107 saves and logging 4 shutouts. He made 22 saves in two matches vs. UC Santa Barbara. His 12 saves on Oct. 9 tie him for ninth in the NCAA Div. I in single-game highs. His season mark of 5.63 saves per match thru Nov. 7 was No. 7 in the nation. The leader was Michael Moulton of St. Joseph at 6.63.