Women's Soccer Packs Its Bags For Big West Championship
Women's Soccer Weekly Release No. 12
Big West Champioship Central
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Invasion: Despite a 1-0 loss to 2013 Big West Tournament champion, Cal State Fullerton, Sunday at Titan Stadium, Cal Poly clinched a No. 2 seed in the post season tournament and gear up for the conference tourney as the Mustangs host the contests at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Big West women’s soccer will invade San Luis Obispo this week as action gets underway Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon.
Tournament Tidbit: This marks the third-consecutive postseason appearance for the Mustangs as they look to make their first appearance in the championship game since 2009. That year CP would not advance to the NCAA Tournament after UCSB edged the Mustangs 5-4 in penalty kicks.
Trivia: CP looks for its fourth Big West Tournament title as it took home the crown in 1996, 2003 and 2004. While there was no conference tournament from 1998-2002, the Mustangs lost the last title before the switch and the first title after the switch.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Cal State Fullerton celebrated a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly Sunday at home on senior night in a memorable late-game finish as the Titans clinched their seventh regular season Big West title. Senior Adriana Gjonovich netted the game-winner, her first score of the season, on an assist from junior Christina Burkenroad. The Titans look to clinch back-to-back Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament berths.
Undefeated in Conference: After Sunday’s victory, the Titans offically finished the league portion of the 2014 campaign without a blemish on their record. The 2014 squad is the first since 1996 to complete Big West play undefeated with a record of 6-0-1.
History of Success: Fullerton has now won three consecutive titles of some sort after capturing the 2012 and 2014 conference regular season championships as well as the 2013 Big West Tournament title.
#BWCWords: Gjonovich on pre-game talk: “This is our house, our senior night. We all put our bodies in it.”
See You In San Luis Obispo: Having clinched the final spot in the Tournament prior to their final showdown, CSUN capped off its 2014 campaign with a 0-0 double overtime draw to Hawai‘i Sunday. The Matadors will take a No. 4 seed into the Big West Tournament and gears up to face the No. 1 seeded Cal State Fullerton Titans, Thursday.
In The Postseason: The Matadors will make their sixth conference tournament appearance and first since 2012 when CSUN claimed the Tournament title with a 1-0 overtime victory versus Cal State Fullerton. CSUN lost to CSF earlier this year, surrendering a second-half penalty. However, the last time the two programs met on a neutral field, the Matadors were named the 2012 champs. Look out for a rematch of the 2012 championship game this weekend at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Goalie Gladiator: Sophomore goalkeeper Jovani McCaskill made a career-high nine saves in the match versus Hawai‘i and continues to lead the league with a .855 save percentage and a slim nine goals allowed all year.
LONG BEACH STATE
No. 3 Seed: Despite a 1-0 loss to Riverside Sunday in Highlander territory, Long Beach State saddles up for the conference tournament as they were the first team to secure a spot in the postseason. As a No. 3 seed, the 49ers will face No. 2 seeded Cal Poly on Thursday evening.
History In The Tournament: Since the Big West Tournament’s beginning in 1996 and reimplementation in 2003, LBSU has participated in six tournaments altogether. The 49ers clinched back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. After clinching in 2010 and 2011, the 49ers had missed the tournament in back-to-back.
Streaks: The Highlanders snapped LBSU’s six-game unbeaten streak as they dealt the 49ers a loss on UCR’s senior day. The unbeaten stretch is the second-greatest in the league just behind Cal State Fullerton’s current eight-game unbeaten run.
Defensively Driven: LBSU looks to capitalize on its defense this weekend as it owns the lowest goals allowed at 16 and the lowest goals against average at 0.80.
Senior Celebration: Before Sunday’s match, UC Davis honored its four seniors in goalkeeper Taylor Jern, Lexi Poppoff, Charlotte Ellberg and Lauren Paul. The Aggies dropped their final match of the 2014 campaign in a 3-0 loss to UC Irvine.
In The Books: Jern concluded her four-year career with 242 saves in an Aggie uniform and is now ranked second all-time in the program’s history. Jern’s 73 saves this season rank third-best in the league while her 1.20 goals against average is fourth-best in the conference.
