Top-Ranked Pilots, Huskies Up Next for Titan Women

Top-Ranked Pilots, Huskies Up Next for Titan Women

Sept. 6, 2007

FULLERTON, CA - After a rocky start in 100-plus degree temperatures in the desert last weekend, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (0-1-1 overall) heads north to cooler climes this weekend as the Titans participate in the Husky Nike Invitational hosted by the University of Washington.

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Fullerton will meet No. 1-ranked Portland on Friday afternoon (Sept. 7) at 4:30 p.m. to open tournament play before taking on the host Huskies on Sunday (Sept. 9) at 1:30 p.m. to conclude the week.

IN THE POLLS: Friday afternoon's opponent, the University of Portland, is the top-ranked team in the nation according to the NSCAA, Soccer America, and Soccer Buzz polls released this week.. Purdue, the fourth team participating in this weekend's tournament, is receiving votes in the NSCAA poll... Washington and Cal State Fullerton are unranked.

SERIES RECORDS: The Pilots lead the all-time series with the Titans, 3-0, with the last meeting coming on Sept. 13, 2003, at the Portland Nike Invitational, a 2-0 win for the Pilots... Fullerton's last meeting with the Huskies also came that season in the very same tournament, a 3-0 victory for Washington... The Huskies are 1-0-1 all-time against the Titans.

ABOUT THE PILOTS: Portland is off to a 2-0 start after an overtime 2-1 victory against \#6 Florida State and a 4-1 win over in-state rival Oregon State last weekend. Natalie Budge and Rachael Rapinoe combined to score all six of the team's goals with Budge adding an assist to lead the team with seven points. Michelle Enyeart leads the squad with four assists on the year. Kelsey Davis has received the majority of time in net, sporting a 0.54 goals against average and four saves.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington has struggled to open the season, dropping its first two matches of the year to Marquette (2-0) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-1) last weekend. Melissa Beal (1 goal) and Robin Alexander (1 assist) have provided all the scoring for the Huskies thus far. Sophomore Taylor Carr has started both matches in net, posting a 2.00 goals against average and three saves thus far.

UNLV's Katie Carney scored twice, including the game-winning goal in just the second minute of the match, to lift the host Rebels to a 2-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday night at the UNLV adidas Classic. Carney's game-winner came just 1:38 into the match as her long free kick from 35 yards out couldn't be handled by Fullerton goalkeeper Shayla Sabin giving the Rebels the 1-0 advantage. The score remained that way through the half until Carney struck again in the 81st minute with an insurance goal, taking a pass from teammate LaChere Anglin and unleashing a rocket from 30 yards out to the left post for the final tally of the match.

Cal State Fullerton junior Jenae Gibbens scored her first goal of the season in the first half to draw the Titans even and help them forge a 1-1 double overtime tie with Idaho State in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals' Natalie Griffin, who led Idaho State with five shots on the day, fired a shot from the left post, nestling it into the right corner past Titan goalkeeper Shayla Sabin at the 4:59 mark to make it 1-0. The score remained that way until the 30th minute when Gibbens capitalized on a corner kick by Casey Schostag, heading home the cross to knot the match at 1-1. Neither team could find the back of the net the rest of the way as Fullerton could not capitalize on a 23-12 shot advantage and a 9-6 lead in corner kicks.

WELCOME BACK: Junior goalkeeper Shayla Sabin's return to net probably wasn't all she hoped for in the 2-0 loss to UNLV on Aug. 31, but she did her best to keep her side in the match, making a career-high seven saves on the night. It was the first appearance in goal for Sabin for the Titans since Oct. 30, 2005, at Long Beach State after she sat out all of the 2006 season.

THE BEST AROUND: Friday's match-up with the top-ranked Pilots is believed to be the first time that Cal State Fullerton has faced off against the No. 1 team in the nation in the history of the program. Portland, which has been ranked in all three previous meetings with the Titans, reached the quarterfinals of last season's NCAA Tournament and has twice won the national championship in 2002 and 2005.

THE EVERGREEN STATE: Titans will be making their first-ever trip to the state of Washington this weekend despite going 4-1-1 against school's from the "Evergreen State." Fullerton is 2-0 all-time against Eastern Washington, 1-0 against Gonzaga, 1-0 against Washington State, and 0-1-1 against Washington.

GIBBENS GETS ON THE BOARD: Junior defender Jenae Gibbens has spent her career stopping players from finding the back of the net. Last Sunday against Idaho State, she got her chance to get on the board as her header off a Casey Schostag corner kick netted the first goal of her Titans' career.


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