Cal Heads to Palo Alto with the Season on the Line
Nov. 11, 2003
Berkeley, Calif. -
THIS WEEK:Saturday, Nov. 15 StanfordMaloney Field, Stanford, CA 7:00 p.m.
WHAT'S ON TAP: California (9-8-2, 4-4-1 Pac-10), with one game to play, needs a win to put itself in position for a third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bears are sitting on the tournament bubble but have played better of late, winning four of their last six games. To get on the road to Columbus (site of the NCAA College Cup Finals), Cal will have to go through arch-rival Stanford. The Cardinal (3-14-2, 0-9-0 Pac-10), cannot be as bad as its record indicates. Moreover, a game between the two rivals is always a toss up. Stanford will be looking to play spoiler this year, after going to the NCAA Championship game last year.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL: The Stanford Cardinal are coming off their first win since Sept. 28, when they beat UC Irvine, 4-1. Last Thursday, the Cardinal erupted for four second-half goals, in a 5-1 win over San Jose State. Juniors Matt Janusz and Darren Fernandez had huge games. Janusz scored two goals and an assist, while Fernandez had a goal and three assists. The Cardinal are mostly young, but Cal will need to be wary of these two junior standouts come Saturday. The pair also lead the Cardinal in points with 12 and 11, respectively. Stanford's 0-9-0 Pac-10 mark is still surprising for a team that has been so dominant the last three years. This will be the first time the Cardinal have finished lower than third place in the Pac-10 and its first time with a below average conference record. In fact, the Cardinal have already guaranteed themselves its worst winning percentage in the program's history. Cal will place its three game unbeaten streak on the line against the Cardinal on Saturday. Overall, the Cardinal lead the series 19-9-6.
2003 PAC-10 MEN'S SOCCER STANDINGS:(As of Nov. 11, 2003) Conf. OverallUCLA 9-0-0 17-1-0Oregon State 7-2-0 13-5-0Washington 4-4-1 11-4-2California 4-4-1 9-8-2Fresno State 2-7-0 5-13-0Stanford 0-9-0 3-14-2
BEARS ARE GOLDEN AT HOME: Cal scored its first golden goal of the season in a 2-1 OT win over San Jose State on Sunday. The Bears most dramatic goal of the year, couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Cal surged to nine wins, with one game to play. In the first overtime session, Kyle Navarro slotted a ball through to Yohei Fukuda. Fukuda sped forward into the penalty box, and boomed a shot across goal and in. The game-winner in the 94th minute set off an eruption from the Bears sideline, which had been loud and supportive all game. Kevin Grimes leapt in the air, as much relieved, as he was excited. Navarro played one of his best games of the year. He pushed forward from his defensive spot to provide support along the wings. He was in the thick of many of the Bears chances and notched his second goal of the season to pull the Bears level in the 63rd minute.
ON A TEAM LED BY JUNIORS, SOPHOMORES AND FRESHMEN BEGIN TO MAKE AN IMPACT: Cal has guaranteed itself a sound future by integrating many of its younger players into the lineup and bringing them in for a spark as substitutes. Sophomore's Tyson Wahl and Nick Hatzke have been a consistent presence in midfield for the Bears. Wahl plays a defensive role, sometimes playing on the back line, while Hatzke is one of the key distributors of the ball to the forwards. Sophomore Pieter Berger and freshman Andrew Jacobson have been used off the bench as big attackers, capable of winning balls up front. Sophomore Garrett Terracciano, and freshman Eric Ebert have added depth and often a spark to the Golden Bear midfield. Steve Purdy has been the most consistent freshman Bears' starter, playing on the back line and in a defensive midfield position. Playing on the outside or in the interior, he is capable of making attacking runs up the field. Cal is led by a core of juniors, but these sophomores and freshmen are beginning to make their presence felt - a good sign that the program is healthy.