Sept. 19, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Winners of its last three consecutive matches, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (3-2-1 overall) closes out a three-match homestand this week before opening Big West Conference play on the road to close out the weekend.
The Titans will welcome Southern California rival Loyola Marymount to Titan Stadium on Thursday night (Sept. 20) for a 7 p.m. meeting before heading north to conference newcomer UC Davis for a 12 p.m. kickoff in the league opener for both teams.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Thursday's match against LMU will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Mike Martinez will carry the live audio play-by-play while streaming video will be available to Big West TV subscribers. Please visit www.bigwest.org/TV for more information on how to sign up.
IN THE POLLS: Cal State Fullerton and its two opponents this week are unranked nationally. However, the Titans are ranked No. 15 in the West Region entering this week according to Soccer Buzz and receiving votes in the region according to the NSCAA.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with Loyola Marymount by a 6-5-1 count, winning the last three consecutive meetings with the Lions - including last season's NCAA Tournament opener by the score of 3-0 at UCLA... The Titans are 3-2 all-time against the Lions at home... Fullerton has won all three meetings with UC Davis since 2004, but this weekend will be the first meeting with the Aggies as a conference member... two of the three meetings with UC Davis have been decided by one goal (3-2 in 2004 and 1-0 in 2006 - both on the road) with the third a 4-1 victory at home in 2005.
ABOUT THE LIONS: LMU (2-3-1) struggled to open the 2007 season, going winless in its first four matches including a pair of 1-0 losses to UC Santa Barbara and Dayton and a scoreless tie with Indiana. After a loss to Maryland, the Lions snapped out of its funk with a school-record 9-0 drubbing of Lamar and a 3-0 win over Michigan last weekend. Nine different players have scored goals for LMU while Gabrielle Parisella and Lauren Shanklin lead the team with five points. Goalkeeper Joslyn Slovek has posted three shutouts to go with a 0.64 goals against average and 27 saves.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: UC Davis enters the weekend with a 4-2 overall record and will meet Portland State in a non-conference match before facing the Titans in its Big West opener. The Aggies are coming off a pair of wins last weekend over San Francisco (3-1) and Sacramento State (3-2 in 2OT) to snap a two-match losing streak. Dayna Dumont leads the team in scoring with five goals and an assist to account for over half of the team's nine goals. Goalkeepers Megan Daws (2-0, 1.19 GAA, 8 saves) and Sarah Peters (2-2, 2 ShO, 1.40 GAA, 12 saves) have split time in net this season.
GIBBENS EARNS BIG WEST HONORS: Junior defender Jenae Gibbens was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday afternoon after leading the defense in a pair of wins over No. 14 California and Oklahoma. In Friday's match, Gibbens helped hold a potent Golden Bears' offense in check, holding a roster that had seen eight different scorers to a season-low nine shots and leading scorer Caitlin Hannegan to just two shots in handing Cal its first loss of the year. Two days later, she marked Oklahoma's Whitney Palmer (who ranked among the Big 12's top scorers with four tallies on the season), shutting down the Sooners' leading scorer by holding her to just one shot.
GIBBENS ADDS BUZZ HONORS: Gibbens also became the first Titan this season (and the 12th overall ) to earn a spot on the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week. It is her first appearance on the team in her Titan career.
TITANS 2, \#14 CALIFORNIA 1 (2OT): Cal State Fullerton senior Kristen Boujos snuck home the game-winning goal through traffic in the 103rd minute to lift the Titans to a 2-1 double overtime victory over No. 14 California. After a scoreless first overtime period, the Titans put the pressure on to start the second overtime, punting the ball deep in the corner for Brianna Buffington, who battled with a California defender to force a corner kick. Junior Casey Schostag sent the ensuing kick into the box where it deflected off a Golden Bears defender and Titan senior Nicole Scheid before bouncing to Boujos, who skidded a low drive through traffic to the left post for the game-winning tally. It was Boujos' first goal of the season. The Titans were the first to get on the board in the 47th minute, as a long ball into no man's land turned into a foot race between Pellegrini and Fullerton senior Brianna Buffington. Pellegrini got there first with a nifty slide, but her tackle punched the ball out to a waiting Candice Byler, who looped a shot from 18 yards out into the upper left corner for the 1-0 advantage. The Golden Bears answered with the equalizer almost nine minutes later in the 55th minute as another long ball into the box by Brianna Bak was headed into the net by Stephanie Wieger to knot the score at 1-1.
