No. 4 Bears Visit Penn, Hartford
BEARS EMBARK ON EAST COAST TRIP:
Riding a four-game unbeaten streak and a No. 4 national ranking, California (5-1-1) concludes a four-game road swing with a trip to the East Coast. The Golden Bears visit Penn (4-2) on Friday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m. ET, and Hartford (3-3) on Sunday, Sept. 29, at noon ET. Both opponents lost in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. The Bears return home Oct. 4 to entertain No. 7 Wake Forest.
BAY AREA TALENT DOMINATE CAL ROSTER:
Cal has built itself into one of the nation's top programs over the last several years by utilizing a lot of home-grown talent. This year, 13 players on Cal's 28-player roster hail from the Bay Area. This is more than Santa Clara (10), Saint Mary's (5) and Stanford (3), which are all local programs with a history of being ranked.
HAMM RECORDS FIRST COLLEGIATE HAT TRICK:
One of those Bay Area talents is freshman forward Tracy Hamm, who posted her first collegiate hat trick in Cal's 4-1 victory over Fresno State. The Moraga product leads the Bears with 12 points and six goals. The hat trick was Cal's 16th in school history and the first since Laura Schott's in a 3-0 victory over San Diego, Oct. 1, 2000.
SCHOTT INJURY WATCH:
Cal has shown its depth in the absence of All-American Laura Schott. Not many teams could be 5-1-1 and ranked between Nos. 4-6 in the nation without their leading scorer from the past three seasons. Schott sustained an MCL sprain on Sept. 4 in pracitce and has missed the last five games due to the injury. The Wilsonville, Ore., product started working out with the team last week, and coach Kevin Boyd is hopeful that she can make the trip east this week. She is still listed as day-to-day. Freshmen Tracy Hamm and Dania Cabello (two goals), along with seniors Carly Fuller (two goals) and Brittany Kirk (two goals), have picked up the scoring slack in Schott's absence.
CAL STAYS PUT IN POLLS:
With only one game last week against unranked Fresno State, Cal didn't move in any of the major polls. Soccer Buzz kept Cal at No. 4, the NSCAA at No. 5 and Soccer America at No. 6. The Soccer Times poll wasn't out at the time of this release. Last week, the Bears were ranked No. 5 by Soccer Times.
DEFENSE SHOWS IMPROVEMENT:
After sporting a 1.13 goals-against average in 2001, Cal's defense has shown dramatic improvement this year, cutting its GAA to 0.69 and posting three shutouts (half of its 2001 total). All three goalkeepers - Sani Post (0.71), Ashley Sulprizio (0.71) and Lee Ann Morton (0.00) - have contributed to the low GAA.
BEARS HAVE GOALFEST IN FRESNO STATE WIN:
Tracy Hamm recorded her first collegiate hat trick to lift Cal to a 4-1 victory at Fresno State Sunday. The four goals were the most the Bears have produced this year. Hamm scored the game's first goal in the seventh minute, but the Bulldogs evened the game at 1-1 before the half. Fresno State's goal was the first Cal had surrendered in the first half this year. Freshman Dania Cabello scored the eventual game-winner off a corner kick four minutes after the break, and Hamm added two insurance goals within three minutes of each other later in the half.
SCOUTING PENN, HARTFORD:
After opening 2002 with an 0-2 mark, Penn is 4-2 behind the leadership of sophomore forward Katy Cross, who leads the Ivy League with 18 points and seven goals. This is the first meeting between Cal and Penn. Hartford is 3-3 after losing to Yale, 2-0, on Saturday. Cal leads the all-time series, 3-1, with the Bears winning the last meeting, 5-0, Sept. 13, 1996, in Berkeley.