Tourney Berth on the Line for Titans in Road Finales
Oct. 27, 2010
FULLERTON, CA -
KICK OFF: With a berth in the Big West Conference Tournament still in the balance, the Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (6-11 overall, 3-3 in league play) closes out its 2010 regular season on the road (where else?) against two of the conference's top teams. The Titans take on third-place Cal State Northridge (10-8, 4-3) on Thursday (Oct. 28) at 7 p.m., before a Halloween afternoon match-up against newly-crowned regular season champion and 12th-ranked UC Irvine (15-1-2, 7-0) on Sunday (Oct. 31) at 1 p.m.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (CSUF Athletics), Twitter (@CSUFAthletics) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans). In addition, the women's soccer team has its own Twitter; get the inside scoop at @CSUF_WSoccer.
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?": Both of Cal State Fullerton's matches this weekend can be heard live over the Internet at FullertonTitans.com thanks to a partnership with Stretch Internet. Veteran soccer broadcaster Mike Martinez will have the calls live from Northridge and Irvine. To access the links, click on the headphones icon in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage at FullertonTitans.com.
"CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?": Thanks to a partnership between the Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network, live video of select Cal State Fullerton women's soccer home and road contests will be streamed live over the Internet via the BigWestTV platform. A monthly subscription of \$9.95 or an annual subscription of \$79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. For more information, please visit www.BigWest.org/TV.
ON POINT: Cal State Fullerton's hopes for a berth in the Big West Conference Tournament are alive, but the Titans need at least one win and some help from its conference mates this weekend to have a shot at the league's postseason event. A win over Northridge on Thursday and a UC Santa Barbara loss or tie with against Cal Poly will put the Titans into the tournament regardless of their outcome against UC Irvine on Sunday. However, a win and a Gauchos victory will force Fullerton to gain at least a tie against the Anteaters to avoid any potential tiebreaking scenarios. A three-way tie between the Titans, UCSB, and the Matadors at 12 points would go in favor of the Gauchos as Fullerton and Santa Barbara each posted wins over Northridge and the Gauchos would advance by virtue of their head-to-head win over the Titans. There is also a possibility of a three-way tie between Pacific, Fullerton, and Northridge at 12 points with the Tigers and Titans gaining the final two berths, and a four-way tie between Fullerton, Pacific, the Matadors and UCSB at 12 points with numerous tiebreakers coming into play.
IN THE POLLS: UC Irvine enters the weekend ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation (NSCAA) while also standing at No. 15 in the Soccer America poll and tied for No. 16 in the Soccer Times poll... Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge are unranked.
ABOUT THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the weekend with a 10-8 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the Big West Conference... the Matadors are tied with Pacific for third place in the standings with 12 points, but the Matadors have just one conference match remaining to the Tigers' two... Northridge split its two matches last weekend, winning a non-conference battle at Cal State Bakersfield (2-1) before falling to Long Beach State on the road (2-1)... Farryn Townley leads all scorers with five goals and 11 points while Desiree Cardenas has found the back of the net four times... Cynthia Jacobo has played all but 26 minutes in net, posting a 1.11 goals against average and 78 saves to go with six shutouts.
ABOUT THE ANTEATERS: The newly-corwned Big West Conference championships enter the weekend with a 15-1-2 overall record and a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play with only Sunday's match against Fullerton remaining... the Anteaters have won 12 straight and are unbeaten in their last 15 matches... UCI's only loss was against Seattle by the score of 2-1 on Aug. 29 at home... five of the Anteaters matches have gone to double overtime with UCI posting a 3-0-2 mark in those contests... Tanya Taylor leads the team in scoring with nine goals and nine assists (27 points) while five other players have dented the back of the net mutilple times... UCI has outscored the opposition, 40-12, overall this season while holding opponents to 150 shots in 18 matches (8.33 shots per game)... Danielle de Seriere has posted a 0.63 goals against average and 10 shutouts in 18 matches, making 60 saves and posting an .833 save percentage.
SERIES RECORDS: Fullerton is 10-3 all-time against Cal State Northridge, but the Matadors have won the last two meetings - including a 1-0 decision last year at Titan Stadium... Northridge's win in 2008 (a 3-1 decision in Northridge) snapped a seven-match losing streak to the Titans... Fullerton is just 4-2 all-time against the Matadors in Northridge... the Titans are 10-4-3 all-time against UC Irvine and are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings (9-0-1) against the Anteaters... the Titans haven't lost to the Anteaters since 2000 - a 4-1 defeat in Irvine... the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw last season in Fullerton... the Titans are 5-2-1 all-time against UCI on the road... Cal State Fullerton has outscored Irvine, 24-6, during its 10-match unbeaten streak, not allowing more than one goal in a match in that stretch to the Anteaters while posting four shutouts... four of the 10 matches have gone to overtime... Fullerton and UC Irvine have played to overtime six times in the history of the series - tied for the most against any one opponent in school history (Cal Poly).
THAT'S RANK: Sunday's contest against No. 12 UC Irvine will mark the fourth nationally ranked opponent for the Titans this season as Fullerton will look to improve on a 1-2 mark against the top 25 in 2010. The Titans posted a win over then-No. 18 ranked UNC Greensboro on Sept. 5 while falling to No. 14 BYU on Aug. 23 (3-0) and No. 21 Auburn on Sept. 12 (2-0). In addition, San Diego was among those receiving votes during its meeting with the Titans on Oct. 3 at Titan Stadium, a match the Toreros would win by a 2-1 score.
