Titans Return to Pitch to Host No. 22 BYU and Michigan State
No. 22 BYU at Cal State Fullerton
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 | 7:00 PM
Titan Stadium • Fullerton, Calif.
Michigan State at Cal State Fullerton
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 | 4:00 PM
Titan Stadium • Fullerton, Calif.
Cal State Fullerton's 2014 journey begins on Friday as the Titans begin a stretch of four consecutive home matches.
First up for Fullerton, a foe it has never defeated, 22nd-ranked BYU at 7 p.m., Friday at Titan Stadium. The road doesn't get any easier on Sunday as Michigan State visits at 4 p.m.
Cal State Fullerton students receive free admission to Titan home games with their Titan I.D. card.
Additional ticket information can be found by clicking HERE.
Prior to Sunday's kick-off against Michigan State, the 2014 Big West Championship men's golf team will be honored. After Sunday's match, the Titan women's soccer team will be available for postgame autographs.
OPPONENTS & HISTORY
No. 22 BYU | 7 p.m. | Friday, Aug. 22 | Titan Stadium
In six previous meetings against the Cougars, the Titans are winless dating back to a 2-1 loss on Nov. 1, 1996 in Fullerton.
The Cougars return to Fullerton for the first time since 2010 after recording 2-1 (09.02.11) and 3-1 (08.23.13) victories, respectively, over the Titans in Provo, Utah.
Fullerton has dropped five straight season openers, with its last victory a 1-0 win at Pepperdine on Aug. 23, 2008. The Titans hold a record of 6-14-1 in season openers and 7-13-1 in home openers.
In 2013, Fullerton lost its season opener at BYU, 3-1, but won its home opener, 1-0, over Fresno State on Aug. 25.
Last season, BYU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before suffering a 2-1 loss to Colorado. The Cougars completed the year ranked No. 23 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll with a record of 15-5-1 after sharing the West Coast Conference championship with Santa Clara and Portland.
Michigan St. | 4 p.m. | Sunday Aug. 24 | Titan Stadium
Sunday will mark Michigan State's first trip to Titan Stadium but the second meeting between the two programs as the Spartans suffered a 1-0 loss to the Titans on Aug. 26, 2012. Cal State Fullerton senior Stacey Fox scored the game winner junior goalkeeper, while Katie Pulliam made six saves in net to preserve the clean sheet as the visiting Titans earned a 1-0 victory over host Michigan State at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.
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.
Cal State Fullerton, the defending Big West Tournament Champion, was picked to finish fourth in Big West Conference Women's Soccer Preseason Poll, while Cal Poly was selected to repeat as the regular season champion with six first-place votes.
UC Irvine received two first-place votes with 64 points while Long Beach State collected 59 points for third place. Cal State Fullerton received a first-place vote of its own and finished out the top four teams with 58 points.
Hawai'i (37 points), UC Santa Barbara (30), CSUN (27), UC Davis (27) and UC Riverside (26) rounded out the preseason poll.
Senior midfielder and captain Chelsey Patterson was named to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team after earning second team all-league honors in 2013.
"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!"
Cal State Fullerton senior midfielder Chelsey Patterson will serve as team captain for the third straight season.
THE STUDENT CHALLENGE
Head coach Demian Brown has issued a challenge for the Oct. 9 match against rival Long Beach State. If 500 or more CSF students fill in Titan Stadium, Brown has pledged to wear the "Tuffy" costume at a men's basketball game for the 2014-15 season. More details about the Oct. 9 doubleheader will be released soon, but a Thunderstick giveaway is scheduled.
A NEW LOOK
Entering the 2014 season, Cal State Fullerton has a strong combination of newcomers and returners on its roster. The Titans return 13 letterwinners from last year's championship squad while welcoming 11 newcomers and four returning redshirts. Of Fullerton's 13 returners, five were starters last season including NSCAA All-Region selection Morgan Batcheller, Big West Second Team pick and team captain Chelsey Patterson and Big West All-Freshman team selection Jazzmin Mancilla. Junior forward Christina Burkenroad returns as the team's leading scorer with two goals and one assist from last year, while senior Colleen Ortega returns to the backline after starting 22 matches a year ago.
BY THE NUMBERS
Cal State Fullerton totaled 51 points last season (18 goals/15 assists) and will need to replace 57 percent of that production as top scorers Erica Mazeau (4 goals, 6 assists), Nikki McCants (3 goals) and Janali West (2 goals, 2 assists) have graduated.
The 2013 Big West Tournament Champions will return to the pitch in 2014 with a challenging schedule as four of their opponents completed last year in the top-75 of RPI, while two competed in the NCAA Tournament.
Of 21 matches on the schedule, including two exhibitions, 11 will be played at Titan Stadium.
Two Fullerton opponents, No. 22 BYU (Aug. 22) and No. 25 Denver (Aug. 29) were ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Preseason top 25 poll.
