First Road Trip Takes Women's Soccer to Utah
Aug. 31, 2011
FULLERTON, CA -
KICK OFF: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team takes to the road for the first time in 2011 this weekend as the Titans (1-1-1 overall) head to the "Beehive State" for a pair of Labor Day weekend matches. Fullerton opens on Friday night (Sept. 2) at 6 p.m. PT at BYU in Provo, UT, before closing out the trip on Sunday (Sept. 4) at 12 p.m. PT at Utah State in Logan, UT.
CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: Friday night's contest with BYU will be televised live on BYUtv or online at http://byutv.org/watch/livetv.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Break out your calendars, there are changes on the horizon. For those making plans to travel south for Fullerton's match at San Diego, please note that the match against the Toreros originally scheduled for Sept. 23 has been moved up to Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
IN THE POLLS: Neither BYU, Utah State, nor Cal State Fullerton are ranked entering this week's match. BYU is receiving votes in this week's Soccer Times top 25.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@CSUFAthletics) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans). In addition, the women's soccer team has its own Twitter; get the inside scoop at @CSUF_WSoccer.
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Select Cal State Fullerton women's soccer matches this season can be heard live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet. Veteran soccer broadcaster Mike Martinez will have the calls live from Titan Stadium. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage at FullertonTitans.com.
"CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?": Thanks to a partnership between the Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network, live video of select Cal State Fullerton women's soccer home and road contests will be streamed live over the Internet via the BigWestTV platform. A monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. For more information, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV or access the video player at www.fansonly.com/schools/bigw/allaccess/index.html.
"O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!": Senior Caitlin Mellano along with redshirt juniors Jennifer Smith, JeAnne Mazeau, and Stacey Fox have been selected by the coaching staff as team captains for the 2011 season.
BYU BRIEFLY: BYU enters a busy week at 2-1-1 overall following a 3-1 win over Idaho State on Tuesday... Eight different players have found the back of the net for BYU thus far, led by Colette Jepson's two - both scored against Idaho State - while Jennie Marshall has assisted on two of the team's nine goals... the Cougars have outshot opponents, 77-44, this season and has twice played in front of 4,500+ crowds in their two home contests thus far... McKinzie Olson has started all four matches in net, posting a 0.96 goals against average and 13 saves... Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood is 261-76-27 (.754) in her 17th season at the helm.
FOR THE RECORD: BYU has never lost to Cal State Fullerton in four meetings between the two programs, outscoring the Titans, 10-4, in the all-time series, including a 3-0 victory last season at Titan Stadium... Friday's match will mark Fullerton's first-ever visit to Provo, UT, for women's soccer... with the exception of last year's meeting, all three of the other meetings have been decided by a single goal: 2-1 in 1996, 3-2 in 1997, and 2-1 in overtime in 1999.
UTAH STATE BRIEFLY: Utah State is off to a program-best 4-0 start entering its Sept. 2 contest against in-state rival Utah, posting wins over Weber State, Portland State, Colorado College, and Northern Colorado - all by a single goal... Shantel Flanary leads the offense, scoring five goals and tallying an assist on 19 shots... four of her five goals have been game-winners... Mari Miyashiro and Jennifer Flynn have also found the back of the net for the Aggies... Molli Merrill has made nine saves and posted a 0.75 goals against average in four starts in net this season... Head Coach Heather Cairns is in her ninth season, posting a 79-70-17 (.527) record entering the weekend.
FOR THE RECORD: Cal State Fullerton holds a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series against its former Big West rival, but the two programs haven't met since 2004 - a 1-0 Titans win at home... Fullerton is 3-2 all-time in Logan, UT, having lost its last two trips there in 2001 (1-0) and 2003 (2-0)... the Titans' last win at Utah State came on Oct. 13, 2000, as they posting a 3-0 shutout victory.
THANK YOU (AGAIN!), FANS: Cal State Fullerton played in front of 845 fans in last week's match against Pepperdine - the eighth-largest crowd in school history and the most since the Titans drew 1,187 for a Fox Soccer Channel nationally televised match against rival Long Beach State in 2006. It was the second top-15 crowd that Fullerton has played in front of this season after 770 fans were in attendance for the Titans' win over Long Island on Aug. 21, which stands as the 13th-largest in the history of the program.
