Titans Hope Home Cooking Helps Snap Winless Start
Sept. 10, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
9/11 vs. Michigan (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 2 p.m.
9/13 vs. San Francisco (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m.
9/16 vs. Hawaii (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 7 p.m.
KICK-OFF: Still in search of its first victory for the 2009 season, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (0-4 overall) goes hunting for wins during a three-match homestand beginning this weekend at Titan Stadium. The Titans open with a rare Friday afternoon (Sept. 11) contest against Michigan at 2 p.m. in order to avoid a conflict with the university's annual "Concert Under the Stars" taking place on the adjacent fields. Fullerton then closes out the weekend on Sunday (Sept. 13) against San Francisco at 1 p.m. and welcomes Hawaii for a mid-week night match on Wednesday (Sept. 16) at 7 p.m.
IN THE POLLS: Neither the Titans nor their three upcoming opponents are ranked in the top 25 entering this week.
SERIES RECORDS: Friday's meeting with Michigan will be the first between the two schools in women's soccer and the first-ever Big 10 opponent for the Titans... Fullerton is 2-2 all-time against San Francisco, but has lost the last two meetings by identical 2-1 scores in 2004 and 2006... the Titans' last win against the Dons came in a 7-2 drubbing at Titan Stadium on Sept. 30, 2001... Fullerton leads the all-time series with Hawaii by a 4-2 count, but had its four-match winning streak in the series snapped with a 3-2 loss last season after the Rainbow Wahine scored twice in the final four minutes of the match.
CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH?: All three of this week's matches will be broadcast live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com. A free live audio stream will be available with veteran Fullerton broadcaster Mike Martinez carrying the play-by-play for all three contests. Links to the broadcast are available by clicking on the microphone logo on the front page of FullertonTitans.com. Live streaming video will also be available via the Big West TV platform on a subscription basis. Fans can log on to http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=bigw to access all the action. Live video will not be available for Sunday's contest against San Francisco.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES: Michigan enters the weekend with a 3-3 record, having won its last two contests thanks to victories over Central Michigan (4-3) and Eastern Michigan (4-1)... The Wolverines will also meet USC on Sunday to conclude their West Coast swing... Michigan has never won in the state of California (0-5)... Jackie Carron leads the team with seven points on a pair of goals and three assists while eight different Wolverines have found the back of the net on the year... Kristen Keane (4 starts) and Haley Kopmeyer (2 starts) have split time in net with Keane posting a 2.12 goals against average to lead the pair... Kopmeyer has a 2.69 GAA to go with 15 saves.
ABOUT THE DONS: San Francisco is 3-1 overall on the season, coming off a 1-1 week that saw the Dons fall to Long Island (2-0) and shut out Fairfield (3-0) at the USF odwalla Nike Classic... the Dons will meet UC Riverside on Friday before meeting the Titans... Kristina Hall leads the team in scoring with three goals - one of three Dons with multiple goals on the season... Kelly Pohle has started all four matches in net, posting a 0.59 GAA and eight saves to go with a shutout.
ABOUT THE RAINBOW WAHINE: Hawaii enters the week with a 1-3-1 overall record and will meet Pepperdine in Malibu on Sept. 13 before meeting the Titans next week... the Rainbow Wahine are looking to snap a two-match losing streak, falling to UAB (2-0) and Pacific (3-2) at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Soccer Classic in Honolulu last weekend... During its trip to the mainland, Hawaii will play four matches in eight days throughout southern California, meeting the Waves, Titans, Cal State Northridge (Sept. 18), and Cal State Bakersfield (Sept. 20)... Britta Bourne leads the team in scoring with seven points on a trio of goals and an assist... Kristina Ehrett (3 starts), Chelsea Deptula (2 starts), and Kanani Taaca (3 appearances), have all seen time in net... Ehrett has posted a 2.11 GAA and 19 saves to lead the trio.
THIS IS NOT THE START WE WERE LOOKING FOR: The Titans' 0-4 start is an anomaly when it comes to Fullerton women's soccer as the four straight losses to start the season are a school record. The previous worst start in school history came in 2001 when the Titans started 0-3, but (insert silver lining here) they rebounded to finish 13-7 overall and 8-1 in Big West Conference play to win the league's regular season crown and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Fullerton's four-match losing streak is its longest in a single season since the middle of last year's campaign and the Titans have lost seven straight contests dating back to last year - their longest since losing seven in a row from 2000-01.
GOALS WANTED: A large part of Fullerton's struggles this season have been due to the Titans' inability to find the back of the net through four matches thus far - being outscored by a 10-1 count, including a trio of shutout losses in each of their last three matches. Fullerton's only goal this season came on a penalty kick strike by junior Tamara Dewey in the closing minutes of the match against Utah. It is the fewest number of goals scored by the Titans through the team's first four matches in the history of the program, surpassing the previous mark of three goals in the program's inaugural season of 1993.
JUST SHOOT ME: Despite being outshot by a 49-25 count this season, numerous Titans have tried their hand (or foot, if you will) at finding the back of the net. Thirteen different players have taken at least one shot this season led by sophomores Casey Volk and Stacey Fox, who have four shots apiece.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGE'S: Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Change made her Division I debut last week at No. 24 USC, entering in the second half and making a save in the Titans' loss to Women of Troy. Change became the 11th freshman or redshirt freshman to make their debut with Cal State Fullerton this season.
