No. 17 Cal Opens the 2003 Season at Indiana Tournament
Aug. 26, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 17 (NSCAA preseason poll) California kicks off the 2003 season Friday, Aug. 29, at the adidas Indiana Tournament. The Golden Bears first face host No. 7 Indiana at 7:30 p.m., at Armstrong Stadium. Cal finished the 2002 season with a 14-6-2 record (6-3-1 Pac-10, 2nd) while the Hoosiers were 15-4-2 (6-0-0 Big Ten, 1st). Head coach Jerry Yeagley enters his 31st season with the Hoosiers. He is poised to pass Steven Nogesco with 18 more wins to become the all time winningest coach in NCAA history. He will have to do so this year as he has annouced this season as his last. The teams last met in 2000, where Cal edged Indiana, 2-1, in Berkeley.
The Bears' second game of the tournament is against No. 12 Notre Dame, on Saturday Aug. 30 at 5 p.m., also at Armstrong Stadium. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 12-6-3 season (6-3-1, Big East, 4th). They are led by Bobby Clark, who begins his 17th year as head coach. This will mark the first time the two schools have ever met on the soccer pitch.
BEARS PICKED THIRD IN PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL: Cal was picked to finish third in the preseason Pac-10 men's soccer coaches poll, which was released on Aug. 19th. 2002 NCAA Pac-10 champion, UCLA, was picked to repeat its league title. The Bruins received 24 points, including four first-place votes. Next was NCAA Tournament runner-up Stanford, receiving 22 points and two first-place votes. California was in third place with 16 points followed by Washington (12), then Oregon State (11). Fresno State (5) rounded out the poll in sixth place, as they enter their second season competing in the Pac-10.
CAL LOOKS TO ADVANCE FURTHER IN NCAA TOURNAMENT AFTER BACK-TO-BACK APPEARANCES: The 2002 NCAA Tournament marked the first time the Bears reached postseason in back-to-back years since 1986, as well as the team's first ever postseason victory, 2-1 over UC Santa Barbara. The appearance also was the ninth NCAA bid in Cal history. The Bears look to advance again this year, which would mark the first time a Cal team had gone three years in a row. Losing only two starters and returning 23 letterwinners, head coach Kevin Grimes will rely on junior Mike Munoz to carry the load up front. Munoz had an impressive sophomore year, including being selected first team All-Pac-10 and first team All-Far West . He scored eight goals and added three assists to lead Cal with 19 points last season.
EXPERIENCED BEARS RETURN NINE STARTERS FROM LAST SEASON: Cal will return a team accustomed to winning last two years. The back-line defenders are once again a great strength with returning juniors Troy Roberts, Kyle Navarro, Noah Merl and Yohei Fukuda. This talented quartet started every game last season for Cal. The offense will be paced by juniors Munoz and Carl Acosta and sophomore Pieter Berger.
Cal also welcomes six talented freshman. Among the newest Bears are midfielders Eric Ebert, J.T. Searles, and Andrew Jacobson, defenders Steve Purdy and Jeff Serafini, and goalkeeper Justin Myers.
PRESEASON TRAINING IN SONOMA: The Bears spent last week away from home, as they held their preseason training in Sonoma. The team is back in Berkeley this week before departing for Indiana on Thursday.