#BWCWords: Head coach Twila Kaufman on her senior’s final game: “Their legacy is not defined one way or another by today’s result, it is shaped by who they are on days like today. Their character, and who they are as people are second to none.”
Consistency: The Aggies’ four-game unbeaten streak recorded earlier this season was their greatest since the open of the 2012 campaign in which UCD had a five-match unbeaten mark.
Going Out With A Bang: While UC Irvine would not advance to the postseason, the Anteaters ended their 2014 campaign with a 3-0 victory over UC Davis as Laura McGrail found the net twice and teammate Tatyana Garrett scored in the 65th minute to record a final shutout win, Sunday.
Goal Scorers: Senior McGrail totaled 10 goals on the season for a 23-goal career total to tie for 10th all-time with 52 career points. McGrail is also the 11th Anteater in program history to reach 20 career goals and would finish out the campaign leading the ’Eaters in goals, points (23) and shots (58). Her 58 shots are 32 more than teammate Bianca Frontino’s total who is second-best on the squad with her 26-shot mark. Garrett’s netter was her third on the season, all coming in her last two games played.
Touching On The Tournament: This year marks the first time the Anteaters will miss the Tournament for the first time since 2008. Since 2008, the Anteaters have appeared in two title games. Irvine’s first and only championship came in 1997 when the ’Eaters took Cal Poly 3-2 in overtime.
History Made: With a 1-0 win over Long Beach State in its season finale on senior day, UC Riverside officially recorded its first winning season since 2006. The W also allowed the Highlanders to finish in fifth place in the conference standings.
Full House: Setting a record for attendance in a single match Sunday as well as a record for average attendance for a season, 823 fans bore witness to history being made as UCR finished its 2014 campaign with an 8-7-3 mark overall.
Shutout Show: With a 1-0 shutout win over the weekend, Riverside recorded its seventh clean sheet of the season -- that’s five more than the Highlanders recorded a year ago, six more than the 2012 season, and three more than the 2011 campaign.
Magic Eight: The Highlanders have recorded at least eight wins in three of the last four years, just missing the mark in 2012 when UCR went 7-10-3 overall. It’s been consistent growth for Riverside as they recorded just a single W in the 2010 campaign.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Season Comes To Close: In its final game of the 2014 campaign, UC Santa Barbara dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Cal State Fullerton Titans Thursday night as the Gauchos finished the year with an overall 8-9-2 mark going 2-6-0 in conference.
Best In The West: The Gauchos completed their season with a league-high tying 32 goals scored and a conference-leading .133 shot percentage overall. UCSB also tied for the league lead as it drew 104 corner kicks while its 111 shots on goal were second-best in league.
Repeat: Santa Barbara’s five-game unbeaten streak matches its five-game win streak from 2013 while its shot percentage improved by 24 percent.
Shared Success: A total of 14 Gauchos found the back of the net this season while 10 scored at least two or more goals. Compared to last season, only nine Gauchos recorded a goal and just five had scored two or more goals on the season.
Last game of the year. Good performance to end on. Second shutout of the season and a good way to springboard into the spring. #gobows
Last Draw: Hawai‘i concluded its 2014 campaign with a 0-0 double overtime draw to CSUN in Northridge, Calif. on Sunday afternoon. The finale marked the Rainbow Wahine’s fourth overtime decision on the year.
Homers: Heading into the weekend, the ’Bows were 3-3 on the mainland and 7-6-1 in their last 14 road matches dating back to the 2013 season. After the recent trip to southern California, the Rainbow Wahine are 4-4 on the mainland and 8-7-1 in their last 16 games away from home.
Tournament Trivia: While the ’Bows were mathematically removed from the postseason before heading into the final week of regulation, UH still hopes to land its first-ever conference tournament berth next season.
Trends: With a 13.3 shots-per-game average, the Rainbow Wahine outperformed opponents in the category by 1.6 percent. The Bows also tended to fire shots more often in the first half than in the second half, whereas opponents typically out-shot UH in the second period.