CONFERENCE CALL: With BYU's move to the West Coast Conference beginning this season, the Titans are 20-40-4 (.344) all-time against current conference members and are winless in their last eight matches (0-7-1) against WCC foes dating back to a 2-0 shutout of Saint Mary's on Aug. 31, 2008... Fullerton is 22-11-1 all time against the current Western Athletic Conference alignment, but have faced only five of the league's eight members... the Titans have won seven of their last eight against the WAC, but has not faced a league opponent since posting a 1-0 win over Hawaii (which is a future Big West Conference member beginning with the 2012-13 academic year) on Sept. 16, 2009.
O-O-O-OVERTIME, PART 2: The Titans have given their fans plenty of soccer already this season after two of their first three matches have gone to overtime in 2011. Fullerton, which played just one extra-time match a season ago, fell to Pepperdine in overtime last week, moving to 16-21-21 (.457) in overtime matches overall in the history of the program. It's been somewhat of a trend as of late as the Titans have gone to overtime 19 times in 82 matches in the four-plus seasons under Head Coach Demian Brown - including a school-record eight times in 2007 - posting a 4-6-9 mark in those contests.
PUT A RING ON IT: Former Cal State Fullerton standout Kandace Wilson took home a second Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) title in as many seasons over the weekend, part of a Western New York Flash squad the prevailed over the Philadelphia Independence in penalties on Aug. 27. She is one of seven players on the Flash roster that won the 2010 WPS title with the FC Gold Pride and is now one of eight players in the league to win a pair of league crowns. In the three seasons that the WPS has been active, a Titan has now been a part of all three league championships after goalkeeper Karen Bardsley won the inaugural league title with Sky Blue FC in 2009.
WELCOME BACK, Stacey Fox: When redshirt junior Stacey Fox found the back of the net late in the Titans' match against Pepperdine last week, it not only gave her side the lead against the Waves, it brought the Simi Valley native full circle after missing all of the 2010 season due to a knee injury. For Fox, the goal was her first point in nearly two years dating back to her game-winning strike in a 1-0 victory against UC Davis on Oct. 30, 2009.
LEADER IN THE CLUBHOUSE: Fox's strike against Pepperdine gave her nine for her career - the most among all active Titans (junior Brisa Gonzalez is second with five) and almost half of the 20 career goals on the Fullerton roster entering the weekend. Her 21 career points are also tops on the team, nine ahead of Gonzalez's 12 points and 14 shy of the Titans' career top 10 list.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC: Fox's score in the 84th minute against the Waves marked the third time in her last four goals that she has scored in the final 10 minutes of a match. However, it wasn't the latest she has come through for the Titans in a match as she scored with nine seconds remaining to beat UC Davis on Oct. 30, 2009, and eight seconds left in regulation against Washington on Sept. 27, 2009, to forge a 1-1 draw with the Huskies.
SUMMER TIME: After appearing in 17 matches off the bench for the Titans as a true freshman, sophomore Summer Chavez has embraced her starting role thus far in 2011 and it has paid dividends offensively for Fullerton thus far. Chavez, who notched her first career goal last season in a 3-2 win at UC Davis, has emerged as one of the Titans' playmakers in the early-going, assisting on two of Fullerton's last three goals - the first two helpers of her collegiate career.
SHE'S ALSO HERE TO HELP: Redshirt junior Jennifer Smith also had a foot on Stacey Fox's goal against Pepperdine, logging the seventh assist of her career and tying her with senior teammate Caitlin Mellano for the team lead. The duo now rank among the top 10 active leaders in the Big West Conference and stand just five assists shy of breaking into the school's top 10 list in that category.
WOMEN'S SOCCER PICKED SEVENTH: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team was picked to finish seventh in the Big West Conference this season according to a poll of the league's head coaches released by the conference office.
The Titans received 34 points to stand ahead of UC Davis (18 points) and UC Riverside (10 points) in eighth and ninth place, respectively. Defending league champion UC Irvine received seven first-place votes and 78 points overall to stand atop the poll followed by last year's conference tournament champion, Long Beach State, in second place with 70 points.
Cal State Northridge (52 points), Pacific (51), UC Santa Barbara (48), and Cal Poly (44) rounded out the poll. Both the Tigers and Mustangs also garnered a first-place vote.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton returns 16 letter winners and six starters off of last year's squad that finished 6-13 overall and 3-5 in the Big West Conference for a sixth-place tie. The Titans, led by fifth-year head coach Demian Brown, will have to offset the loss of the team's top two goal scorers (Christina Murillo and Casey Volk) from a season ago, who combined to score 12 of the team's 23 goals and accounted for a combined 28 points on the year.
