October 26, 2011

Women's Soccer Visits Fullerton, Long Beach Chasing Big West Tourney Berth

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Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific women's soccer team hits the road for their final regular season weekend. The Tigers will face Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 7 p.m. and Long Beach State on Sunday at 2 p.m. as the mad scramble for Big West tournament berths hits the homestretch.

The Tigers (8-7-1 overall, 2-3-1 Big West) need a pair of victories if they want to qualify for the four-team BWC tournament field and compete for the Big West title.  

"I think it's always 'do-or-die time' in our conference, isn't it?," head coach Keith Coleman said. "Every one one on these games is so close that I think you have to play that way regardless. If you look across the board, there aren't too many games that aren't decided by overtime or a one-goal differential. We're obviously trying to fight our way into the conference tournament. I hope that keeps us driven. We need two wins."

In the ultra-competitive Big West, 22 of 29 conference matches so far this season have been decided by one goal, including the three ties, with 10 of the 29 matches going to overtime.

Cal State Fullerton (7-8-3 overall, 1-4-1 Big West) is out of contention for a tournament spot, with all four of their losses coming by one goal, including two in overtime.

"Fullerton is a very good team," Coleman added. "One of the teams I would have said prior to the conference starting, would have expected to see in the top four. We can not in any way shape or form take them lightly. They're very talented and they are going to come out with nothing to lose. That's the one we're concentrating on right now to try and put us in a position to go to Long Beach and maybe have an opportunity to play for a Big West tournament berth."

On Sunday, the Tigers will square off with Long Beach State (11-5-1, 4-2-1 Big West entering the weekend) in a 2 p.m. kickoff.
To gain a Big West tournament bid, the Tigers would need to win both matches and receive some help to make up a five-point gap between the Tigers and fourth place. However, it's Long Beach in fourth-place squad entering the weekend, with a match on Friday against third-place UC Davis. With the six teams in contention playing five matches against each other in the final weekend, some help is on the horizon.
With seven Big West matches remaining (and 2187 possible outcomes from those seven matches), only UC Irvine has locked up a Big West berth entering the weekend.