FULLERTON, Calif. --
KICK OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (10-9-1 overall, 7-2 in the Big West Conference in 2012) will take the field for the first time in 2013 this Friday night (Aug. 16) as the Titans host No. 11 San Diego State in an exhibition match at 6 p.m. at Titan Stadium in its only test prior to the official start of the regular season. Fullerton opens the regular season next week on the road at BYU on Friday (Aug. 23) in a match to be televised on BYU TV.
IN THE POLLS: San Diego State stands at No. 11 by the NSCAA and 21st in the Top Drawer Soccer preseason polls entering Friday night's tilt… Cal State Fullerton is unranked.
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.
SAN DIEGO STATE BRIEFLY: The Aztecs return seven starters and 16 letter winners off of last season's squad that reached the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament, sharing the best record in the nation at 21-2-1 (7-0-0 Mountain West Conference) and finishing seventh in the final regular season NSCAA poll. Junior forward Hannah Keane, a first-team all-conference choice, is the leading returning scorer after scoring seven goals and assisting on seven others, while senior Haley Palmer, the 2012 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, anchors the back line. SDSU will have a new face in net with the departure of keeper Rachel Boaz (0.60 GAA, 11 shutouts), with two freshmen and a redshirt sophomore with one game of experience.
SERIES NOTES: Although Friday's match doesn't count in the overall record, Fullerton is 5-7 all-time against San Diego State, having won the last three-straight meetings by a combined 8-2 score… prior to that streak, the Titans had lost seven of the first nine meetings with the Aztecs… Fullerton is 2-4 against SDSU at home, winning the last meeting at Titan Stadium, 3-1, on Sept. 26, 2008… the Titans won the last meeting overall between the two programs, edging the Aztecs, 2-1, in San Diego on Sept. 24, 2010.
TITANS PICKED TO DEFEND TITLE: The defending Big West Conference champion Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team was picked to defend its league crown in 2013 according to a vote of the conference's head coaches released by the Big West office on Thursday afternoon.
It is the first time since 2002 that the Titans have been the preseason pick to win the league, finishing second in the voting twice, and third on three other occasions. Fullerton received five first-place votes and 72 points overall to edge out both Long Beach State and UC Irvine, which tied for second place with a first-place vote and 62 points overall.
Cal Poly (2 first-place votes and 59 points) and defending Big West Tournament champion Cal State Northridge (54 points) round out the top five, followed by UC Santa Barbara (30), Hawaii (27), UC Davis (22), and UC Riverside (17).
PATTERSON EARNS PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS: Junior midfielder Chelsey Patterson was the lone member of the Titan squad named as one of 12 players to the preseason All-Conference Team as voted on by the coaches. Patterson, an All-Big West Honorable Mention honoree in 2012, made 18 starts as a sophomore, scoring her lone goal of the season in the semifinal match of the conference tournament semifinal against UC Irvine -- a match the Titans would win in penalty kicks to advance after a 1-1 draw.
QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns five starters and 17 letter winners from last season's Big West Conference championship squad that finished 10-9-1 overall and 7-2 in league play, missing out on a fifth NCAA Tournament trip by only an overtime goal in the championship match of the conference tournament. The Titans, who finished with a 7-2-1 mark in their final 10 games of the season, lost their top two scorers from a season ago in Stacey Fox (7 goals, 2 assists) and Ann Marie Tangorra (6 goals, 3 assists) to graduation, but return a quartet of All-Big West Honorable Mention selections in sophomore Christina Burkenroad (5 goals, 12 points), junior Rebecca Wilson (1 goal, 2 assists, 51 shots), junior Chelsey Patterson (18 starts, 1 goal, 15 shots), and senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic (0.98 GAA, 54 saves, 5 shutouts), as well as senior playmaker Erica Mazeau (1 goal, 7 assists, 21 shots).
TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE BEST: Cal State Fullerton's non-conference schedule will be a solid test to prepare for the Big West Conference season as five of the Titans' opponents are either ranked or receiving votes among the NSCAA's preseason top 25. Including Fullerton's exhibition against No. 11 San Diego State, the Titans will also face off against No. 6 BYU, No. 24 Texas Tech, and vote-getters Pepperdine and USC.
BY THE NUMBERS: Cal State Fullerton returns just under half (15) of the team's 31 goals scored, 20 of the 29 assists, and just over half (162) of the team's 296 shots taken a season ago. What does it all mean? Probably only that numbers are fun.
NEW FACE, SAME PLACE: Fullerton's coaching staff remains largely intact for 2013 with one exception as a familiar face slides over a few seats with the addition of Stacey Fox as an assistant coach. Fox, who completed her eligibility in 2012, takes over for the departed Lauryn Pehanich, who became the head coach of the women's program at Division III University of La Verne. Fox was a two-time All-West Region selection by the NSCAA during her Titan career -- one of only 10 Fullerton players to make an all-region squad since 1996 and only the third to earn multiple honors (Karen Bardsley and Jenae Gibbens). Fox led the team in scoring with a team-high seven goals and 16 points as a senior last season and ranks among the career top 10 in points (9th - 45), goals (6th -20), goals per game (9th - 0.29), game-winning goals (t3rd - 6), and shots (7th - 110).
AND, BOY, WERE HER ARMS TIRED: No Titan will have travelled further to join her teammates than freshman Tatyana Ungacta, who hails from Hagatna, Guam -- a mere 7,806 miles (as Google Maps flies) from her new home in North Orange County. She edged out former Titans Emma Humphries (6,730 miles from her home in Wellington, New Zealand), Darcy Frenzel (2,359 miles from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska), and Kristen Boujos (2,185 miles from her home in Whitby, Ontario, Canada). Ungacta joins Humphries and Boujos as the only three players in the history of the program not from one of the 50 States to don a Titan uniform.
"FOREIGNERS": A little closer to home, but nonetheless significant, incoming freshman Tara LeBaron is only the 13th player (out of 578 overall in the history of the program) from outside the state of California (not counting the aforementioned "international" trio) to join the Fullerton program. A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, LeBaron is the third "foreigner" to come from "The Silver State" -- tied with with the state of Colorado for the most. Other states to be represented on a Titan roster: Washington, Alaska, Montana, Kansas, Idaho, Indiana, and Arizona.
"STATE" OF THE ROSTER: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart (Arizona), redshirt junior goalkeeper Savannah Wood (Washington), and LeBaron (Nevada), give the Titans three non-native Californians (not counting international players) for the 2013 season -- the most since 2005 when Colorado natives Lisa Kosena and Randa Helmers joined Montana's Rebekah Patrick.
WELCOME TO THE "U": Ungacta and fellow freshman Nicole Ulrich have the honor of becoming only the second and third Titans with a surname that begins with the letter "U," joining trailblazer Tennli Ulicny (1998-2001).
A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER: Freshman Nicole Ulrich and senior Erica Mazeau will be carrying on a tradition of sorts in 2013 as their No. 2 and No. 5 jerseys are the only two numbers in the history of the Fullerton program to be worn every season since the program began in 1993.
THAT'S FRESH... MAN: The 2013 crop of 10 true freshmen are the most for a Cal State Fullerton squad since the 2009 team featured the same number to start the season.