Fullerton faces Denver at home on Sunday, September 25
College Soccer News: Fullerton Men Return Home
After three weeks and six games on the road, the Cal State Fullerton men’s soccer team returns home to close out the non-conference season against Denver on Sunday and Cal State Bakersfield next Wednesday. The Titans then begin Big West Conference play on Saturday, October 1, on the road at Cal State Northridge. With a 5-1-1 record, the Fullerton men are enjoying their best start since they opened 6-1-0 in 2000.
The Titans, who were ranked No. 24 before this past weekend’s results, sit in second place in the conference, behind UC Irvine at 7-1-0 and just ahead of 4-1-1 UC Santa Barbara. Before the season, Fullerton was picked to finish third in the Big West, behind UCSB and Cal Poly. A win on Sunday would give the Titans their best opening record since 1999 and possibly return them to the Top 25. Fullerton was last ranked nationally in 2003.
After three undefeated weeks, which included a 0-0 double overtime tie with 2010 NCAA champion University of Akron in the Cal State Northridge Tournament, the Titans went into their Week 4 East Coast trip with high hopes. The weekend began with a convincing 3-0 win over American University in Washington, D.C., a team they had beaten in 2006. Sunday would not be as successful, however, as George Mason University managed to pull out a 2-1 victory on a penalty kick. The Titans were not the only team to have unbeaten streaks broken, as both UCI and UCSB lost for the first time during the week’s contests.
When Fullerton returns home, it may not be the advantage some would think. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Titans are a combined 8-6-3 on the road, but only 4-7-0 at home. Their Sunday match against visiting Denver puts them up against the 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champions. The Pioneers, who earned an at-large NCAA berth last season, are currently 1-3-2 with their only victory coming against Buffalo. Denver features lead scorer Briant Hoyt, who has 3 goals on the season. The Pioneers have used two different goalkeepers this season, with Oliver Brown and Mate Aguirre each starting three games.
The Titans will host their first home conference game on October 5 against the streaking UC Irvine Anteaters. They will close out the regular season at home against Cal State Northridge on November 5, with the goal of moving on to the Big West Conference Tournament starting November 9.
California State University, Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton) is one of the largest universities in the CSU system, with nearly 35,000 students enrolled for the Spring 2011 semester. The school has been ranked among the Top Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report (September 2010), Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. The athletic teams play Division I sports in the Big West Conference as the Cal State Fullerton Titans.