August 23, 2012

Titans Clash With Big Ten Foes in Michigan This Weekend

2012 Christina Burkenroad
Freshman Christina Burkenroad got her collegiate career off to a strong start with two goals in her first two career matches against USC and LMU last weekend. (Photo by Matt Brown)

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KICK OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team's first-ever trip to "The Great Lakes State" will be all business this weekend as the Titans are slated to take on a pair of Big Ten Conference foes on the road. Fullerton (0-2 overall in 2012) opens on Friday (Aug. 24) at 3 p.m. PT against Michigan in Ann Arbor before heading to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Sunday (Aug. 26) at 9 a.m. PT. 

IN THE POLLS: Neither Cal State Fullerton, Michigan, nor Michigan State are nationally ranked entering the weekend.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF.Athletics) and Twitter (@FullertonTitans). In addition, the women's soccer team has established its own Facebook and Twitter presence. Search for "Cal State Fullerton Women's Soccer" on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @CSUF_WSoccer.

"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, Cal State Fullerton's home matches, as well as selected road contests, can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. Veteran Cal State Fullerton soccer broadcaster Mike Martinez will have the play-by-play. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the newly redesigned FullertonTitans.com and enjoy the action.

"CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?": For the fifth year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara contests.  For the 2012 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge.  Head to http://www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly event schedules.

BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions. Now in its eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball.  Also covered are select contests in men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball and Big West Conference Championships.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be available for both contests in Michigan this weekend. Follow the links on the women's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH'S MOUTH: Listen as Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Demian Brown previews his side's 2012 season in stunning HD via the lens of team videographer, Matt Brown. Access the interview by clicking here.

FIRST OF ALL...: This weekend will mark Cal State Fullerton's first-ever games in the State of Michigan and the inaugural meeting with Michigan State on Sunday. The Titans and Wolverines have met once before with Fullerton pulling out a 2-0 shutout of Michigan on Sept. 11, 2009, at Titan Stadium.

MICHIGAN BRIEFLY: The Wolverines enter the weekend with a 2-0 overall record after home shutout victories over Fordham (5-0) and Pittsburgh (1-0) to kick-off the season... the Titans will be the third of four-straight home games for Michigan to start the year... California native Shelby Chambers-Garcia leads the team in scoring with two goals while five different Wolverines have found the back of the net thus far this season... Haley Kopmeyer made 11 saves in her side's two matches last weekend to preserve the clean sheets... Michigan is without three starters who are competing at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup... the Wolverines, who finished 9-8-2overall and 4-6-1 in the Big Tean, were picked to finish fifth in the conference in 2012.

MICHIGAN STATE BRIEFLY: The Spartans enter the weekend with a 2-0 mark after wins at Bowling Green (4-0) and at home against Fordham (2-1)... Michigan State will meet Loyola College on Friday before hosting the Titans on Sunday... Megan Marsack leads the team in scoring with a pair of goals and is tied for the team lead in points with teammate Lisa Vogel (1G, 2A) while Olivia Stander has assisted on three of the team's six scores... five different Spartans have found the back of the net thus far this season... goalkeeper Courtney Clem has allowed just one goal and made seven saves in her two starts this season... Michigan State finished 14-6-1 overall in 2011 and were picked sixth in the Big Ten for 2012.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Seniors Stacey Fox, Jennifer Smith, and JeAnne Mazeau, along with sophomore Chelsey Patterson, have been selected as captains for the 2012 season.

OH-NO... NOT AGAIN: Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the field after 90 minutes of regulation. After a season that saw Cal State Fullerton match an NCAA record with 11 overtime contests in 2011 (4-4-3 in those games) for a total of 128:47 of bonus soccer, the Titans were unable to put away Loyola Marymount in extra time in Aug. 19, falling to the Lions, 2-1, on a goal in the fourth minute of the first extra period. Nothing new for Fullerton under the direction of Head Coach Demian Brown, as the Titans have played 30 overtime matches over a span of 101 total games in Brown's five-plus seasons at the helm.

ALL SHE DOES IS SCORE GOALS: Freshman Christina Burkenroad's collegiate soccer debut couldn't have gone much better during the Titans' opening weekend as the Fullerton rookie accounted for two of the team's three scores (on just three shots combined) against USC and LMU. Burkenroad came off the bench to open the scoring against both the Trojans and Lions, netting her first career score in the 57th minute against USC and adding a 41st-minute strike against LMU to put the Titans ahead at the break against the Lions. 

SEEING RED: In a rare occurance, Titans' senior Jennifer Smith was sent off with a red card in Fullerton's season opener against USC for a handball in the box -- the first Titan to garner a red card since Tamara Dewey against Michigan on Sept. 11, 2009. In all, it is only the 11th red card (and 12th overall) issued to a Fullerton player dating back to the program's first season in 1993.

