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Returning the Titans to dominance

Posthuma hopes to put the finishing touch on redefining Cal State Fullerton as a soccer school in his senior season

August 12, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

Nick Posthuma's soccer career has evolved in his four years on Cal State University Fullerton's men's soccer team. Now, entering his senior season, he's hoping his team can transform the Titans' soccer program.

The St. Francis High graduate and Pasadena native came into the 2010 season hoping to crack Cal State Fullerton's starting lineup. Posthuma did just that and drew attention from TopDrawerSoccer.com, which has him ranked No. 84 on its list of the Top-100 pro-soccer prospects among 2011 collegians.

Posthuma was crucial to the Titans' success last season. He led the team in goals (nine) and points (19) as a junior — a year when Fullerton went 7-12-2 and was eliminated in the finals of the Big West Conference postseason tournament by Santa Barbara, 3-1.

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"Nick had a good year last year," said Titans Coach Bob Amman. "He scored a lot of goals for us and he was a bit of an unknown. Now we have to see if he can build upon that season when other teams are aware for him."

Posthuma's primary focus coming into his final college season is returning to full strength. He is trying to come back from a pulled groin muscle, an injury he's carried over from last season, and he thinks he's at about 80% right now.

Amman said it's important to get Posthuma healthy because of the effect he has on his teammates.

"Nick is the type of player that gives you 100% all of the time and that has a tendency to rub off on other players," Amman said. "He is an emotional leader for us and I am holding my breath that he will be able to make a full recovery and join us."

Posthuma has hauled in some individual honors and now he's concerned with growing Cal State Fullerton's soccer program. In the 1990s, Fullerton was a formidable program, making it to the NCAA tournament on four occasions.

"We've been there and now it's about getting back there," said Amman, who's in his fifth year coaching at Fullerton.

It's no secret that the school is now known for its baseball program, boasting a team that won the NCAA College World Series in 2004.

"We don't like living in the shadow of [the baseball team]," said Kevin Venegas, a senior midfielder on Fullerton's soccer team who was ranked the No. 98 prospect on the TopDrawerSoccer.com list. "It's annoying being referred to as a baseball school. We want to get our name up there and make the NCAA tournament."

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