Sept. 23, 2009
FULLERTON, CA -
9/25 at \#9 Santa Clara (Santa Clara, CA) &\#149; 5 p.m.
9/27 vs. Washington (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 4 p.m.
KICK-OFF: A streaking Cal State Fullerton women's soccer squad (2-4-1) looks to continue its roll this weekend against a pair of big-name opponents. The Titans open play on Friday evening at 5 p.m. as they head to the Bay Area to take on No. 9 Santa Clara before returning home to take on Washington on Sunday evening at 4 p.m. as part of a triple-header with the Fullerton men's team.
IN THE POLLS: Santa Clara is ranked No. 9 according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and is No. 10 in Soccer America's top 25 this week... Washington is receiving 14 votes in this week's NSCAA poll... Cal State Fullerton is unranked.
SERIES RECORDS: Friday's meeting with Santa Clara will be the seventh for the Titans against one of the nation's powerhouse programs in what has become a yearly meeting... Fullerton will be looking for it's first victory against the Broncos as Santa Clara is 5-0-1 all-time against the Titans since the series started in 2003... Cal State Fullerton tied the Broncos, 2-2, in double overtime in the first meeting between the two schools while Santa Clara leads the scoring in the series 11-5... The Titans are 1-1-1 against the Huskies, winning the last meeting between the two schools, 3-1, at the Husky Nike Invitational in Seattle in 2007... Washington posted a 3-0 win in 2003 a season after the two school's tied, 1-1, in 2002.
CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH: Friday's match at Santa Clara will be carried live over the Internet thanks to CBS College Sports' Gametracker. Sunday's match against Washington 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. 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 Big West TV on a subscription basis. Fans can log on to http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=bigw to access all the action.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara enters the weekend with a 7-2 overall record, averaging 1.78 goals per game (16 total) and has allowed only five goals in nine matches this season, posting four shutouts... the Broncos are 3-0 at home this season... Santa Clara has won five straight since back-to-back losses to Utah and Maryland, including posting big wins over No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 7 Purdue, and No. 23 Colorado... Kiki Bosio, Jordan Angeli, and Maxine Goynes lead the team in scoring with seven points apiece while Angeli has three goals to pace the squad... nine different Bronco players have found the back of the net this season... Bosio and Goynes have three assists to lead the team... Bolstered by a strong backline, Bianca Henninger has started all nine matches in net, posting a 0.54 goals against average and being forced to make only 13 saves in 828 minutes.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington enters the weekend with a 5-2 overall record, having won its last two matches against Illinois (1-0) and Utah State (2-0)... The Huskies will meet UC Irvine on Friday night before heading to Cal State Fullerton... Veronica Perez leads the team in scoring with seven points on the year, sharing the team lead in goals with Kelli Stewart with three apiece... McKenna Waitley paces the squad with three assists this season... the Huskies have outshot the opposition, 120-49, this season led by Perez's 31... Kari Davidson has started all seven matches in net this season, posting a 0.75 goals against average and making 21 saves in 600 minutes.
CONFERENCE CALL: Cal State Fullerton is 20-32-3 (.391) all-time against the West Coast Conference - perennially one of the nation's strongest women's soccer conferences - including a 0-1-1 mark this season after a loss to San Diego (2-0) and a draw with San Francisco (1-1)... the Titans are winless in their last three meetings with WCC schools (0-2-1) dating back to a 2-0 win over Saint Mary's on Aug. 31, 2008... Fullerton is 9-21-6 (.333) all-time against the Pacific-10 Conference, including an 0-1 mark this season (L, 4-0 vs. USC)... however, the Titans have won three of the last five against Pac-10 schools with victories over California in 2008 and both the Golden Bears and Washington in 2007.
LOOKING TO BUCK A TREND: Despite trailing 11-5 in the scoring column with Santa Clara, the series has been a lot closer than the 5-0-1 series record depicts. Four of the six matches in the series have been decided by a single goal (the lone exception being a 2-0 loss in 2006) and two of the matches have gone into overtime.
TITANS ON A ROLL (HOLD THE MAYO): After opening the season 0-4, Cal State Fullerton has found itself in a groove as of late, going unbeaten in its last three contests (2-0-1) and posting a pair of shutout victories while allowing just one goal in that span. The Titans' three-match unbeaten streak is the longest since they opened the 2008 season with a 4-0 mark.
CHOMPING AT THE "BIT": Junior Danielle Bitonti has found the back of the net in each of the Titans' last two matches, netting the game-winner with her only shot of the match in a victory against Hawaii and scoring the equalizer to forge a draw with San Francisco. The two scores make Bitonti the second Titan to score multiple goals this season (joining teammate Tamara Dewey) and puts her just one goal shy of her career total of three - all scored as a sophomore in 2008.
MY HERO ZERO: Both of Cal State Fullerton's victories this season have come via the shutout putting the Titans just one clean sheet shy of matching last year's total of three.
SANTOS SHINES IN TITAN DEBUT: San Jose State transfer Jordan-Michelle Santos was stellar in her Cal State Fullerton debut last week against Hawaii, making six saves - including four in the second half to maintain the lead - and posting a shutout in relief of usual starter Shannon Simpson, who was out with an injury. It continued a trend for the sophomore keeper who had three clean sheets in seven starts for the Spartans as a freshman in 2008.
THEIR BEST SHOT: It's not always how many shots you take, it's what you do with them. Fullerton managed only 10 shots against the Rainbow Wahine, but the Titans outshot Hawaii for the match, 10-9, marking the second consecutive match that Fullerton has outshot an opponent (San Francisco, 8-5). The Titans still have some work to do overall, however, as they are being outshot 73-51 overall.
BRISA ON THE BOARD: Freshman Brisa Gonzalez netted the first goal of her young collegiate career during the homestand, netting the second goal of the match in a 2-0 shutout win over Michigan that gave the Titans their first win of the season. She is one of two freshmen (Jennifer Smith has an assist) to tally points this season and one of three Titans (Smith and sophomore Caitlin Mellano) to record their first collegiate points.
A REAL "GEM": Junior Geminesse Martinez was credited with an assist on teammate Danielle Bitonti's game-tying goal against San Francisco on Sept. 13, giving her eight for her career - just four away from the all-time top 10 list.
ON THE SPOT: Junior defender Tamara Dewey made it 2-for-2 in 2009 as she converted on her second penalty kick attempt of the season to tally the game-winner in a victory over Michigan. With the goal, Dewey remained perfect for her career from the spot as her PK goal improved the Murrieta native to 4-for-4 in that category overall after she converted both of her chances in 2008. The goal was the sixth of Dewey's career and her 13th career point - the second-most of any active Titan behind Christina Murillo's nine career goals and 21 points.
BARDSLEY, ENGLAND TAKE SILVER AT '09 EUROS: Former Cal State Fullerton goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and the England Women's National Team fell to Germany, 6-2, in the 2009 UEFA European Championships in Finland, claiming the silver medal after reaching their first Euro final since 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.
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.
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 49-23-5 (.669) 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 month of August 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. Since her professional debut, Gibbens has scored three times and has had another of her dangerous throw-ins headed in for an own goal.
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 entering 2009 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.