No. 19 Bears Host 11th-Annual Cal Invitational
Aug. 29, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
BEARS HOST CAL INVITE:After posting a win and a tie in two overtime games last weekend, the No. 19 Golden Bears (1-0-1) return to action as host of the 11th-annual California Invitational Friday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 4, at Edwards Stadium. The tournament opens with Saint Marys (1-1) facing UC Santa Barbara on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Cal vs. Montana (0-1-1) at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Saint Mary's battles Montana at noon, and Cal entertains UC Santa Barbara at 2:30 p.m.
THE POLLS: Cal is ranked as high as No. 19 in the Soccer Buzz preseason poll. The other preseason polls have the Bears tabbed No. 22 (Soccer America and SoccerTimes) and No. 24 (NSCAA). Regular-season polls haven't been released yet.
CAL EDGES SMC, TIES MISSOURI: Cal opened 2005 with a 2-1 double OT road win over Saint Mary's and a 0-0 tie against Missouri. Against the Gaels, Cal senior forward Dania Cabello evened the score at one-all with a goal in the 86th minute. With less than three minutes left in the final 10-minute overtime period, senior forward Liz Eisenberg received a through pass from sophomore midfielder Chioma Igwe. Eisenberg beat the Gaels' defense and netted the game-winning score from about 10 yards. The victory was Cal's sixth straight in a season opener and head coach Kevin Boyd's 97th overall with the Bears. Against the Tigers, Cal held a 17-12 overall shot advantage, including a 4-2 edge in overtime, but neither team scored. Cabello had a goal waved off due to offsides during the first overtime. Cal junior forward Katie Ratican tallied three shots in overtime. The shutout moved senior goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio into a tie for fifth in Cal history with 11 career shutouts.
EISENBERG IS A GAME WINNER: After leading Cal with three game-winning goals in 2004, Eisenberg provided the Bears' first game-winning score of 2005 against Saint Mary's. The San Rafael, Calif., product also led Cal in points (21) and goals (9) last season.
OVERTIME TREND CONTINUES: Cal played five overtime games last year and has already logged extra minutes in the first two games of 2005. In 2004, the Bears posted a 1-1-3 mark in overtime, while this year, they are 1-0-1.
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 accolades, while junior midfielder Nadia Al-Lami, sophomore forward Stephanie Wieger and Igwe received honorable mention.
TOUGH SCHEDULE IN 2005: Cal faces seven teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. The list includes four Pac-10 foes - UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Stanford - and three non-conference opponents - Southern Methodist, Santa Clara and Utah. The Bruins lost to Notre Dame in the NCAA title game on penalty kicks.
SCOUTING MONTANA, UCSB, SAINT MARY'S: Montana opened the season with a 0-0 tie at New Mexico and a 3-0 loss at Colorado College. Last season, the Grizzlies posted an 8-8-2 record. Junior forward Lindsay Winans was named the conference's 2004 Offensive MVP. UC Santa Barbara, which posted a 13-6-2 record last year, kicked off the season with a 2-1 triumph at Fresno State before losing at home to Central Florida, 4-0. Allie Kueny is the Gauchos' top returning scorer (five goals). Saint Mary's rebounded from its loss to Cal to defeat UC Irvine, 3-2, in overtime on an own goal Sunday. The Gaels were 8-12 last year.
DID YOU KNOW: Cal has played 21 players in both of its games this seasons. Many Cal players traveled over the summer, including junior goalkeeper Anna Key (Malawi, Africa), Cabello (Brazil), Eisenberg (Brazil and Paris), Hooker and sophomore defender Kristine Relja (Europe), Al-Lami (Argentina) and junior midfielder Beth DeAraujo (Brazil).