ALUMNAE UPDATE: Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and the England Women's National Team have reached the finals of the 2009 UEFA European Championships and will meet Germany on Thursday (Sept. 10) in the championship match. It marks the first appearance for the English side in the Euros championship since the inaugural event in 1984. England finished third in group play, but advanced to the knock-out round as one of the top two third-place teams in the tournament. The Three Lions then ousted the host Finns with a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals and defeated the Netherlands, 2-1, in extra time to punch their ticket to the final. Bardsley is looking to be part of yet another championship squad after spending most of the year as part of Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer here in the United States, helping the team to the league's inaugural championship.
A DAUNTING TASK: The task of returning the squad to the top of the Big West Conference table in 2009 will be difficult as third-year head coach Demian Brown has assembled a difficult slate of matches for the upcoming season. The Titans will meet five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament a season ago in USC (3rd round), San Diego (2nd round), Washington (2nd round), Long Beach State (1st round), and UC Santa Barbara (1st round). In addition, Fullerton will also host an exhibition against the Mexican Women's National Team on Aug. 30.
DEWEY DOES IT AGAIN: Got penalty kicks? Junior defender Tamara Dewey remained perfect for her career from the spot as her penalty kick goal against Utah on Aug. 23 improved the Murrieta native to 3-for-3 in PK's in her career after she converted a pair last season. The goal was also the fifth of Dewey's career and her 11th career point - the second-most of any active Titan behind Christina Murillo's nine career strikes and 21 points.
HOME, SWEET HOME: However tough the schedule may be, the Titans will have the backing of the hometown faithful for most of the year as Cal State Fullerton will contest 12 of its 19 regular season matches within the friendly confines of Titan Stadium where it has posted a 47-22-4 (.671) mark over the last eight-plus seasons.
TRAVELIN' TITANS: A couple of former Cal State Fullerton standouts will be racking up the frequent flyer miles this year as Karen Bardsley (2002-06) and Jenae Gibbens (2006-08) take their games across the pond to compete in Europe. Bardsley has spent the better part of the last two weeks with the England Women's National Team for the 2009 UEFA European Championships in Finland after spending most of the summer competing with Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer. Gibbens is also in Finland after signing on to compete with PK-35 Vantaa in the Finnish First Division. She has already made an impact, scoring a goal in her debut and playing all 90 minutes while earning a card in her second appearance with the team. Gibbens added a second goal on Sept. 6 in the team's 5-0 win over TJK.
TITANS SHINE IN WPS: Two former Titans shined on the professional stage this past summer as part of the Women's Professional Soccer league's inaugural season. Kandace Wilson (2002-05) appeared in eight matches (starting six) for FC Gold Pride before an injury put her on the sidelines for the rest of the season. She had taken six shots and posted an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Freedom on April 26. Karen Bardsley appeared in four matches for Sky Blue FC, making three starts, and posted a 0.57 goals against average with eight saves and a shutout while helping her side to a WPS playoff berth before leaving to join the England Women's National Team.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: The 2009 Titans return 12 letter winners and eight starters off of last season's young squad that finished 7-11-1 overall and 2-6 in the Big West Conference (9th place).
Offensively, four of the team's top six scorers return for Fullerton, led by sophomore All-Big West Honorable Mention forward Stacey Fox (5 goals, 3 assists) and junior Christina Murillo (4 goals, 3 assists). Overall, the Titans return 19 of their 28 goals scored last season (68 percent) and 52 of the team's 79 points (66 percent) from a year ago.
TITANS PICKED SIXTH IN BIG WEST RACE: The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference for the 2009 season according to a vote of the league's coaches released on Aug. 4.
The Titans finished with 32 points in a bunched middle-of-the-pack, finishing just one point shy of Cal State Northridge (33 points) for fifth and one point ahead of UC Irvine (31 points) in seventh position. Defending tournament champion UC Santa Barbara was selected to win the regular season crown, garnering five of the nine first-place votes and finishing with 75 points overall to claim the favorite's position.
Three-time defending regular season champion Long Beach State was picked second with two first-place votes and 67 points overall and was followed by Cal Poly (one first-place vote, 65 points), and Pacific (one first-place vote, 53 points) in the top four.
Northridge, Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Davis (28 points), and UC Riverside (21) round out the coach's selections.
HEAD COACH Demian Brown: Former Cal State Fullerton letter winner Demian Brown returns to his alma mater for his third season at the helm of the Titans' women's program, continuing to develop the Fullerton side into a national contender. Brown, the 2007 Big West Conference Coach of the Year, sports a 19-19-3 overall mark as head coach of the Titans after spending three seasons as an assistant and helping Cal State Fullerton to three conference tournament crowns, three regular season titles, and back-to-back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2005-07). He has coached three Titans to Big West Defensive Player of the Year honors (Marlene Sandoval in 2005, Erica Janke in 2006, and Jenae Gibbens in 2007), 18 players to All-Big West First-Team laurels, and 11 more named to the all-conference second team and honorable mention squads.
ALSO ON THE SIDELINES: Joining the staff for his first season on the Titan Stadium sidelines is Diego Bocanegra, who spent the previous two years as the head coach of the women's program at Cal State San Bernardino where he was 18-13-9 with the Coyotes. Returning from a season playing overseas is former Titan letter winner Lauryn Welch, a three-time All-Big West Conference selection and the MVP of the 2005 Big West Conference Tournament. Assisting with the Titans' goalkeeping corps is volunteer assistant Brian Mason, a standout keeper at Saint Mary's where he set school records for goals against average (1.27) and shutouts (13.5) while standing third with 5,013 minutes played and fourth with 246 saves.