Unbeaten in Last Three, Titans Host Big West Conference Openers

THIS WEEK...

Hawaii at Cal State Fullerton
Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 | 7 p.m.
Titan Stadium
Fullerton, Calif.

Cal State Northridge at Cal State Fullerton
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Titan Stadium
Fullerton, Calif.

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FULLERTON, Calif. -- 

KICK OFF: Rolling into Big West Conference play with a three-match unbeaten streak, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (5-3-3 overall) opens Big West Conference play at home this weekend, welcoming Hawaii and Cal State Northridge to Titan Stadium. The Titans and Rainbow Wahine will kickoff on Friday (Oct. 4) at 7 p.m. before the Matadors come to town for a 6 p.m. kickoff on Sunday (Oct. 6).

IN THE POLLS: Neither Hawaii, Cal State Northridge, nor Cal State Fullerton are listed among the top 25 in the polls entering the week. The Titans, however, are ranked No. 8 in the region according to the NSCAA.

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 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 sixth consecutive year, institutions will air select matches on BigWest.TV, including all Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara women's soccer contests.  For the 2013 season, all BigWest.TV events will air free of charge. Head to www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly event schedules.

BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's nine member institutions. Now in its ninth 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 all of Cal State Fullerton's home matches and selected road contests throughout the year. Follow along by accessing the links on the women's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com.

"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Cal State Fullerton junior midfielder Chelsey Patterson has been named team captain for the 2013 season.

HAWAII BRIEFLY: The Rainbow Wahine enter the week with a 5-4 overall record, having won their last two consecutive matches by 1-0 scores over Northern Arizona and Hawaii Pacific... five of their nine matches have been decided by a single goal -- all by a single goal... junior forward Tiana Fujimoto leads the offense with six of the team's nine goals on the season as only three players have found the back of the net... junior Krystal Pascua leads the team with three assists and 26 shots overall... freshman goalkeeper Monk Berger has started seven of the nine matches in net, posting a 0.99 goals against average and 24 saves to go with four shutouts.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE BRIEFLY: The Matadors enter the weekend with a 5-6 overall record and will play at UC Riverside on Friday night before heading to Orange County... after opening winless in its first four matches of the year, Northridge has won five of its last seven, including a 2-1 win over Loyola Marymount on Sept. 27 in its last contest... four of the Matadors' five wins this season have come at home as they are just 1-5 away from their own field, winning for the first time at Fresno State on Sept. 15... junior forward Brittanie Sakajian leads the offense with three goals and 21 shots -- one of eight players that have combined for the team's 13 goals this season... junior defender Leandra Walker leads the team with three assists... sophomore goalkeeper Cynthia Tafoya, who appeared in only two matches in 2012, takes over in net for departed two-time Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Cynthia Jacobo and has posted a 1.49 goals against average and 32 saves in eight appearances.

TITANS SWEEP PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Cal State Fullerton's senior duo of midfielder Erica Mazeau and goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic helped the Titans close out the non-conference season on a high note and earned Big West Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively, in the process. The tandem becomes the second and third Fullerton honorees of the season, joining teammate Morgan Batcheller, who was named the league's defensive player of the week on Sept. 2. It is the first career honor for Mazeau and the second for Maricic, who earned her first career award on Oct. 8 of last season.

SERIES NOTES: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Hawaii by a 6-2 count, having won the last two meetings by a 1-0 score -- including the inaugural Big West Conference clash last season in Honolulu... all but one of the eight all-time meetings (last season being the exception) have been played in Fullerton... six of the eight matches have been decided by a single goal... the Titans' last loss in the series came on Sept. 30, 2008, in a 3-2 defeat at Titan Stadium ••• Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Cal State Northridge, 11-6, but the Matadors have won five of the last six meetings... the Titans' last win in the series came in overtime during the regular season last year, 1-0, at Northridge... Fullerton is 6-2 all time against the Matadors at home, but haven't beaten Northridge at Titan Stadium since a 3-0 victory in 2007, losing the last two.

BIG WEST LID-LIFTERS: Cal State Fullerton is 9-7-1 in Big West Conference openers dating back to 1996, but is looking to snap a two-match losing streak in such contests after falling at Cal Poly in 2011 and at home against UC Irvine last season... the Titans are 4-3-1 when opening conference play at home, last posting a win over UC Riverside on 2009... Friday will mark the first time that Fullerton will meet Hawaii in a Big West opener... the Titans are 1-1 against UC Santa Barbara in league openers, 0-3 against Cal Poly, 1-1 vs. Utah State, 1-0 against Long Beach State, 2-0 vs. Cal State Northridge, 2-1-1 against UC Riverside, 2-0 versus UC Davis, and 0-1 against UC Irvine, in past conference openers.

