UC Irvine Set To Defend Women's Soccer Crown
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Women's Soccer Weekly Release No. 7
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This Week in the Big West - September 26-October 2, 2011
No. 18 UC Irvine, which made Big West history as the first unbeaten and untied women's soccer program (8-0-0) in 2010, starts its quest for a second straight regular season title with a pair of matches in northern California against UC Davis and Pacific this week.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Ann Marie Tangorra, Cal State Fullerton
Tangorra is on a torrid scoring streak for Cal State Fullerton, having amassed at least one point in four consecutive matches and totalling 12 of her 13 points on the season during that span. After netting her first career hat trick against North Texas on Sept. 18, Tangorra returned to the pitch last weekend against San Diego and UNLV, and finished with a pair of goals. She now leads the Titans in goals (5), assists (3) and points (13). The junior also ranks second in the Big West with 37 shots.
Coaches Tab UC Irvine As Favorite To Win 2011 Title
The nine head coaches selected UC Irvine to win the 2011 Big West women’s soccer title in their annual preseason poll. The Anteaters collected seven of the nine first-place votes with Pacific and Cal Poly receiving one first-place vote apiece. UC Irvine garnered 78 total points followed by Long Beach State with 70. The coaches predicted a logjam in the middle of the pack as only eight points separated third through sixth place. Cal State Northridge was picked to finish third with 52 points, while Pacific was fourth with 51 points. UC Santa Barbara finished with 48 points for fifth place and Cal Poly was sixth with 44 points. Cal State Fullerton (34 points), UC Davis (18) and UC Riverside (10) rounded out the poll, respectively. UC Irvine returns seven starters from the 2010 squad that finished 19-3-2 overall and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Big West Excels In Final Week Of Nonconference Play
Big West teams made a solid push in the final week of non-conference play with an impressive 9-2-2 record, lifting the league’s overall mark to 49-36-9. The successes included a 4-1-0 record against West Coast Conference foes, with Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine handing San Diego defeat, and the Anteaters dealing then-No. 25 Portland a 3-1 loss. Cal State Northridge also won a road match at Loyola Marymount for the first time in school history, blanking the Lions, 3-0. The Big West also racked up a combined 4-1-1 record against teams from the Mountain West and Western Athletic conferences.
UC Irvine Tries To Extend Big West Win Streak
No. 18 UC Irvine brings a nine-game winning streak in Big West regular season conference games into its opener on Friday at UC Davis. In 2010, the Anteaters became the first team in Big West history to complete the conference ledger untied and unbeaten, going 8-0-0 en route to the regular season title. UCI began the streak on Oct. 29, 2009 in the final game of league play that season, knocking off Long Beach State by a 3-0 score.
Long Beach State Peaking At Start Of League Play
Fierce challenges to UC Irvine’s supremacy in the Big West are sure to be plentiful, and perhaps none more intense than from Long Beach State. The 49ers finished second to UCI in last season’s standings with a 5-2-1 record, but knocked off the Anteaters in the Big West Tournament championship game to collect the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 49ers enter league play on a four-game unbeaten streak and are 5-1-1 in their last seven matches. In addition, they have revved up the offense, outscoring their last two opponents by a 10-1 margin. Long Beach State leads the Big West in goals (26), goals per game (2.36), assists (27) and points (79). A squad that is in the “others receiving votes” category in two national polls, LBSU is looking to win its league opener for the first time since 2008. The 49ers travel to UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
Figueroa, Gordon Move Up Big West Assist Chart
Pacific senior Angelica Figueroa and Long Beach State senior Shawna Gordon continued their ascents up the Big West career assist charts after their performances last weekend. Figueroa chipped in a pair of assists in Pacific’s 2-0 win against San Jose State, bringing her career total to 22 and good for fifth all-time in Big West history. The Tigers are 4-0 in games in which Figueroa posts an assist, and she has done so in four of the team’s last six matches. Gordon has compiled six of her conference-best seven assists in just the last three games, including a helper in the 49ers’ 4-1 victory against UNLV on Friday. She moved into a tie for sixth in Big West history as a result.
BIG WEST CAREER TOP 10 - ASSISTS
29 Kim Silos, Long Beach State 2005-08
29 Wendy Woolgar, Pacific 1996-98
26 Jennifer Borcich, UC Santa Barbara 2001-04
25 Krista Davey, North Texas 1996-99
22 Angelica Figueroa, Pacific 2008-11
21 Shawna Gordon, Long Beach State 2008-11
21 Tanya Taylor, UC Irvine 2007-10
21 Natalie Dorr, Pacific 1996-98
20 Jacqui Simon, UC Santa Barbara 2007-10
20 Chandi Bickford, UC Santa Barbara 2003-06
Stagg Stadium Magic On Display This Week
Pacific is a juggernaut on its home pitch at Stagg Memorial Stadium. The Tigers are unbeaten at 4-0-0 this season and have outscored their opponents 11-0 overall. They hope to continue the home shutout streak against Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine during the opening weekend of Big West play.
Link On Pace To Set Scoring Mark
Long Beach State junior Nadia Link produced two second half goals to help power the 49ers to a 4-1 win over UNLV on Friday. The effort raised her Big West leading total to 10 goals on the year. She is only the seventh 49er – and first since Lindsay Bullock in 2008 – to reach double figures in scoring since the program was reinstated in 1998. Moreover, Link is well on her way to breaking the school’s single-season record for goals, 16, set by Annette Fernandez in 1984. The forward is even closer to slipping into the Big West single-season top 10. Five players are currently tied for ninth with 14 goals.
Fullerton Rearing To Go
Cal State Fullerton picked as good a time as any to get hot entering the conference portion of the schedule. The Titans shutout San Diego (2-0) and tied with UNLV (1-1) last week to remain unbeaten in five consecutive matches. During that span, CSF is 4-0-1. It marks the program’s best stretch of success since winning five straight games from Oct. 14-Nov. 1, 2007.
Overtime Fun Facts
Cal State Fullerton played in its sixth overtime match of the year on Sunday against UNLV. The Titans lead all Big West schools in that category, with UC Riverside next on the list with five overtime games. The Titans are close to matching the program record of eight overtime games in a season set in 2007. Meanwhile, the Highlanders seem to enjoy extra period soccer, owning a 3-1-1 record in OT matches. The only schools that have not experienced an overtime game this season are northern California cohorts UC Davis and Pacific.
Aggies With Best Non-Conference Showing
Entering the league slate with a 6-3-0 overall record, UC Davis has amassed its highest non-conference victory total since joining the Big West for the 2007 season.