Junior Brisa Gonzalez, sophomore Nikki McCants, and sophomore Lauren Mellano all return after scoring two goals apiece a season ago while redshirt junior defender Jennifer Smith (1 goal, 4 assists) is the leading point-scorer coming back for 2011. Senior midfielder Caitlin Mellano also returns her playmaking ability after finishing tied for fifth in the Big West with five assists in 2010. Returning to bolster the offense after missing all of 2010 due to injury is redshirt junior Stacey Fox, who scored five goals and finished with 13 points as a freshman in 2008 and added three more scores in 2009.
In net, sophomore Lindsey Maricic is the only returning keeper with Division I experience, posting a 1-3 mark in five appearances for the Titans as a true freshman to go along with 18 saves and a 1.71 goals against average.
BY THE NUMBERS: Fullerton returns just 35 percent of its goals (8 of 23), 71 percent of its assists (12 of 17), 44 percent of its points (28 for 63), and 61 percent of its shots (119 of 195). What does that mean? Probably only that numbers are fun.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Fullerton may enter the season as one of the youngest teams in the Big West Conference for 2011 as, of the Titans 31-woman roster, 22 of those are underclassmen for this year's campaign, including 11 newcomers (nine of those being true freshmen).
STIFF COMPETITION: Five teams that made the NCAA Tournament in 2010 dot Cal State Fullerton's schedule this season, including NCAA "Sweet 16" participant and preseason No. 17-ranked UC Irvine, BYU, New Mexico, San Diego, and Long Beach State.
WE ARE FAMILY: It will be a family affair of sorts on the pitch once again this season for the Titans, who will feature two sets of sisters on their 2011 roster in the Mellano's (senior Caitlin and sophomore Lauren) and the Mazeau's (redshirt junior JeAnne and sophomore Erica). Extending that thought to the "Titan Family," there are numerous family connections: redshirt freshman Brianna Chapman had two cousins that played football for Fullerton, freshman Adriana Gjonovich's mother, Yvette (nee Hernandez), played softball for the Titans from 1988-91, and the Mellano sister's father, Bob, was a member of the Titans' baseball team for two seasons (1985-86)
ALUMNAE NEWS: A pair of Titans competed on the world's biggest stage this past summer as Karen Bardsley (2002, 2004-06) and Marlene Sandoval (2002-05) battled in Group B at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. Bardsley was in net for all four of England's matches, helping the Three Lions finish atop the group and advance to the knockout stage before falling to France in the quarterfinals. Sandoval was on the back line for Mexico, which finished 0-1-2 in group play to finish third, including helping her side to a 1-1 draw against Bardsley and England.
In Finland, former Big West Defensive Player of the Year Jenae Gibbens (2006-08) has helped her Finnsh club, PK-35 Vantaa to the knockout stage of the 2011 UEFA Women's Champions League in the club's inaugural appearance in the event. PK-35 won its qualifying group with seven points and now awaits the draw for the next round, which begins on Sept. 28.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Kandace Wilson (2002-05) and her Western New York Flash teammates claimed both the WPS regular season and postseason titles, earning her second league title after scoring a goal and helping FC Gold Pride to the 2010 WPS title.
TITANS PARTICIPATE IN "SOCCER FOR HOPE" CLINIC: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team set aside its busy training schedule, joining up with "Soccer for Hope" for a special clinic in Mission Viejo on Tuesday morning (Aug. 16).
"Soccer for Hope is an event that we have participated in for the last nine years," fifth-year head coach Demian Brown said. "It is a great cause and for our women to have an opportunity to help children and share in their lives is something amazing. As a program, we feel that supporting these types of events is a great way to ground ourselves and truly help us to see what sport is all about."
The Titans' players and coaches ran kids ages 6-to-14 through a variety of drills and games, providing one-on-one instruction about the finer points of the game. After the clinic, the players and coaches talked with the campers and participated in a post-clinic autograph session.
"Soccer for Hope is a great opportunity for our team to give back to the youth in our community and support an amazing cause that we pray continues to grow and change children's lives," senior midfielder Caitlin Mellano said.
"Soccer for Hope" is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by Oliver Wyss, a former professional soccer player and survivor of Aplastic Anemia whose goal was to give back to the many caretakers who saved his life while raising awareness in the soccer community about the needs of children with life threatening diseases. For more information on the organization, please visit their website at soccerforhope.org.