The womenâ€™s soccer team arrived in New Mexico Friday amid extreme thunderstorms. It never fazed the Titansâ€™ strikers, making some of that thunder themselves, netting seven goals in two matches over the weekend.
The win Sunday over North Texas was Cal State Fullertonâ€™s third consecutive win this season, and after breaking a scoreless streak of nearly 400 minutes against Colombia, the Titans have found the finishing touch and appear to be running on all cylinders as they near conference play.
Itâ€™s no surprise the Titans are starting to get positive results. During their four-game skid the team was always in position for a positive result, but couldnâ€™t find a goal if it could save their lives. Now, the forwards who couldnâ€™t score have found new life and this team is starting to roll.
Spearheading the Titan attack is junior transfer student Ann Marie Tangorra. Her hat trick and assist at the New Mexico Nike Classic earned her Big West Player of the Week honors. Head Coach Demian Brown has given her license to roam around the field where she likes to pick the ball up in different spaces to link up play. Out of the forwards, she has the best skill to beat defenders on the dribble.
The Titans wouldnâ€™t be playing this well without the emergence of sophomore Kishi Smith. The converted forward was the last resort for the Titans when they went on their goal-less drought, and her positive approach in front of goal has added new life into this team. Her positioning on the field was exceptional against Colombia when she was put through to score the golden goal as well as her school record 12 shots on goal.
Sophomore forward Nikki McCants showed how dominant she could be with her powerful two-goal display against Long Island. She showed that she had the size and strength to be a weapon in the Titan attack and a complementary player to the smaller Tangorra. Her dip in form in recent games led Brown to look for other options at forwards. Her goal against New Mexico this weekend could be the spark that can put her back in the starting lineup.
Brown must be ecstatic that he has an abundance of in-form strikers to choose from. Finding the right pair in his preferred 4-4-2 formation is a good problem to have.
Player to Watch: Freshman Rebecca Wilson has provided a much-needed spark off the bench, setting up goals and finishing ones on her own. She had the key pass that set up Smithâ€™s goal against Colombia and she had a great showing at the New Mexico Nike Classic, scoring two goals and setting up another. Her first goal of the tournament was the match winner.
Upcoming Matches: CSUF plays at home against University of San Diego Thursday. The Toreros were getting national recognition beating quality Div. I opponents and a few more results would have garnered them a national ranking. As of late they hit a dip in form, losing two straight games, but it will be a tough match for the Titans. They will look to pounce on the opportunity.
The Titans will play at home against UNLV (3-6-1) Sunday. The Running Rebels havenâ€™t experienced great success in front of the goal, getting shut out in six matches this season, but did beat up on lowly Hawaii 3-0 Sunday. The Titans will look to attack from the onset and take advantage of UNLVâ€™s futility in front of goal.