Nov. 2, 2005
FULLERTON, CA -
The Cal State Fullerton women's soccer team (15-3 overall, 6-1 in the Big West Conference), the Big West Conference regular season champions for the second consecutive year, is the top seed and host for this weekend's Big West Conference Women's Soccer Tournament to be held at Titan Stadium.
No. 2 seed UC Riverside will open the tournament on Friday (Nov. 4) against No. 3-seeded Long Beach State at 5 p.m., with No. 1 Fullerton and No. 4 Pacific clashing 30 minutes afterward. The tournament championship and the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament will be decided on Sunday (Nov. 6) at 1 p.m. between the two semifinal winners.
TITANS' TOURNAMENT HISTORY:
The Titans are in the Big West Conference Tournament for the fourth time in five such events, missing only the 2003 tournament in Irvine, Calif... This season, however, will mark the first time Fullerton will not have to face Cal Poly in the first round of the four-team event, after the Mustangs have eliminated the Titans in each of their three trips in 1996, 1997, and 2004... Cal State Fullerton has never won a Big West Tournament game the same year it has won the Big West regular season title.
ON THE AIR... SORT OF:
Cal State Fullerton's run through the Big West Conference Tournament will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.FullertonTitans.com. Fullerton student Mike Martinez will have the play-by-play.
vs. Pacific: Cal State Fullerton is 8-4 all-time against Pacific, having won the last five consecutive meetings - including a 3-2 decision at Titan Stadium earlier this season... Six of the last seven meetings between the Titans and Tigers have been decided by a single goal... Fullerton leads the all-time scoring in the series, 20-11... vs. UC Riverside: The Titans trail in the series with the Highlanders, 1-3-1, and have not won in the series in the last four matches (0-3-1), including a 1-0 decision this season at Riverside on a Fullerton own goal... vs. Long Beach State: The Titans lead the series with the 49ers, 5-3, having won each of the last two meetings by scores of 3-0... Fullerton leads the all-time scoring, 17-11.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (15-3, 6-1): The Titans earned their second straight Big West regular-season title and fourth overall (1996, 2001, 2004)... set school records for single-season wins (15) and shutouts (10) while entering the tournament on a seven-match winning streak - tying another record... Fullerton has outscored opponents, 40-11, and outshot opponents, 322-119... 11 different players have scored goals for the Titans - all but one with two-or-more goals... senior Kandace Wilson leads the offense with six goals and four assists (16 points) while redshirt junior Karen Bardsley leads the Titans in net with a 0.59 goals against average and 8.5 shutouts.
UC RIVERSIDE (11-3-4, 4-0-3): The Highlanders hopes for their first Big West title were dashed with three late season ties to Cal Poly, UC Irvine, and Long Beach State... UCR is unbeaten in its last 10, including a 1-0 win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 2... The Highlanders have outscored the opposition 27-13, but have been outshot, 206-187... Renee Scachetti leads the offense with 12 goals and five assists (29 points)... Tawny Poggio is one of the top keepers in the conference with a 0.74 GAA, 89 saves, and six shutouts.
LONG BEACH STATE (12-5-2, 3-3-1): The 49ers clinched a spot thanks to their 0-0 tie with UC Riverside on Oct. 28, but were winless in their last three matches after a four-match winning streak... Long Beach State earned its first-ever national ranking on Oct. 10 in that week's Soccer America poll... Freshman Kim Silos leads the way offensively with 10 goals and five assists while Hayley Bolt has scored seven times and assisted on eight others... Freshman Liz Ramos has been stellar with a 0.72 GAA, 61 saves, and nine shutouts.
PACIFIC (10-8-1, 3-4-0): The Tigers gained the final tournament spot thanks to UC Santa Barbara's 1-0 win over Cal Poly and broke a three-way tie with the Gauchos and Cal State Northridge via wins over those two squads... Pacific has lost its last two matches against Cal Poly and UC Davis after a three-match winning streak... Bunny Dickson and Mandi Van Dorn lead the offense with 14 points each... Keeper Jaime Souza leads the was with a 1.06 GAA, 69 saves, and three shutouts... Pacific lost to the Titans, 3-2, on Oct. 9 in Fullerton.
SANDOVAL NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
For the second time in the 2005 season, Cal State Fullerton senior defender Marlene Sandoval has been named Big West Conference Player of the Week as announced by the Irvine-based conference office on Monday afternoon. Sandoval, who became the first Titan defender to earn the weekly conference honors back on Sept. 5, helped the Titans to their second consecutive Big West title by holding UC Irvine and Long Beach State to a combined eight shots - including only two by the Anteaters -- in Fullerton's regular season-ending victories. Sandoval joins Kandace Wilson (Sept. 19) and Karen Bardsley (Oct. 17) as Titan honorees this season.
TITANS CONTINUE RANKING FIRSTS:
Cal State Fullerton moved up in four national polls this week, ranking as high as No. 17 in the nation according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America - the highest ranking ever in the history of the program. The Titans also rank in the top 20 according to Soccer Buzz (\#19) and Soccer Times (\#20) while breaking back into the Soccer America top 25 for the first time in four weeks at No. 22.
Fullerton has been ranked in at least one top 25 poll for the last four consecutive weeks and six of the last seven. It is the longest run in the national rankings for the Titans in the history of the program, breaking the three-week run in the top 25 back in 2002.
Regionally, Cal State Fullerton is ranked as high as fifth (tied) by the NSCAA while ranking No. 6 by Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times and No. 7 by Soccer America.
SIMPLY THE BEST:
With its two victories this season, the 2005 Titans became the winningest squad in the history of the program, setting school records for wins in a season (15), winning percentage (.833), shutouts (10), most neutral field victories (4), and tying the school record for consecutive victories (7). Fullerton has reached 10 or more wins in four of the last five seasons, improving to 60-31-4 (.653) in that span.
DEFENSE STILL STINGY:
There isn't a more stingy defense in the Big West Conference entering this weekend's Big West Tournament as two more shutouts added to the Titans' league-leading numbers. Behind the play of defenders Ashley O'Brien, Marlene Sandoval, and Erica Janke, and the superb play in net by goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, Cal State Fullerton ranks first in the league in fewest goals allowed (11), goals against average (0.60), and fewest shots allowed (119).
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES:
The Titans will put their six-match home winning streak on the line in this weekend's tournament at Titan Stadium, a venue that has proved to be magical for Cal State Fullerton in previous seasons. The Titans finished 6-1 at home this season, with the only loss coming in the season opener to San Diego State, and are now 31-9-2 (.762) all-time at Titan Stadium under Head Coach Ali Khosroshahin. Fullerton has won nine of its last 10 at home and are 73-53-6 (.576) all-time since 1993.
COX MOVES UP CAREER CHARTS:
A big regular season finale at Long Beach State on Sunday rocketed senior Kellie Cox up a number of Fullerton career lists. Cox's two goals against the 49ers gave her 20 for her career to move her past Tennli Ulicny for fifth place. Her four points were just enough to move her past Amy Barnes for third place on the all-time points list with 57 with only current teammate Kandace Wilson (77) and all-time leading scorer Dolores Browning (140) ahead of her. Cox also moved into third place all-time in career shots with 155 and remains one assist shy of tying the school record in that category, set by Browning from 1995-98.