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3. TV PREVIEW: Lots at stake for 49ers at Fullerton
October 25th, 2006 1:10AM
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Two teams priming themselves for the Big West Tournament and coming off important wins meet Wednesday in the NSCAA Match of the Week (Fox Soccer Channel, live, 11 pm ET) when Cal State Fullerton (8-6-2) hosts Long Beach State (11-3-1).

Cal State Fullerton beat UC Davis, 1-0, Sunday with a goal by sophomore Leslie Munoz in a non-conference game and sit fourth in the Big West at 3-1-1. Sophomore Hayley Bolt scored twice as Long Beach State thrashed UC Irvine, 3-0, to take over first place in the conference at 4-0-1.

The top four teams in the eight-team conference qualify for the Big West tournament to be hosted by the regular-season champion Nov. 3 and 5. The Titans have already qualified and trail Long Beach by three points in the standings. Second place UCSB (4-1-1) and third-place Cal Poly (3-0-3) are also assured of spots in the conference tournament. Last year, Fullerton won the regular-season title and the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA playoffs.

"This game is obviously important for us," says Long Beach State coach Mauricio Ingrassia, who took over the program three years ago and has won 31 games. "If we win, we clinch first place in the conference and we get to host the tournament. We're young, so we've had some very good results and some not-so-good ones. Fullerton has a very good team and they'll be emotionally charged, because it's their Senior Night."

By beating UC Irvine, LBSU set school marks for victories (13) and shutouts (12). The previous highs were set last year, when it finished 12-5-3 after it lost in the first round of the Big West tournament and didn't receive an NCAA bid. The 49ers are 6-1-1 in their last eight matches. Bolt shares the team lead in goals with Kim Silos (eight apiece).

The top scorer for Fullerton, which has tallied only 22 times this season, is senior midfielder Lauren Welch with five, but she suffered an ACL injury against Arizona Sept. 28 and hasn't played since. Junior Briana Buffington has four goals, and six players have two apiece.

"She's an incredible loss," says Fullerton coach Ali Khosrohshahin of Welch. "She's played every position for us, anywhere we've needed her. We're going to let her on the field just long enough for the kickoff, so we can honor her along with the rest of our seniors."

TUESDAY WOMEN'S ACTION

CINCINNATI 0 #1 NOTRE DAME 3. The Bearcats needed to win the makeup game to advance to the Big East Tournament. Chicago area products Brittany Bock, Jen Buczowski and Michele Weissenhofer scored for the Irish.

#6 FLORIDA STATE 3 JACKSONVILLE 0. FSU took a school-record 42 shots as it extended its record home unbeaten streak to 14. Katrin Schmidt, Mami Yamaguchi and Kirsten van de Ven scored for the 'Noles, who scored three goals for just the third time this season. Dolphin keeper Michelle Kmiotek had a brilliant night, making 17 saves, including a handful of spectacular stops.


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