Women's Soccer Earns 10th Trip to NCAA Tournament
Nov. 12, 2001
BERKELEY - The 17th-ranked California women's soccer team earned its 10th playoff selection, including its fourth-straight overall, Monday afternoon when the 64-team NCAA College Cup field was announced on various regional sports networks. The Golden Bears watched the selection show at the Hall of Fame Room at Memorial Stadium, along with friends and family of the program, and local media.
Cal (12-6-2, 4-4-1 Pac-10, T5th) faces 16th-ranked Saint Mary's (14-2-2, 5-2 WCC) Friday in the opening round in a four-team regional hosted by fourth-ranked Stanford. The fifth-seeded Cardinal (14-3-1, 6-2-1 Pac-10) entertain Denver (16-2-2, 7-1-1 Sun Belt) in the second game. The winners of Friday's games play each other Sunday. Game times will be announced later today.
Cal lost to Saint Mary's, 1-0 in overtime, Oct. 5 in Berkeley. Overall, the Bears lead the series, 10-7-2.
'The good thing is that we know Saint Mary's because we've seen them already,' said Cal coach Kevin Boyd. 'The game we played with them the first time was so tight. We felt we were better. We felt we created more chances and should have won. Saint Mary's showed a little more heart on the day, which was the one thing we needed more of. Right now, we're primed to show that. It's going to be a tough game, but it's one we know we can win. You want that confidence going in.'
Cal is 4-5 against teams selected to this year's College Cup. The Bears best NCAA Tournament performances were fifth place in both 1983 and 1986 and Final Four appearances in 1984, '87 and '88.
Boyd has now led the Bears to the playoffs in four of his five years at the helm of the program. In the last three seasons, Cal has lost first round games. In 1998, the Bears fell 2-1 to Pacific on the road, in 1999, they dropped a 2-0 game at BYU, and in 2000, they were shut out by Santa Clara, 2-0, in Berkeley. The last time Cal won a playoff game was in 1988 when it defeated Colorado College, 2-1 in overtime, in the quarterfinals.
Junior forward Laura Schott, a Hermann Trophy and M.A.C. candidate for national player of the year honors, leads Cal and the Pac-10 with 33 points and 15 goals. Overall, Cal has six players in double figure points. Sophomore forward Kassie Doubrava is second on the team with 15 points (5G, 5A).
'I am happy to play (Saint Mary's) again,' said Schott. 'I missed a PK, and people missed some shots we would normally put away. They're a really good team. I think it will be a very good game. I'm excited for it.'
'Out of the four years I've been here this is probably the best draw we've ever had,' said senior forward Kyla Sabo. 'We're more confident this time than when we've had to play Santa Clara in the first round. We should have won the last time we played Saint Mary's. We're going in with a lot of confidence that we can beat them.'
The Pac-10 earned five bids to the NCAA Tournament - UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Cal and USC. The College Cup concludes Dec. 7 and 9 in Dallas at Gerald Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist with the semifinals and championship game.