SENIOR NIGHT STRUGGLES: Cal State Fullerton has struggled as of late in its home regular season finales as the Titans dropped their fourth "Senior NIght" match in their last five chances last weekend against UC Santa Barbara. Fullerton will have a chance to play "Senior Spoiler," however, as the Titans will face UC Irvine on Sunday in the Anteaters' 2010 home finale.
TRICK OR TREAT?: Sunday's match at UC Irvine will mark the fourth time since the program's inception in 1993 that the Titans will play on Halloween with Fullerton posting a 1-2 in its three previous matches - all decided by a single goal. The Titans haven't played on Halloween since 2004 when they defeated UC Irvine, 1-0, in overtime at Anteater Stadium. Fullerton also lost at home to Long Beach State (2-1) in 2003 and on the road at Pepperdine (2-1) in 1995.
MARICIC SHINES IN FIRST COLLEGIATE START: Freshman goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic made her first career Division I start one to remember last week as the rookie keeper made seven saves in preserving the Titans' 1-0 shutout of Cal Poly. It was Maricic's first career win between the pipes and the first clean sheet of her Division I career while tying a season high for saves by a Titan keeper this season (7 by Jessica Change at LMU on Oct. 1).
STILL THE ONE: When the Titans posted a 2-0 shutout of then-No. 18 UNC Greensboro back on Sept. 5, Cal State Fullerton had its signature victory of its 2010 season to that point. Turns out, it may standout even more as the defeat remains the only blemish on the Spartans' record in 2010 as they have posted a 15-1-1 mark this year and is ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation.
SHE JUST WINS, BABY: Talk about right place, right time for junior Casey Volk, who has her foot or head on the end of four of the Titans' six game-winners this season. Volk's four game-winners are tied for the second-most in the Big West Conference in 2010 and is tied for the second-highest total in a single-season in school history, needing just one more this year to match Dolores Browning's school record of five game-winners set in 1995. Volk, who ranks second on the team with 11 points (four goals, three assists), also stands tied for 10th on the career list in the game-winners category and stands just outside the top 10 on the Big West charts this year in points, goals, and assists.
I'M HERE TO HELP: Junior Caitlin Mellano tallied her team-best fifth assist of the year last week in the Titans' win over Cal Poly, moving her into a tie for fifth place in the Big West Conference entering the final weekend of the regular season. Mellano, who entered the season with just two career assists to her name, now stands just three helpers shy of becoming the 16th player in school history to reach double digits in that category.
STIRRING SPEECH, COACH: Whatever fourth-year head coach Demian Brown has been saying in the locker room at halftime seems to be working for the Titans' offense as 14 of their 21 goals this season have come in the second half as well as over half (93) of their 165 total shots on the year.
"M's" THE WORD: Through 17 matches this season, 13 of the Titans' 21 goals have come via the feet of players whose last names begin with the letter "M": senior Christina Murillo (7 goals), freshman Nikki McCants (2), senior Geminesse Martinez (2), and freshman Lauren Mellano (2). Left out of the club, but no less important, are junior Casey Volk (4), sophomore Brisa Gonzalez (1), sophomore Jennifer Smith (1), freshman Summer Chavez (1), and senior Danielle Bitonti (1).
SHOOT ME: Cal State Fullerton's offense is on a bit of a rebound after its 15 shots against Cal Poly last week marked the third consecutive match (and the fourth time in five matches) that the Titans had finished in double digits in the shot column despite being outshot in the match, 18-15. Fullerton the followed that up with a 9-7 advantage in shots against UC Santa Barbara on Sunday - only the sixth time in 17 matches that the Titans have held a lead in that category at the end of the match. The 24 shots on the weekend gave Fullerton 165 shots for the season and moved the Titans out of the cellar in the Big West Conference in that category, holding a nine-shot advantage over UC Riverside heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
"ALL BY MYSELF...": Senior Christina Murillo's seventh goal of the year against UC Riverside on Oct. 14 gave the Titans' leading scorer 18 goals for her career - moving her into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list and extending her career-high totals for both goals and points (15).
NEXT ON THE LIST...: Murillo needs three more goals this season to tie Kellie Cox (2001-05) for fifth place on the school's all-time list and four more to match Amy Barnes (1996-99) for fourth... she needs six more points to match Lauryn Welch's career total of 46 career points from 2003-06 for eighth place.
MORE ON MURILLO: Murillo enters the weekend ranked tied for fourth in the Big West with 15 points (7 goals and an assist), tied for fourth in points per game (0.88), tied for third in goals, and tied for fifth in goals per game (0.41)... her 18 goals during her career are far and away the most by any active Titan as senior Danielle Bitonti is second with seven... the seven goals this season by Murillo are the most by a Fullerton player in a single season since Brianna Buffington led the Titans with eight goals as a junior in 2006... Murillo also moved into ninth place on the school's career shots list with 100.
A "GEM" OF AN ASSIST: With her 10th career assist against San Diego State on Sept. 24, redshirt senior Geminesse Martinez joined a select group, standing as just one of 15 players in school history to reach double digits in that career category. Fullerton's active assists leader enters this week's contests with 16 career points - the second-highest total among active Titans behind only teammate and fellow senior Christina Murillo (40).