CORNERED: Fullerton's eight corner kicks at LMU on Aug. 19 were the most for a Titan squad since they had the same number against Cal Poly on Sept. 30 of last season.

LOADED FOR BEAR: After a challenging spring that included matches against defending NCAA Champion Stanford, West Coast Conference champion San Diego, future Big West rival San Diego State, WCC power Pepperdine, and a trio of Big West Conference rivals, one might think that Head Coach Demian Brown would try and take it easy in the fall. Quite the opposite, however, as Brown has put together a fall schedule that includes five NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, including national semifinalists Florida State, quarterfinalists Long Beach State, and first-round participants, Army, Oregon State, and UC Irvine. The Titans' non-conference opponents finished 99-67-20 (.586) combined last season with six of the nine schools posting at least 10 wins.

A LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns nearly everyone off of last season's squad, welcoming back 21 letter winners and 10 of its 11 starters from a year ago. Senior Ann Marie Tangorra paced the offense in 2011 in her first season at the Division I level, scoring five goals and assisting on six others for 16 points. The offensive load will be shared by another pair of five-goal scorers in redshirt senior Stacey Fox and junior Nikki McCants as well as sophomore Rebecca Wilson, who added three goals and four assists while coming off the bench in 15 of her 17 appearances. Defensively, Fullerton returns three-fourths of its back line, losing only Caitlin Mellano to graduation, and junior Lindsey Maricic returns in net after playing every minute of the Titans' 20 matches in 2011.

AS THE WORLD TOURNEY'S: Cal State Fullerton will host a regular season tournament for only the second time since the 2003 campaign this season, welcoming Army, Texas Tech, and Long Beach State for the two-day Under Armour Invitational on Sept. 14 and 16. The Titans last hosted a tournament in 2010, facing Purdue and #18 UNC Greensboro.

SLY AS A FOX: Redshirt senior Stacey Fox has a chance to establish herself as one of the top scorers in the history of the Cal State Fullerton program in 2012, entering her final season in a tie for 10th on the career goals scored list (13) -- one of only 17 players in the history of the program to reach double digits in goals scored -- and her 30 points rank just five points shy of Barbie Gil (1995-97) for 10th place on the school's all-time points chart. Her 77 shots entering the 2012 campaign are also just shy as Fox needs 13 more this season to break into the top 10 in that category.

MORE ON STACEY: Fox enters the 2011 season ranked tied for second among active players in the Big West with her 13 goals and fourth in points.

ALOHA!: The Big West Conference women's soccer lineup will look a little different beginning with this season as Hawaii rejoins the league as the conference's 10th women's soccer member in 2012. Hawaii returns to the league in all sports except for football (Mountain West) after only its women's athletic programs were part of the Big West from 1984-96.

WOMEN'S SOCCER PICKED THIRD: The Titans were picked to finish third in the new-look Big West Conference in 2012, gaining 71 points to finish behind Long Beach State, which was a near-unanimous choice for the top spot with nine first-place votes and 99 points -- and defending conference champion UC Irvine, which received one first-place vote and 86 points overall. Fullerton edged out fourth-place Cal State Northridge (69 points) and were followed by UC Santa Barbara (53), Cal Poly (48), UC Davis (44), Pacific (44), UC Riverside (18), and conference newcomer Hawaii (18).

TANGORRA GARNERS PRESEASON HONORS: Senior forward Ann Marie Tangorra was selected as one of 12 players to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team on July 31 according to a vote of the league's head coaches. Tangorra, an All-Big West Second-Team selection in her first year with the Titans in 2011, tied for 10th in the league with 16 points and also ranked among the conference's best in points, shots (t5th - 53), shots per game (t5th - 3.12), points per game (8th - 0.94), assists (t5th - 6), and assists per game (5th - 0.35). Her assist total was tied for sixth in a single season (and the most for a Titan since Jenae Gibbens finished with seven helpers in 2008) while her 53 shots were 10th-best in a season.

BY THE NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton returns every single of its 28 goals from a season ago (excluding an own goal against BYU on Sept. 2), 91 percent of its assists (20 of 22), 95 percent of its points (74 of 78), and 93 percent of its shots (308 of 332). What does it all mean? Probably only that numbers are fun.

ALUMNAE NEWS: Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley (2002-06) became only the second Titan women's soccer player to compete in the Olympic Games (Marlene Sandoval competed for Mexico in Athens in 2004), shining for Team Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Bardsley made 13 saves and, along with her teammates in defense, did not allow a goal in helping Great Britain to a perfect 3-0 record in group play, posting wins over New Zealand, Cameroon, and perennial power Brazil. Bardsley's run ended in Great Britain's quarterfinal match-up with eventual bronze-medalists Canada, which scored twice in the first 26 minutes of the match to secure the win. It was the first-ever appearance in the Olympic Games for Great Britain in women's soccer as Bardsley finished the tournament with 17 saves.