No. 8 California Returns Home to Face No. 19 UCLA
Oct. 13, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 8 Golden Bears (8-1-2, 1-1-1 Pac-10) return to Berkeley after a month on the road to face No. 19 UCLA (5-2-2, 1-1-0 Pac-10). The Bears and Bruins will play Friday at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley at 3:30 p.m.
WRAPPING UP THE ROAD TRIP: Cal finished a seven-game road-trip this weekend, falling to Washington on Friday, 3-0, then rebounding with a win against Oregon State on Sunday, 2-0. While Cal struggled to find the back of the net against Washington, the Bears created plenty of scoring opportunities, out-shooting the Huskies, 21-7. Senior Yohei Fukuda opened the scoring for the Bears against the Beavers, tallying his second goal of the year off an assist from Calen Carr. Carr added a goal of his own in the second half. The match was particularly physical with the two teams combining for 39 fouls (30 for OSU, 9 for Cal). 10 cards were shown, with four players being sent off the pitch (8 cards for OSU, 2 for Cal).
GRIMES GOES FOR 50: Head Coach Kevin Grimes is one victory short of reaching 50 career wins, an accomplishment achieved by only four Cal coaches prior to himself. Grimes began the season with a career record of 41-37-6, and has since improved to 49-38-8. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia is No. 1 on the list, with 202 career coaching wins.
CAL ON THE CHARTS: For the fourth consecutive week, Cal appeared on all four major college soccer polls. While the Bears slipped somewhat after their Oct. 8th loss to Washington, they are still prominently featured in each. Soccer America dropped Cal down to No. 13 after having them at No. 3 the past two weeks. College Soccer News has the Bears in its No. 8 spot. SoccerTimes.com dropped Cal four spots from No. 4 to No. 8. The NSCAA/adidas coaches' poll has the Bears at No 19.
BEARS FIERCE AT HOME: The Bruins will have their hands full playing Cal in Berkeley. The Bears are undefeated at home this season, a perfect 4-0-0. Cal defeated Sacramento State on Sept. 1, San Diego State on Sept. 4, San Diego on Sept. 10 and San Jose State on Sept. 12. In those four games, the Bears have outscored their opponents, 9-1.
CAL'S DEFENSE GOLDEN: The Bears' defense is tops in the Pac-10 and one of the best in the nation. The seven goals allowed this season is the lowest in the Pac-10, and the 0.61 goals-against average ranks them No. 10 nationally. Of the Bears' eight wins this season, seven have been shutouts, the sixth most in the nation. Cal's defense is anchored by seniors Troy Roberts, Kyle Navarro and Noah Merl, sophomore Steve Purdy, and transfer goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA (5-2-2, 1-1-0 Pac-10) is coming off of a 20-win season in 2003 which saw it reach the NCAA quarterfinals. Although the Bruins lost six starters (including three All-Americans) and their head coach, they came away with the nation's No. 1 recruiting class for 2004. UCLA is led in the back by senior defender Aaron Lopez, a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy (awarded to the nation's best player) candidate for the second-straight year. The Bruins are dangerous up front, with 2003's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chad Barrett (10 goals, 8 assists) joined by Soccer America's No. 1 recruit for 2004 Kamani Hill. UCLA leads the all-time series, 25-7-2.
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.
DID YOU KNOW: Junior transfer Eric Kronberg is the only Pac-10 player in history to win Player of the Week honors at two Pac-10 Universities (Fresno State & Cal).