SO... WE MEET AGAIN: Sunday's clash with Cal State Northridge will mark the first meeting between the two programs since the Matadors upset the top-seeded Titans in overtime by a 1-0 score in the championship match of the Big West Conference Tournament last season to earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

MARICIC MAKES HISTORY... ALMOST: Senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic was a busy woman in net for the Titans last week against Pepperdine, withstanding a barrage from the Waves that ended in a 1-1 draw in Malibu after 110 minutes. Maricic finished with a career-high 15 saves en route to her Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors, logging the second most stops in a match in the history of the program behind only Heidi Clauss' 21 saves against Pepperdine on Oct. 30, 1993. Maricic faced 34 shots -- also the second highest total against the Titans in a match since the Waves took 38 shots in that 1993 contest -- and defensed 13 corner kicks in the match, holding Pepperdine scoreless until it scored the equalizer in the 86th minute to force overtime.

SHE'S ON A ROLL (HOLD THE MAYO): Mazeau's two helpers last week gave her assists in three-straight contests dating back to the Titans' double-overtime win at USC -- tied for the second-longest run in school history behind only Erica Jacalone's four-consecutive games with an assist from Sept. 3-17, 2001. When you add in her goal against the Women of Troy, Mazeau's five points are the most of any player on that list as Jacalone and Kellie Cox each tallied four points during their streaks.

HELPING HERSELF TO THE RECORD BOOK: Mazeau's two assists were the 10th and 11th of her career, putting her just one shy of the career top 10 in that category and seven shy of the career record held by Dolores Browning (1995-98) and Kellie Cox (2001-05).

#WINNING: Mazeau's assist on Janali West's game-winner against Gonzaga was her second game-winning assist of the season (tied for ninth on the school's single-season list) and the fifth of her career, placing her in a tie for fourth on Fullerton's all-time list -- four back of Kellie Cox's career mark of nine from 2001-05.

THAT'S OFFENSIVE: But we mean that in a good way. After struggling to open the year, the Titans' offense has seemingly turned a corner, scoring five goals during its three-match unbeaten streak (2-0-1) compared to just five scores in its first eight matches combined (3-3-2).

"THIS" CLOSE: Nine of Cal State Fullerton's 11 matches this season have been decided by a single goal or fewer, save for a 3-1 loss at No. 6 BYU in the season opener on Aug. 23 and a 2-0 win over Montana on Sept. 1 at home.

DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): Fullerton's defense has emerged as one of the best in the league through the first half of the season, ranking atop the league statistical rankings in fewest goals allowed (8), goals against average (0.67), and saves (63), while standing second in shutouts (5). If they keep this up, the Titans could challenge the school records for fewest goals allowed in a season (15 in 2005) and shutouts in a single-season (12 in 2005).

BE AGGRESSIVE, B-E AGGRESSIVE: Cal State Fullerton, whistled for a conference-high 147 fouls to start the season, has been the aggressor on the pitch thus far, racking up nine matches with 10 or more fouls and leading the opposition in that category in nine of its 11 contests this season -- including a season-high 27 fouls on Sept. 15 against Utah State. Only Fresno State (23-11) and Gonzaga (15-12) have "out-fouled" the Titans this season.

FIRST TIME: With their goals against Gonzaga, Chelsey Patterson and Janali West became the seventh and eighth different Titans to find the back of the net this season. 

LET'S PLAY TWO: Fullerton's 1-1 draw at Pepperdine kept the Titans unbeaten in four overtime contests this season (1-0-3) -- all four going to double overtime. Cal State Fullerton is unbeaten in its last seven double overtime contests dating back to a 2-1 loss at Cal Poly on Sept. 30, 2011 -- the team's only loss in its last 10 trips to double overtime.

AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: How does the Titans' defense stand up nationally, you ask? Among all 323 NCAA programs, the Titans rank No. 10 in save percentage (.887), and No. 41 in goals against average (0.68), No. 55 in saves per game (5.73), and No. 62 in the country in shutout percentage (.455). Individually, senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic ranks among the top 100 in four different categories: save percentage (#12), goals against average (#55), saves per game (#26), and saves (#33).

THIS IS GETTING TO BE A HABIT: Senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic has four shutouts in eight starts this season, a total that ranks in a tie for 10th on the school's single-season list. Her 15 clean sheets for her career ranks second on the school's all-time list, standing 11 clean sheets behind Karen Bardsley (2002-06) for the all-time record and just six back of Bardsley (10 in 2005) for the top spot on the single-season list.

MARICIC MOVING UP THE CHARTS: In other categories, Maricic's big week with 15 saves gave her 198 for her career, moving her up into the No. 3 spot and putting her just two stops shy of becoming only the third keeper in school history to accumulate 200 saves for a career, joining Karen Bardsley (312) and Laura Janke (235). With the 110 minutes played against Pepperdine, the senior from Alta Loma now ranks second all-time in goalkeeper minutes (4,556) and is among the top five in saves per game (5th - 4.04), save percentage (2nd - .798), goals against average (3rd - 0.99), and wins (4th - 21). Her seven draws are also the most by a Fullerton goalkeeper in school history.