No. 4 California (6-0-0) Travels to Stanford Invitational
Sept. 21, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 4 California (6-0-0) stays on the road, traveling to the Stanford/Nike Invitational, Sept. 24 and 26. The Golden Bears face top tier competition, against Brown University, the 2003 Ivy League Champions, on Friday at 5 p.m. at Stanford's Maloney Field. Cal closes out the tournament on Sunday against No. 3 Santa Clara at Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium at 7 p.m.
CAL REMAINS UNDEFEATED: After defeating Cal State Fullerton, 1-0 on Sept. 17 and UC Irvine, 2-1, on Sept. 19, the Bear's record improved to a flawless 6-0. The Bears haven't started the season winning six consecutive since 1986. The perfect record places Cal as one of 11 teams in the nation still undefeated. Sunday's opponent, Santa Clara, is another of those eleven.
BEARS COME IN SECOND AT FULLERTON TOURNAMENT: Cal came in second place at Fullerton's SoccerTown Classic. Although the Bears finished the tourney 2-0, they came up short to champions Stanford in goal differential. Stanford and Cal were joined by UC Irvine in third and Fullerton in fourth. Cal's Carl Acosta, Troy Roberts and Pieter Berger were named all-tournament players. The Bears have gone 4-0 in tournament games this year, finishing co-champions of their own adidas Cal-Legacy Classic.
CAL CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Cal appeared on all four major college soccer polls this week. Soccer America, who had the Bears at No. 7 last week, has them all the way at No. 4. College Soccer News, which previously ranked Cal No. 15, jumped the team up to No. 10. SoccerTimes.com moved Cal up 6 spots from No. 19 to No. 13. The NSCAA/adidas coaches poll, which had not ranked the Bears yet this year, placed them No. 17.
GRIMES GOES FOR 50: Head Coach Kevin Grimes is three victories short of reaching 50 career wins, an accomplishment achieved by only four Cal coaches prior to himself. Grimes began the season at 41-37-6, and has since improved to 47-37-6. With two more victories this weekend, Grimes' 50th win opportunity would come fittingly against rival Stanford on Oct. 1. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia is number one on the list, with 202 career coaching wins.
HIGHLY ACCLAIMED MERL: Senior defender Noah Merl received Player of the Week (Sept. 7-12) honors from both Soccer America and College Soccer News last week. The awards followed Merl being named tournament co-MVP of the adidas Cal-Legacy Classic.
TROY STANDING STRONG: Senior defender Troy Roberts is in his fourth year of anchoring the Bear's backline. The Fremont native has not only appeared in all 70 Cal games of his career, he's started every one. Roberts received All-Pac-10 honorable mention his freshman year, second team All-Pac-10 his sophomore year and first team All-Pac-10 honors last season. The awards have not slowed up this season, with Robert's receiving all tournament recognition at both the adidas Cal-Legacy Classic and CS Fullerton's SoccerTown Classic.
SCOUTING THE BEARS & THE BRONCOS: Cal will have its hands full facing two highly accomplished teams this weekend. Brown (2-3-0), last season's Ivy League champs, are coming fresh off capturing the Yale Classic Title. Senior Jeff Larentowicz, an All American last year, looks to lead the Bears from the back. Perennial power Santa Clara (6-0-0) is off to another strong start, reflected in its No. 3 national ranking. Santa Clara returns senior forward Will Weatherly, who in 2003 led the Broncos in scoring with seven goals.
BEARS LOOKING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT NCAA TOURNAMENT BID: This year's Bears look to reach the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season. In 2001, coach Kevin Grimes' second season, the Bears reached the first-round of the tourney. They followed in 2002 with an impressive run to the Sweet 16. Last season's squad advanced to the second-round.