TIME FOR REFLECTION
The Titans clinched the Big West Conference's 2013 automatic NCAA Tournament berth after winning their fourth league tournament championship on Nov. 10, 2013, courtesy of a 2-1 advantage in a penalty kick shootout against UC Riverside after the teams battled to a 1-1 draw following 110 minutes of regulation (90) and overtime (20).
Titan goalkeeper and Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player Katie Pulliam made three stops during the shootout, after saving two Cal Poly penalty kicks in the semifinals on Nov. 7. The Titans, the No. 4 and lowest seed at the Big West Tournament, ousted the No. 1 seeded Mustangs on Nov. 7 after the match ended in a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes, and the Titans advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks.
Fullerton was hosting the tournament at Titan Stadium after winning the 2012 Big West regular season championship.
The Titans' last Big West Tournament title came in 2007, the last time the event was held at Titan Stadium.
Last season, defender Morgan Batcheller, goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic and midfielder Erica Mazeau, were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire All- West Region Team.
Mazeau, from Yorba Linda, Calif., was named to the All-West Region second team, while Maricic and Batcheller received third team honors.
For Fullerton, it marked the first time the women's soccer program has earned three all-region nods in one season.
Fullerton will look to replace Mazeau, the 2013 Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year, who led the Titans in scoring with a total of 14 points, producing team highs in goals (4) and assists (6). Of her six assists during the season, three were game winners.
Fullerton will also be looking to replace Maricic, named the 2013 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, after leading the conference in saves (104), goals against average (0.73) and save percentage (.867).
Batcheller, who returns for her junior season, started all 22 games in 2013, and helped anchor a Titan defense that led the Big West in goals allowed (17) and goals against average (0.71) while also totaling seven shutouts. In addition, the Carlsbad, Calif., native, scored Fullerton's golden goal in a 2-1 victory at USC and added a score against Cal State Northridge.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Cal State Fullerton completed the 2013 season with a record of 7-1-5 at Titan Stadium. The Titans' seven home wins mark the most for the program since the 2005 team finished the season 10-1-0 in Fullerton.
Entering opening weekend, Fullerton boasts a stretch of seven straight undefeated matches at Titan Stadium (4-0-3). The Titans' last loss at home was 1-0 defeat to Washington State on Sept. 20, 2013.
"THE SUSPENSE IS TERRIBLE... I HOPE IT'LL LAST"
Don't leave early, there's plenty of soccer left to play. In 2013, it was almost routine for the Titans to play an overtime period, entering extra time play on 10 occasions -- one shy of their NCAA record-tying 11 overtime matches in 2011. The Titans were unbeaten in overtime (3-0-7) in 2013, and are 13-10-21 in extra time during Head Coach Demian Brown's seven seasons.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC
Cal State Fullerton made it a habit of scoring late last season, netting nine of its 18 goals -- three of those going for "golden goal" game-winners -- in the 70th minute or later.
Nikki McCants became the 10th different Titan to score a goal in 2013 season with her volley in the 88th minute against UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 20. Only five players (Erica Mazeau, Christina Burkenroad, Janali West and Morgan Batcheller and McCants) scored multiple times last season. McCants scored three of Fullerton's last four goals, including two at the Big West Tournament.
Twenty of Cal State Fullerton's 22 matches in 2013 were 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.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
How does the Titans' defense stand up nationally, you ask? Among all 323 NCAA programs, the Titans ranked No. 10 in the nation in save percentage (.869), while ranking 26th in goals against average (0.709). Individually, senior goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic ranked among the top 100 in four different categories: No. 10 in save percentage (.867), No. 62 in saves per game (5.20), No. 33 in goals against average (0.730) and No. 35 in saves (104).
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)
Fullerton's defense emerged as one of the best in the league, ranking atop the Big West statistical rankings in fewest goals allowed (17), goals against average (0.71), and saves (113), while standing tied for third in shutouts (7).
For the third consecutive season, it was announced that the championship match of this year's Big West Conference women's soccer tournament hosted by Cal Poly would be televised live on FOX Sports PrimeTicket at 1 p.m. on Nov. 9.
TITANS CLAIM BACK-TO-BACK TITLES
Defending Big West Tournament champion Cal State Fullerton is out to claim three consecutive crowns in 2014 after the Titans clinched their fourth Big West tournament title in school history and earned the league's automatic NCAA postseason berth in 2013. In 2012, Fullerton won its sixth Big West regular season championship in school history, trailing only Cal Poly (7). It was Fullerton's fourth solo crown after sharing the top spot in 2004 and 2007, the program's fifth in the last 12 seasons, and the second under Head Coach Demian Brown.
Fullerton's coaching staff remains largely intact for 2014 with one exception as Michael Thomas joins the staff following the departure of Diego Bocanegra, who accepted a position at Notre Dame. Prior to joining the Titan staff, Thomas served as head coach at the University of Buffalo for six years (2008-13). During his tenure with the Bulls, he tutored 12 Mid-American all-conference, all-tournament and all-academic honorees, fielding his most successful squad in 2011.
A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER
Sophomore Nicole Ulrich and junior Alyssa Cabral will be carrying on a tradition of sorts in 2014 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.