Titans, Matadors Battle To #RaiseTheCup
Links associated with this release:
2016 Men's Soccer Tournament Central
2016 Men's Soccer Release No. 12 - Updated
Cal State Fullerton attempts to become the first school in Big West Men's Soccer Tournament history to win three straight titles, while host CSUN seeks a second crown – and first since 2012. The two sides square off Saturday at Matador Soccer Field.
#BWCMSOC | #RaiseTheCup | #CSFvsCSUN
Big West Tournament – Finals
The ninth annual Big West Tournament concludes this Saturday with the championship match at Matador Soccer Field. South Division champion and No. 1 seed CSUN hosts South No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton at 5:00 p.m., with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
How They Got Here – Matadors
CSUN reached the championship game in dramatic fashion after outlasting Sacramento State in penalty kicks in Wednesday semifinal action. The Matadors made six straight attempts from the spot. The Hornets made their first five but missed on the sixth, and the Matadors moved on to their third final in school history – and first since 2013.
How They Got Here – Titans
The two-time defending Big West Tournament champions positioned themselves for a third straight crown thanks to Wednesday’s 2-1 semifinal victory at UC Santa Barbara. Cal State Fullerton also got past UC Davis in penalty kicks (5-3) to advance out of the first round.
What’s At Stake
No Big West program has ever won three consecutive titles since the tournament began in 2008. Cal State Fullerton is attempting to become the first. The Titans are unbeaten in their last seven tourney games (5-0-2) dating back to 2014. It is the fourth time in program history that the Titans are in the championship match. CSF is 1-1-1 all-time. Head coach George Kuntz has guided the Titans to NCAA Tournament berths in consecutive seasons.
CSUN is participating in its third tournament finals after back-to-back appearances in 2012 and 2013. The Matadors won their only tourney title in 2012, defeating UC Davis on the road. They lost the following year at UC Irvine. Head coach Terry Davila is seeking a seventh NCAA Tournament trip for the Matadors following prior appearances in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2013.
With a 10-8-4 record, CSF has hit the 10-win plateau for third year in a row. The Titans have not pieced together three consecutive double-digit win seasons since doing so 10 straight times from 1991-2000.
Home Field Advantage
CSUN is the only Big West school to boast an unbeaten home field record this season. The Matadors are 5-0-3 at Matador Soccer Field. Their last loss at home occurred in last year’s Big West Tournament first round to UC Davis.
The Kuntz Factor
Cal State Fullerton head coach George Kuntz is 13-1-2 all-time in the Big West Tournament, and has won six of the eight titles. He won four at UC Irvine (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013) and two more in his first two seasons roaming the sidelines of Titan Stadium.
The Titans and Matadors met twice during the regular season, and both contests ended up in 1-1 draws. This is the first Big West Tournament meeting between the two sides.
CSF’s George Kuntz and CSUN’s Terry Davila have won a combined 334 games as head coaches in the Big West. Kuntz is No. 2 all-time in Big West history with 174 wins, while Davila is No. 3 at 160.