Men's Soccer Opens Pac-10 Play at UCLA
Oct. 9, 2001
WHATS ON TAP: The Golden Bears open the second ever Pac-10 conference slate when they go down state to take on UCLA. California will try to extend its unbeaten streak to seven games against the Bruins.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW: Cal had one of the biggest weekends since coach Kevin Grimes has been at the helm of the Bears' program. Cal came away with two victories in two tight games that both saw the Bears edge out their opponent by a one goal margin. Last Friday, Cal visted San Francisco and overcame an early 1-0 deficit as Angel Quintero and Patrick Fisher scored two unanswered goals to give Cal its fourth win in five games overall.
On Sunday, Santa Clara visited Berkeley with last year's 5-0 loss to the Broncos still fresh on the minds of the Bears. The end result was vastly different from 2001 as Cal took out Santa Clara, 1-o in OT on freshman Mike Munoz's goal 13 minutes into the extra session. The win was the Bears first OT win this year in three tries (1-1-1).
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: One of the reasons Cal was struggling early on in the season was its inability to finish games. The Bears lost three of their first four games by a combined score of 4-1. Since then, three of its wins decided by one goal, the Bears are 3-0.
UNBEATEN STREAK EXTENDED TO SIX: After posting two big victories last weekend, the Bears extended their unbeaten streak to six games. The last time Cal went six games without a loss was in 1999 from Sept. 19-Oct. 10. And the last time the Bears went seven or more games with a win or a tie was in 1996 from Aug. 31-Sept. 21, spanning eight games.
BEARS THIRD IN PAC-10: As of Oct. 8, Cal has the third-best record in the five-team Pac-10 conference. Stanford is atop the league with a record of 8-0-0. Washington is in second at 8-1-1 while UCLA is fourth behind the Bears at 4-4-2. Oregon State is in last place with a mark of 3-5-0.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Coach Grimes felt from the moment Cal keeper Josh Saunders transferred from Cal State Fullerton that he had one of the best goalkeepers around. With the Titans, the junior had 17 games under his belt in two years and a goals-against-average of 1.70 his sophomore season, including a 7-3 record in starting assignments. As a Bear this season, Saunders has proven Grimes right. He has started all 10 games and has played 963 minutes with four shutouts, an impressive 0.75 GAA and a save percentage of .846.
MORE GOAL SCORING, MORE WINNING: In 2000, the Bears tallied 20 goals all season, marking one of the worst offensive performances by a Cal team. So much has changed in just one year. Just about half way into the season, the Bears already have 19 goals. Ten games into last season, Cal totaled nine goals. Another key difference between this season and last are the goals allowed. The squad surrendered 42 goals last year, but is on pace to let in only 16 this season.
SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins are 4-4-2 thus far in 2001 and have struggled in the early going after being tabbed as one of the teams picked to finish atop the conference standings. UCLA split last weekends games, dropping a 3-0 decision to No. 10 San Diego and beating San Diego State, 2-1. Junior Tim Pierce leads the club with four goals, and sophomore Cliff McKinely has two scores and two assists thus far. Alex Lee, last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Soccer America's All-Freshman selection, anchors the backfield for the Bruins. UCLA and Cal split last season's series as each team won on its home field. The Bears edged the Bruins squad, 1-0, at Edwards Stadium, while UCLA took the second game, 3-1, in Los Angeles.