No. 7 Cal Travels to No. 16 Santa Clara, Hosts No. 8 Stanford
Oct. 5, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. -
RESTED BEARS TRAVEL TO SANTA CLARA, HOST STANFORD: After a 10-day break from competition, No. 7 California visits No. 16 Santa Clara (6-3-2) Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. and hosts No. 8 Stanford (8-2-1) Sunday, Oct. 10 at 1 p.m., in both teams' Pac-10 opener. The aforementioned rankings are by Soccer Buzz. Cal looks to stay on track and rebound from its worst season of Pac-10 play in 2003 (T9th, 2-6-1 record). This year, the Pac-10 coaches picked the Golden Bears to finish sixth, Stanford to take second and UCLA to place first.
MOVING UP THE POLLS: After breaking into the national polls Sept. 13 and not playing any games last week, Cal moved around slightly or stayed the same in this week's polls. Cal jumped from No. 14 to No. 7 in the Soccer Buzz poll, dropped from No. 10 to No. 11 in the NSCAA poll, stayed at No. 13 according to Soccer America and improved from No. 17 to No. 15 in the SoccerTimes poll.
HIGH-POWERED OFFENSE: Cal leads the Pac-10 in goals (25) and goals per game (2.78, T21st in NCAA), while Arizona is second with 24 goals (2.18 per game). Although, the Wildcats have needed 11 games to score their goals to the Bears' nine. Eight different players have accounted for Cal's goals this season, and seven of them have posted at least two scores. Last season, Cal posted 22 goals all season. The 1987 Bears set the school season record for goals with 58.
DEFENSE JUST AS GOOD AS OFFENSE: Cal boasts a team goals-against average of 0.54 (3rd Pac-10, 17th NCAA) after posting a 1.00 GAA in 2003. The Bears also have seven shutouts this season (T2nd Pac-10), equaling their total of last season. Cal leads the nation in shutout percentage (0.78, 7 of 9 opponents). Junior Ashley Sulprizio (0.83 GAA, three shutouts, 542 minutes) and sophomore Anna Key (0.00 GAA, two shutouts, 288 minutes) have formed a formidable duo in goal. Two of Cal's shutouts each goalie saw action in so neither earned the shutout. The only opponents to score on Cal are No. 2 North Carolina (4-2) and San Jose State (5-1). The Bears are currently riding a stretch of 328 minutes and 45 seconds without allowing a goal.
EISENBERG HAVING CAREER YEAR: Junior forward Liz Eisenberg leads Cal's rejuvenated offense in points (18) and goals (8). Eisenberg, a product of San Rafael, Calif., posted no points during an injury-plagued freshman season (eight games played) and only four points (two goals) as a sophomore when she played in 18 games and made nine starts. Improved fitness is one of the factors that have helped Eisenberg this year.
RECAP OF FRESNO STATE, PACIFIC WINS: Eisenberg scored two goals and Stephanie Wieger and Katie Ratican scored the others to lift Cal to a 4-0 win over Fresno State Sept. 24. Wieger also added two assists. Key made thee saves in her first start of the year for the Bears. Sierra Schlesinger netted her first career hat trick - Cal's second of the season - and Eisenberg and Wieger accounted for the other goals in Cal's 5-0 road shutout of Pacific Sept. 26. Wieger, who leads the team with five assists and is second with 13 points, also added an assist. Key posted four saves in her second start.
SCOUTING SANTA CLARA, STANFORD: Santa Clara, which is ranked as high as No. 8 by Soccer America, is 6-3-2 and is coming off a 0-0 tie to Stanford and a 1-0 double overtime loss at UCLA. The Broncos are led by Tina Estrada (5G, 2A), Leslie Osborne (5G, 1A) and Megan Kakadelas (4G, 2A). After opening the year 1-2, Stanford (8-2-1) is unbeaten in its last eight games. The Cardinal is ranked as high as No. 8 by Soccer Buzz. Marcie Ward paces the team with 13 points (6G, 1A). Cal is 13-10-3 lifetime against Santa Clara, including a 0-0 double overtime road tie in 2003. Stanford leads the series with Cal, 11-9-2, and has won the last four meetings, including a 2-1 OT win at Stanford.
DID YOU KNOW: Freshmen Courtney Hooker and Chioma Igwe each have brothers who play soccer at Santa Clara. Chioma's brother, Kelechi, is a junior midfielder/forward, and Courtney's twin, Anton, is a defender.