No. 18 Cal Opens Pac-10 Play at No. 22 ASU, Arizona

Oct. 7, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 18 California (5-2-3) opens Pac-10 play and wraps up a six-game road swing this week. The Golden Bears face Arizona State (6-2-2) on Friday, Oct. 10, in Tempe, Ariz., at 7 p.m. PT and Arizona (4-5-1) Sunday, Oct. 12, in Tucson, Ariz., at 1 p.m. PT. In the preseason Pac-10 coaches' poll, Cal was picked to finish fifth, Arizona State third and Arizona ninth. In 2002, the Bears tied for sixth with ASU at 4-5.

DEFENSE STEPPING UP IN 2003: Cal has posted shutouts in five of its 10 games, including four of five wins, this season after recording six shutouts during 2002. Redshirt sophomore Ashley Sulprizio owns two of the shutouts, and freshman Anna Key has the other three. Sulprizio, who boasts a superb 0.45 goals-against average, started the first four games of 2003 before breaking her left thumb during warmups of the Dayton game. Key has stepped in and posted a solid 0.64 GAA. Cal has permitted only six goals, while scoring 12. The team's combined GAA has improved from 1.08 in 2002 to 0.56 in 2003, which ranks 21st in the nation. The senior backline of Ashley Valenzuela, Lucy Brining, Kim Stocklmeir and Amy Willison has helped Cal in 2003.

CAL IN THE POLLS: Following a weekend split, Cal remained in three of the four polls this week. The Bears are ranked as high as No. 18 by Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times and No. 21 by the NSCAA. Soccer America dropped Cal from its poll.

BEARS SPLIT MIDWEST TRIP: After posting a 1-0 loss to Missouri on Oct. 3, Cal closed out its Midwest trip with a 2-0 shutout of Marquette on Oct. 5. Missouri defender Kim Hibbert tallied the game's only goal in the 16th minute. Sophomore forward Tracy Hamm fired three of the Bears' seven shots. Cal scored twice in the final nine minutes against the Golden Eagles to secure the win. Freshman reserve forward Bri Wiles netted her first career goal in the 82nd minute, and less than four minutes later, Wiles assisted on an insurance goal by senior midfielder Kassie Doubrava. Anna Key saved Marquette's only shot on goal on a tough one-on-one opportunity.

SAN JOSE'S DOUBRAVA EMERGES AS LEADER: After posting only seven points in 2002, senior midfielder Kassie Doubrava leads Cal in 2003 with seven points from three goals and an assist. The three goals also are a team high. For her career, Doubrava has 30 points, including 15 during her 2001 sophomore campaign.

FRESHMEN HAVING IMPACT: The Cal freshman class, which was ranked No. 14 in the nation by Soccer Buzz, is living up to its billing. Three or four freshmen frequently start for the Bears and six regularly see significant minutes. In the win at Marquette, Anna Key, Emily Ward, Nadia Al-Lami and Alivia Mazura received starting nods. In that game, Ward assisted on the game-winning goal and freshman Bri Wiles came off the bench to post the game-winning goal and an assist.

SCOUTING ASU, ARIZONA: Eight players have accounted for ASU's (6-2-2) 23 goals (2.3 per game). Brittany Cooper leads the team with 17 points (7G, 3A). Soccer Times has the Sun Devils ranked No. 22. Arizona (4-5-1), which is on a two-game losing streak, is paced by Mallory Miller's 12 points (5G, 2A). Cal leads the all-time series with ASU, 4-1-1, including a 2-1 win in Berkeley in 2002. The Bears are 8-0 against the Wildcats after a 4-1 triumph last season at Cal.

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