Race for Big West Title, Tournament Enters Final Week
Oct. 31, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - The jumbled race for the Big West Conference regular season title and the host role for next weekend's conference tournament enters its final week as the Titans play host to a pair of matches at Titan Stadium to close out the regular season.
With seven teams vying for four spots in next weekend's tournament, Fullerton hosts its Big West finale on Thursday night (Nov. 1), welcoming UC Irvine for a 7 p.m. kickoff, needing a win to guarantee a spot in the league's postseason tournament.
The Titans will then look to boost their NCAA Tournament resume by hosting No. 20 San Diego on Sunday evening (Nov. 4) at 6 p.m., following a pregame ceremony to pay tribute to the team's departing senior class.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Streaming audio and Big West TV video will be available for both of this weekend's match-ups at Titan Stadium. Links are available via Cal State Fullerton's official website at www.FullertonTitans.com or www.BigWest.org/tv for the live streaming video links.
IN THE POLLS: San Diego is ranked as high as No. 13 nationally by Soccer Buzz and stands No. 14 according to Soccer Times, No. 17 by Soccer America, and No. 20 by the NSCAA. Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine are unranked nationally... The Titans are ranked No. 14 in the West Region according to Soccer Buzz while USD is ranked No. 5.
SERIES RECORDS: Cal State Fullerton leads the all-time series with UC Irvine by a 7-4-1 count, having won the last six consecutive matches in the series... The Titans are 3-2 against the Anteaters at home, having won three straight dating back to the 2001 season... San Diego leads the series with Fullerton, 6-4, winning last season, 2-1 in double overtime in San Diego, after the Titans had won two straight in 2002 (2-1) and 2004 (1-0)... Fullerton is 2-2 all-time against USD at Titan Stadium.
ABOUT THE ANTEATERS: UC Irvine enters the week with a 10-5-2 overall record and a 4-1-1 mark in the Big West following Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Long Beach State to move into third place in the Big West with two matches remaining... UCI is unbeaten in its last five straight, after the win over the 49ers and battling Cal State Northridge to a scoreless double-overtime tie last weekend... a trio of players (Kate Berrini, Frankee Kelly, and Tanya Taylor) led the team with five goals with Kim Horn pacing the team with 12 points (4 goals, 4 assists)... freshman Danielle de Seriere is one of the top keepers in the country, posting a 0.57 goals against average and 72 saves to go with eight shutouts in her rookie season.
ABOUT THE TOREROS: San Diego enters the weekend with a 12-2-3 overall record and a 3-1-1 mark in the West Coast Conference... The Toreros had their 11-match unbeaten streak snapped with a 4-0 loss to No. 6 Portland on Oct. 25 before rebounding to post a 1-0 win over Gonzaga in double overtime on Sunday (Oct. 28)... Both of USD's losses have come on the road this season... Amy Epsten leads the team with nine goals and an assist, pacing an offense that has outscored the opposition, 24-12, despite being outshot, 198-189... Brittany Cameron has been stellar in net, posting a 0.71 GAA and 73 saves to go with eight shutouts on the year.
TITANS REACH DOUBLE DIGITS: Fullerton's win over UC Riverside on Sunday gave the Titans their 10th victory of the season, marking the fourth straight year that the program has reached 10-or-more wins and accomplishing the feat for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
ONE MORE, AGAIN: With a victory on Thursday night, the Titans will clinch their seventh consecutive winning season dating back to 2001 and the ninth winning campaign overall since the program's first year in 1993.
NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND: Twice the Titans had won three straight, twice the Titans had watched their winning streak snapped with a one-goal loss in overtime. Not Sunday. Fullerton extended its winning streak to a season-high four consecutive wins with a victory over UC Riverside - the longest for the Titans since they won four straight from Oct. 29-Nov. 10 last season.
FIRST CLASS SECOND HALF: Fullerton battled back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to post only its second come-from-behind victory of the season on Sunday at UC Riverside, scoring a pair of second half goals in the 2-1 win. Of the Titans' last 13 goals scored, 11 of those have come in the second period or later dating back to the Titans' win over Fresno State on Sept. 30, and two-thirds of Fullerton's goals this season have come after halftime (18-of-27), outscoring opponents 16-7 in the second half (plus two goals in overtime) as compared to just a 9-8 advantage in the first 45 minutes of play.
OFFENSE PICKS UP DURING STREAK: Cal State Fullerton's recent four match winning streak has seen the Titans outscore the opposition, 9-1, and boosting their offensive statistics in the process. Fullerton ranks second in the Big West in points (78) and goals (27) while also standing third in assists (24). The Titans will put their potent offense to the test on Thursday as they run into the league's top defense in UC Irvine, which has allowed a league-low 13 goals and sports a Big West-best 0.78 goals against average.
"CRAM"-ING IT IN: Senior Lauren Cram scored her team-best sixth goal of the year and her third game-winner on Sunday against UC Riverside, moving her into a tie for fourth in the Big West in overall points and tied for second in the league in goals scored. Her three game-winners are tied with UC Davis' Dayna Dumont for the league lead.
AWWW, SHOOT!: The Titans unleashed 19 shots in Sunday's victory over the Highlanders - the most in a single match since they took 22 shots in a 3-2 win over Fresno State on Sept. 30.
CORNERED: Fullerton took a season-high 12 corner kicks against Riverside on Sunday, the most for a Titans' squad since they had 12 against Idaho in the 2006 season opener at Titan Stadium.
A DIFFERENT TALLY: Senior Brianna Buffington has made a career out of scoring goals for Cal State Fullerton (she has 12 in the last two seasons), but Sunday, she assumed a different role. Buffington was credited with her first career assist as a Titan on teammate Lauren Cram's game-winning goal in Fullerton's 2-1 victory over UC Riverside. The San Diego native hadn't logged an assist since her freshman season at Tulane when she tied for third on the team in scoring with five points.