Titans looking to ‘beat the ‘Beach’

In Sports
Forward Rebecca Wilson scored a goal as Fullerton defeated the University of San Diego in a commanding 6-3 win. (Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan)
Forward Rebecca Wilson scored a goal as Fullerton defeated the University of San Diego in a commanding 6-3 win.
(Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan)

The Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team will kick off its Big West Conference campaign on the road against longtime rivals Long Beach State.

The Titans have had a phenomenal season, earning an overall record of 8-1-1 as they prepare to embark on their journey to defend their Big West Conference title. This year, Fullerton matched its 2002 mark of allowing only one loss during its road to the Big West.

Coming off of a game that saw the Titans rout the University of San Diego Toreros 6-3, with six different players scoring a goal, the team is primed to make a huge run in the Big West.

The Competition

The Long Beach State 49ers currently sit on a respectable record of 5-3-3. They have scored a total of 14 goals off of nine assists, generating an average of 1.27 goals per game.

Offensively, Long Beach State pales in comparison to CSUF. The Titans have scored 27 goals thus far, nearly double the amount the 49ers have scored. However, the 49ers have only allowed seven goals, whereas the Titans have allowed 13, albeit in one fewer game.

Reigning 2014 Big West Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, Long Beach sophomore Ashton McKeown, has continued her success into this season. She has recorded a whopping total of 36 saves on an .837 save percentage. McKeown also already has five clean sheets under her belt.

At the other end of the field, the Titans defense will have its hands full with 49er forward Ashley Gonzales, who leads her team in scoring with four goals.

Fullerton has to keep a close watch on defender Melanie Fox, as well. She is second in the team with three goals — a surprising feat for a defender — and one assist.

The two sides recently played against the same two opponents, Loyola Marymount University and University of San Diego. The Titans managed to secure comfortable wins against both teams, while the 49ers struggled to even score a goal, losing to LMU 1-0 and tying with San Diego 0-0.

After last weekend’s games, Head Coach Demian Brown said he was impressed and felt confident that the team’s recent play will carry over into the Big West Conference.

Brown said he appreciated his players’ understanding of how they needed to play every game at a high level, especially in such a competitive conference.

It should be no surprise, then, that the Titans have formed a great chemistry all preseason, scoring 27 goals off 29 assists with a .172 shot percentage.

Forward Rebecca Wilson has been sensational, having netted a total of 10 goals along with three assists. Wilson’s career 25 goals place her third all-time for CSUF. She also has 10 game-winning goals, which ranks her third all-time for game-winning goals in program history.

Wilson’s partner up front, Christina Burkenroad, has also performed well, recording six goals and five assists.

This season, Fullerton has maintained a 6-0-0 undefeated record when keeper Jennifer Stuart started in goal. In all four of her starts, Stuart has earned four clean sheets for the Titans.

The Titans will head out to Long Beach State’s George Allen Field this Sunday at 6 p.m. in hopes of beginning their Big West Conference season on the right foot.

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