No. 6 Women's Soccer Earns No. 8 Seed in NCAA Tournament
Nov. 5, 2000
INDIANAPOLIS - The California women's soccer team earned its ninth playoff selection, including its third-straight overall, Sunday night when the 48-team NCAA College Cup field was announced via satellite from the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. The Golden Bears watched the selection show at Kip's Restaurant on campus, along with friends and family of the program, and local media.
Cal was picked as the eighth and final seed of the tournament and earned one of 16 first-round byes. The Bears host the winner of the Santa Clara-Cal Poly game Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. The Broncos host the Mustangs Wed., at 7:30 p.m., at Buck Shaw Stadium. Cal leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 3-1, with the last meeting being a 2-1 Bears overtime win Oct. 3, 1997. Against Santa Clara, Cal holds an 11-9-2 edge, with the last game being a 1-1 double overtime tie Sept. 24 this season at neutral Spartan Stadium in San Jose.
'When we came into the season, we sat down and said what are we going to achieve,' said Cal coach Kevin Boyd. 'The basic decision was that we are going to go as far as we decide to go. We wanted to go out and play every game as hard as we could to the best of our abilities. I think we've done that. You look at every game we played, and I really think we put all our effort out on the field.
'You add that to the talent we have and the character we have, those are huge traits which are getting it done. When the season began, we were thinking our first priority was to get a bye, instead of having to play that first round game on a Wednesday and play a team on a Saturday which had a bye. We did that. We also focused on maybe there was a chance of us getting a seed this year. We did the things we were capable of and got a seed. We got both and are pretty happy about that.'
The Bears enter the postseason with a 17-2-1 record and finished second in the Pac-10 with a 7-2 mark. The 17 wins are the most in school history, surpassing the 16 wins the program posted in 1986 and repeated in '87 and '88. Cal is 6-2-1 against teams selected to this year's College Cup. The Bears tied for fifth place in the NCAA playoffs in both 1983 and 1986 and reached the Final Four in 1984, '87 and '88.
Boyd has led the Bears to the playoffs in three of his four years at the helm of the program. In the last two seasons, Cal has lost first round road games. In 1998, the Bears fell 2-1 to Pacific and in 1999, they dropped a 2-0 game at BYU.
Sophomore forward Laura Schott is Cal's top scorer with 47 points, including a share of the school record with 23 goals. She entered the week as the nation's leader for goals per game at 1.22. The Bears defense is anchored by senior goalkeeper Maite Zabala, who is the school's all-time career shutout leader with 26.5. The veteran backline of seniors Tami Pivnick and Amy White, along with redshirt sophomore Ashley Mueller, has also helped the Bears become one of the nation's best defensive teams this year.
'I've always believed this team had the potential to go all the way to the championship,' said Pivnick, one of three captains. 'I think we have the talent, the drive and the motivation. And, two we have the leadership and the experience of being denied that chance in the past. This year, we've proved to ourselves and everyone that we've worked that hard and have it within ourselves to go far. Getting that first round bye will help our team get the confidence to go as far as we can.'
The Pac-10 led all conferences with seven teams earning postseason bids - Cal, Washington, UCLA, Stanford, USC, Arizona State and Washington State. The College Cup concludes Dec. 1 and 3 in San Jose at Spartan Stadium with the semifinals and championship game.