Soccer's Stretch Run Begins With 49ers and Lobos

Oct. 20, 2009

FULLERTON, CA -

LOOKING AHEAD...
10/22 at Long Beach State* (Long Beach, CA) &\#149; 3 p.m. | Live Stats
10/25 vs. New Mexico (Fullerton, CA) &\#149; 1 p.m. | Audio - Video

KICK-OFF: With its postseason hopes dwindling, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (3-8-4 overall, 1-3-1 in the Big West Conference) looks to keep hope alive this week. The Titans take to the road for the final time in 2009, heading to archrival and struggling Long Beach State for a Thursday afternoon (Oct. 22) kickoff at 3 p.m. Fullerton then returns home to open a season-ending three-match homestand against non-conference foe New Mexico on Sunday (Oct. 25) at 1 p.m. at Titan Stadium.

IN THE POLLS: Neither Long Beach State, New Mexico, nor Cal State Fullerton are ranked entering this week's matches.

SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton narrowly leads the all-time series with Long Beach State, 6-5, after the 49ers took last season's meeting by a 1-0 score at Titan Stadium... the Titans and New Mexico have met four times, with the series knotted at 2-2... Fullerton has won the last two meetings between the two programs, including a 2-0 win in the last match at a tournament Tucson in 2005 and a 2-0 shutout in 2003 at the UCI Nike Invitational.

CAN'T MAKE THE MATCH?: For those fans who cannot make the trip to Long Beach on Thursday, you can follow the match live on the Internet. Long Beach State will provide live stats via CBS College Sports' Gametracker. A link can be accessed from the women's soccer schedule page at FullertonTitans.com. Sunday's match at home with New Mexico will feature both live audio and subscription video. Links to those broadcasts can be accessed above.

TITANS ON THE BRINK: Cal State Fullerton's hopes for a berth in the 2009 Big West Conference women's soccer tournament hang by a thin threat as the Titans stand in sixth place with four points - six points back of UC Irvine for the fourth and final playoff spot. Fullerton would need to win out while also getting some help from the league leaders as the Anteaters still must face Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State while fifth-place Pacific must take on league-leading Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara as well as the Titans.

ABOUT THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the weekend with a 5-8-2 overall record and a 1-3 mark in Big West Conference play for a seventh-place tie... the 49ers are winless in their last four matches following a pair of scoreless draws against San Diego and Cal State Bakersfield and two one-goal losses to UC Santa Barbara (3-2 in overtime) and Cal Poly (1-0) on the road last weekend... Long Beach State's last victory came on Oct. 4 as the 49ers edged UC Davis, 2-1... sophomore Shawna Gordon leads the offense with five goals and five assists for 15 points... Emily Kingsborough (2-4-2 overall) and Nicoline Jorgensen (3-4) have split time in net with Kingsborough posting a team-best 1.33 goals against average and three shutouts while Jorgensen has made 33 saves.

ABOUT THE LOBOS: New Mexico enters the week with an 11-3-2 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference for third place... the Lobos will take on league rival San Diego State on Friday before heading to Orange County to meet the Titans... UNM is coming off a split of conference contests last week, falling to BYU (3-0) before shutting out Utah (1-0)... sophomore Jennifer Williams leads the offense, scoring 10 goals and assisting on six others for 26 points... she also leads the team with 67 shots and has scored the game-winning goal seven times this season... Kelli Cornell has started all 16 matches in net, posting a 0.67 goals against average and 10 shutouts.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Thursday's match will be the Titans' last chance to claim a win on the road this season as Fullerton looks to improve on a away mark that has seen it post just one victory in five chances in true road contests in 2009.

ALL TIED UP: Fullerton's 1-1 draw with UC Irvine on Oct. 16 gave the Titans their fourth tie of the season, breaking the previous school record of three draws set in the second year of the program in 1994.

MURILLO ON THE BOARD: Cal State Fullerton junior Christina Murillo became only the fifth Titan to find the back of the net this season, scoring her first goal of the year to give her side the early lead against UC Irvine on Oct. 16. It was the 10th career goal and 23rd career point for the junior - both tops among active players.

ON THE CHARTS: Murillo's 10 career goals are just two shy of cracking the school's top 10 list, needing a pair to match Michele Bannister (2001-02) for 10th place. The 23 career points are also nearing the top 10, putting Murillo just nine points out of 10th place held by Kim Houg, who had 11 goals and 10 assists for the Titans from 1999-02.

ONE IS THE WINNINGEST NUMBER: Apparently, it's all you need. Of the Titans' last 10 matches, six have finished with 1-0 results (with Fullerton going 2-4 in those contests) while three others have ended in 1-1 draws (San Francisco, Washington, and UC Irvine). Neither the Titans, nor their opponents, have scored more than a single goal in a match since Cal State Fullerton shut out Michigan, 2-0, on Sept. 11 at Titan Stadium.

OFFENSE CLICKS: Despite not being able to find the back of the net on Oct. 18 vs. Cal State Northridge, it wasn't due to a lack of effort by the Titans' offense which unleashed a barrage of 15 shots en route to a 15-6 advantage in the shot column on the night. It was the second-highest shot total this season for Fullerton, which had 17 shots in a 1-0 shutout victory over UC Riverside on Oct. 4, and the third time the Titans have outshot an opponent this season.

NUMBERS ON THE TITANS' SIDE: Things may be looking up for the Titans this week as the numbers seem to be on Fullerton's side for its trip to archrival Long Beach State. The Titans are 4-1 all-time against the 49ers on their home pitch, outscoring them 7-0 while winning the last three straight in Long Beach. Fullerton extends that winning streak to 5-0 when you throw in a pair of Big West Conference tournament matches in 2006 as the Titans claimed their second consecutive league tournament crown.

ALUMNAE NEWS: Former Cal State Fullerton defender Jenae Gibbens recently helped her Finnish club, PK-35 Vantaa, to the first division championship and direct promotion to the highest league in Finland. She was a standout for the club upon her arrival, appearing in nine games, making eight starts, and scoring five goals while assisting on two more.

FAMILY PRIDE: The chest of Cal State Fullerton assistant coach Diego Bocanegra must be puffing out a little more this week after his younger brother, Carlos, helped lead the U.S. National Team to a berth in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa next summer. Carlos, a defender who is the captain of the men's squad, plays professionally in France with Stade Rennais and has a goal in 11 starts this season for the United States. His 73 caps are fourth-most on the team and he has 11 goals in his career with the U.S. National Team - the second-most all-time for a national team defender.

OFFENSIVE WOES, DEFENSE DOMINANT: Cal State Fullerton's offense has struggled to find the back of the net in its last 11 contests, scoring just seven times while battling to a 3-4-4 record in those matches. The defense, however, has been solid, allowing just seven goals (0.59 goals against average) in that span with four shutouts.

NIL-NIL: Cal State Fullerton's scoreless tie with Cal State Bakersfield on Oct. 1 marked the fifth in school history - all coming since the 2004 season. The Titans' last scoreless tie came in 2007 when they battled Cal Poly for 110 minutes without a goal in the championship match of the Big West Conference Tournament. Fullerton eventually won that match on penalty kicks by a 4-3 margin.

MY HERO ZERO: All three of Cal State Fullerton's victories this season have come via the shutout and, coupled with the Titans' 0-0 result against Cal State Bakersfield, have compiled four clean sheets on the year - one more than all of 2008 and the most since they posted eight shutouts in 2007.

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 10 career goals and 23 points.