College Soccer News: Cal State Fullerton Women's Soccer Takes Big West Conference Regular Season Title
In a wild finish in Big West Conference women’s soccer, Cal State Fullerton (7-2-0/10-8-0) used a pair of wins to leap from the No. 4 position and capture the regular season conference title. It was the Titans’ first conference title since 2007 and their fifth in school history. Cal Poly (6-1-2/9-6-3), which had led the entire season, slipped to No. 3, while Cal State Northridge 6-1-2/9-4-6) held on to the No. 2 spot. The three will be joined by No. 4 UC Irvine (5-1-3/9-8-3) when the Big West Tournament kicks off on Thursday, November 1.
Just one week ago the Titans were looking up at their three tournament rivals, needing a bit of luck to reach the top. They got just that when Northridge and Irvine played to a 0-0 double overtime final on Friday, October 26, leaving both teams with 17 points. Fullerton’s 2-1 victory over UC Davis (3-5-1/8-9-2) gave the Titans 18 points and put them in position to win it all on Sunday.
It all came down to the final day of competition, with four teams still very much in the running. Cal Poly did their part by defeating UC Santa Barbara (2-6-1/5-12-2) by a 1-0 margin to finish with 20 points, but it would not be enough to stay on top. When the Cal State Northridge edged out Long Beach State (5-4-0/12-7-0) 1-0 in double overtime, the Matadors matched the Mustangs on points but edged them out on overall record.
It was a weekend of draws for UC Irvine, who matched their scoreless tie on Friday with a second 0-0 double overtime stalemate against Hawai’i (3-5-1/8-9-3) on Sunday. The Rainbow Wahine were coming off a rough 5-0 loss against Long Beach State but were able to play the Anteaters toe-to-toe to earn their seventh point of the season. It was left to Cal State Fullerton, who took on winless (in conference) Pacific (0-8-1/3-14-1) on the road. The 4-1 victory earned the Titans their 21st point and the regular season title.
Elsewhere in the Big West, UC Riverside (2-6-1/7-10-3) split two on the weekend, defeating Pacific 3-2 in overtime on Friday before losing to UC Davis 2-1 on Sunday. Their No. 8 position was a small victory for the Highlanders, who had been picked to finish last with Hawai’i in the Big West Coaches Preseason Poll.
The final two players of the week helped their teams to the top two spots in the conference. Big West Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week Janali West scored a hat trick in a 24-minute span to help Fullerton defeat Pacific on Sunday. The goals were her first of the season, with the second giving the Titans the 2-1 lead and ranking as the game winner. It was the first Fullerton hat trick since Ann Marie Tangorra recorded one in 2011 and the sixth time a Titan had scored multiple goals in a game this season.
Big West Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors went to Cal State Northridge’s Chloe McDaniel who helped her team to a pair of shutouts in the final weekend. The 0-0 tie with UC Irvine was the third such finish in the last six meetings of the two schools. The Matadors’ victory over the 49ers was their first since 2004.
2012 Big West Women’s Soccer Individual Honors
2012 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year: Cynthia Jacobo, Cal State Northridge
2012 Big West Defensive Player of the Year: Chloe McDaniel, Cal State Northridge
2012 Big West Offensive Player of the Year: Nadia Link, Long Beach State
2012 Big West Midfielder of the Year: Cici Kobinski, Cal Poly
2012 Big West Coach of the Year: Demian Brown, Cal State Fullerton
2012 Big West Freshman of the Year: Elise Krieghoff, Cal Poly
Related Article: Big West Conference Women's Soccer First Team