Cal Hosts Sacramento State in Exhibition

Aug. 15, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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CAL OPENS SEASON AGAINST SAC STATE: California opens the 2005 season with an exhibition game against Sacramento State Friday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears, who have been holding training sessions since Aug. 10, return everyone from last year's team which posted an 11-6-3 overall record and tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with a 4-3-2 mark. Sacramento State returns 15 letterwinners, including eight starters, from 2004's 3-15 team. In 1995, the Bears beat the Hornets, 3-1, in the teams' only previous meeting.

CAL RETURNS EVERYONE FROM '04 NCAA TEAM: Cal has the luxury of returning all 11 starters from last season's NCAA Tournament-qualifying team. The Bears, who lost to Santa Clara, 2-1, in the first round of the 2004 playoffs, have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including six of the last seven seasons. This year's team boasts ample leadership with six seniors and four All-Pac-10 honorees. Sophomore defender Courtney Hooker garnered second team All-Pac-10 recognition, while junior midfielder Nadia Al-Lami, sophomore forward Stephanie Wieger and sophomore midfielder Chioma Igwe received honorable mention.

BEARS LOOK TO CONTINUE OFFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT: Senior forward Liz Eisenberg led Cal in points (21) and goals (9) in 2004 after combining for four points during her first two years. Wieger was second on the team in points (19) and goals (7) and shared the team lead (5) for assists with Igwe. Cal tied for third in the Pac-10 with 37 goals, 15 more than the Bears' 2003 total.

A LOOK AT THE NEWCOMERS: Cal welcomes one transfer and four freshmen in 2005. Junior forward Julia Schnugg earned second team All-ACC honors after leading Florida State in scoring as a sophomore with 17 points (seven goals, three assists). As a freshman in 2003, the product of Alamo, Calif., helped the Seminoles to the NCAA College Cup Semifinals, recording 22 points (six goals, 10 assists) to earn Soccer Buzz Freshman All-America honors. The Bears are excited about the addition of freshmen forwards Katherine Daiss (Portola Valley, CA), Valerie Barnes (Martinez, CA) and Torrey Delaplane (Valley Center, CA) and defender Nkechi Kanu (Pleasanton, CA).

GOALKEEPER BATTLE INTENSE: Senior Ashley Sulprizio and junior Anna Key may be one of the best goalkeeping tandems in the country. Both athletes shared time in goal last season and may face a similar situation this year. Sulprizio posted a 0.87 goals-against average in about 1,338 minutes in the net, while Key sported a 0.49 GAA in 547 minutes of action. The team's combined 0.76 GAA was fourth in the Pac-10.

TOUGH SCHEDULE IN 2005: Cal faces seven teams which advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. The list includes four Pac-10 foes - UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Stanford - and three non-conference oppoments - Southern Methodist, Santa Clara and Utah. The Bruins lost to Notre Dame in the championship game on penalty kicks. Cal defeated UCLA and Arizona, the 2004 Pac-10 co-champions, in 2004.

DID YOU KNOW: Chioma Igwe and sophomore midfielder Caroline Lea attended a U.S. under-20 national team camp in May. Nkechi Kanu has interned at NASA in Mountain View, Calif., during the last two summers. Sophomore midfielder Laurie Gartrell and freshmen Valerie Barnes and Katherine Daiss have spent time building houses in Mexico.

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