No. 5 Women's Soccer Hosts Cal Invitational In Season Opener

Aug. 24, 2001

BERKELEY -

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BEARS KICK OFF SEASON IN CAL INVITATIONAL:
California opens the 2001 season Labor Day Weekend as host of the 7th-annual Cal Invitational. The tournament kicks off Friday, Aug. 31, with Loyola Marymount facing Michigan at 2 p.m. Cal then has a rematch with 1998 playoff opponent, Pacific, at 4:30 p.m. Competition wraps up Sunday, Sept. 2, with LMU vs. Pacific at 2 p.m., followed by Cal vs. Michigan at 4:30 p.m.Last year's Cal Invitational provided an early indication that the Bears would have a dominant season. The Bears won the tournament, defeating No. 25 James Madison, 12-0, and Navy, 1-0.

SCOUTING THE FIELD: The Cal Invitational boasts a strong field, as usual. Pacific is coming off an 8-8-2 season. The Golden Bears wil be looking to avenge a 2-1 1998 NCAA First Round playoff loss to the Tigers. Michigan finished last season with a 13-9-1 record after losing to Notre Dame in the second round of NCAAs. Loyola Marymount was 12-6-1 a year ago.

BEARS SHOOT FOR FOURTH-STRAIGHT NCAA TOURNAMENT: In 2001, Cal shoots for its fourth-consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament and 10th bid overall. The Bears have never advanced to NCAAs four years in a row and look to advance past the first round of postseason play for the first time since 1988. With seven returning starters and 18 returning letterwinners, coach Kevin Boyd has the talent to lead his team to higher goals this year.

PRESEASON RANKINGS: Cal is ranked as high as No. 5 in the national preseason polls by Soccer Buzz. Soccer America has the Bears tabbed No. 11, while Soccer Times has Cal No. 13 and the NSCAA has it No. 14.

BEARS PICKED TO FINISH 2ND IN PAC-10: Cal has been picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in a preseason vote of the head coaches. The Bears finished second in the conference last season with a 7-2 mark (17-3-1 overall). NCAA runner-up UCLA has been tabbed to win the Pac-10 title this year after placing third a year ago at 6-2-1. The Bruins received eight of 10 first-place votes, with Cal (1) and Washington (1) also earning first-place support.

SCHOTT, SABO PREPARED TO LEAD CAL'S OFFENSE: Cal boasts what could be the most experienced and lethal forward duo in the Pac-10 in junior Laura Schott and senior Kyla Sabo. Schott, who spent the summer with the U21s, earned first team All-America honors from the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz in 2000 after leading the Pac-10 with 47 points and 23 goals, including nine game winners. Not surprisingly, she has been selected a first team preseason All-American by Soccer Buzz this year. Sabo finished second on the team with a career-best 20 points last season and first with eight assists.

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH IN 2001: Cal features four newcomers in 2001: freshman GK Mallory Moser, freshman MF/F Kacy Hornor, sophomore transfer (Duke) D/MF Jordan Iantorno and junior transfer (Notre Dame) GK Sani Post. Post will likely redshirt this season due to a shoulder injury.

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