TITANS 2, OKLAHOMA 0: Cal State Fullerton senior Lauren Cram scored twice, including the game-winner in the 50th minute, to help lift the Titans to a 2-0 victory over visiting Oklahoma. A miscue by the Oklahoma keeper led to Cram's first goal as the Sooners' Jennifer Nichols took a back pass from one of her defenders, but her clearing attempt was knocked down by Cram from about 20 yards out and she one-timed a rocket for the 1-0 lead. The senior's second strike came in the 65th minute as teammate Stacey Thompson made a run down the right side and looped a cross into the box where Cram settled the ball on the near post, turned and beat Nichols to the far side for the 2-0 advantage. That was all the Titans would need as the defense clamped down in the second half, allowing Oklahoma just one shot in the second period. Fullerton held a 9-5 advantage in that category for the match and a 7-4 lead in corner kicks on the afternoon.
CRAM BREAKS OUT: Cal State Fullerton senior Lauren Cram scored twice in Sunday's win over Oklahoma, notching her first two goals since her freshman season when her only tally was the game-winner against San Diego on Sept. 8, 2004. She became the second Titan to score multiple goals in a match this season, joining teammate Stacey Thompson, who scored twice in a win over Washington on Sept. 9.
LEADER OF THE "PAC"?: Cal State Fullerton earned its eighth win in 33 chances against a Pacific-10 Conference school with Friday's win over \#14 California, posting two wins over Pac-10 schools in the same season since 1995 (Arizona and USC).
REVENGE, PART II: For the second time this season, the Titans will meet a recent NCAA Tournament foe in the regular season as Fullerton and Loyola Marymount lock horns on Thursday night. It is the second such NCAA rematch for the Titans this season after they fell to UNLV (2005 NCAA Tournament opening round opponent) in their regular season opener.
SHUTOUT STREAK ON THE LINE: Fullerton has not allowed a goal to Loyola Marymount in each of the last three meetings, shutting out the Lions to the tune of 6-0 in that stretch. the Titans defeated LMU by a 1-0 count in 2001, 2-0 in 2005, and 3-0 last season.
TITANS POST WIN OVER RANKED FOE: The Titans' 2-1 win over No. 14 California was their first over a ranked opponent since they defeated No. 6 Texas A&M by the same score last season in College Station, Texas. It was just Fullerton's fourth win over ranked opposition in its last 19 tries.
FOR OPENERS (BIG WEST EDITION): Cal State Fullerton is 6-4-1 all-time in Big West Conference openers dating back to the 1996 season, but has just won once in the last four tries. The Titans are 3-3 all-time when opening the league schedule on the road, losing their last two.
WHAT A SPEECH: Only the players know what first year Head Coach Demian Brown is saying in the lockerroom at halftime, but it seems to have had a profound effect on the Titans as six of their nine goals scored this season have come in the second half or later.
DIFFICULT TO DEFEND: Fullerton has become a multi-dimensional offense as of late, giving opposing defenses fits about who to focus on. Five different players have accounted for the team's last six goals while eight different players have tallied either a goal or an assist in 2007.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): The Titans' defense clamped down against a pair of big-name opponents this past weekend, holding a pair of powerful offenses in check en route to a pair of victories. Fullerton held previously unbeaten California to a season-low nine shots in handing the Golden Bears their first loss of the year. Two days later, the Titans held Oklahoma to just five shots - including just one in the second half - to tie the Sooners' season low.
IT DOESN'T GET EASIER: Senior goalkeeper Kerri Ward couldn't have had an easier time in her first start in two-plus seasons as a Titan, playing all 90 minutes against Oklahoma to log her first career victory and shutout in Fullerton's 2-0 victory. With a strong defense in front of her, Ward was not forced to make a save against the Sooners while facing only five shots.
PLAYING TIME FOR EVERYBODY: Speaking of Kerri Ward, the senior became the third different netminder for the Titans this season after junior Shayla Sabin started the first three matches of the year and freshman Shannon Simpson got the nod in wins over Washington and No. 14 California. It is the first time since 1999 that three goalkeepers have seen significant action in net for the Titans as Blythe Curran (1,060 minutes), Marla Nelson (723 minutes), and Alisha Davis (90 minutes) all defended the goal.
HOME SWEET HOME: Fullerton opened 2-0 at home for the first time since 2003, snapping a three-match winless streak at Titan Stadium dating back to a 1-0 victory against UC Riverside on Oct. 1, 2006. Cal State Fullerton is 82-56-7 (.590) all-time at home with 40 wins in 55 chances (.755 winning percentage) in the last six-plus seasons.