No. 14 Cal Hosts Washington, WSU to Open Pac-10 Play

Oct. 4, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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CAL HOSTS UW, WSU: After a one-week hiatus from games, California (7-2-1) opens Pac-10 play at home against Washington (0-8-3) Friday, Oct. 7, at 3:30 p.m. and vs. Washington State (7-3-1) Sunday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.

Cal was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-10 this year in a preseason coaches' poll after tying for fourth in 2004 with a 4-3-2 record. UCLA and Arizona shared the conference title last season with 6-3 records, and both teams lost to the Bears. Cal won a share of its only Pac-10 crown in 1998.

THE POLLS: Cal is ranked as high as No. 14, according to the SoccerTimes poll. The other polls have the Bears at No. 16 (Soccer Buzz and Soccer America). The NSCAA, which tabbed Cal No. 15 last week, doesn't release a new poll until later today.

BEARS SPLIT GAMES IN UTAH: Cal lost a heart-breaking, 1-0, decision to then-No. 15 Brigham Young Sept. 23. The Cougars Natalie Nate netted the game's only goal on a penalty kick in the 78th minute. The Bears showed their resiliency Sept. 25 against a tough Utah team, bouncing back to secure a 1-0 double overtime victory. Senior forward Dania Cabello posted the game-winning goal (assists Nadia Al-Lami, Liz Eisenberg) in the 107th minute.

EISENBERG IS A GAME WINNER: After leading Cal with three game-winning goals in 2004, Liz Eisenberg, the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Week for Sept. 5-11, has a team-high four game-winning scores this year. The San Rafael, Calif., product has posted game-winning goals against Saint Mary's, Montana, No. 24 Dartmouth and Southern Methodist. The game-winning goal versus the Big Green was her second one in overtime at Saint Mary's Stadium in 2005. Eisenberg also paces Cal in goals (6) and points (14) this season after leading the team in goals (9) and points (21) in 2004. Nine of Eisenberg's 17-career goals have been game winners. Both of her assists in 2005 were game-winners (Utah and Pacific).

CABELLO-EISENBERG CONNECTION: Liz Eisenberg and Dania Cabello have connected on five of Cal's 17 goals this year. Cabello has assisted on three of Eisenberg's six goals, and Eisenbeg has assisted on two of Cabello's four goals. Eisenberg paces the Bears with 14 points, and Cabello is second with 11 points (four goals, team-high three assists). Cabello tallied 10 points in 2004, six in 2003 and 17 in 2002 as a rookie. Her 16 career assists stands sixth all-time at Cal.

SULPRIZIO RANKED 13th IN NATION FOR GAA: Senior goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio ranks 13th in the nation for goals-against average (0.42). The 6-1 product of Gardnerville, Nev., has allowed four goals in approximately 858 minutes in the net. She owns four shutouts this season and 14 for her career, tying her for fourth all-time at Cal with Noreen Paris (1985-88).

SCOUTING WASHINGTON, WSU: After posting a 17-5-1 record and tying for third in the Pac-10 at 5-3-1 in 2004, Washington is off to a 0-8-3 start this year. The Huskies are extremely young with 12 freshmen and only one senior on the team. Freshman forward Melissa Beale owns four of the team's seven goals in 2005. UW leads the series with Cal, 9-5, and has won five straight against the Bears. WSU is off to a 7-3-1 start following last year's 8-7-4 record (3-4-2, 8th). Megan Hyte paces the Cougars with 11 points (5G, 1A). Cal leads the series, 8-3-3, including a 1-0 road win last year. Chioma Igwe notched the only goal on a penalty kick.

BEAR BITS: Cal's goals-against average of 0.457 ranks 13th in the nation, and the Bears' shutout percentage of 0.60 (six of 10 games) is tied for 17th nationally...a lot of credit for the Bears' defense goes to Cal's starting backline - senior Tracy Hamm, junior Alivia Mazura and sophomores Courtney Hooker (2004 second team All-Pac-10) and Kristine Relja who have started all 10 games for the Bers...Cal has played five overtime contests (3-1-1) this season after going extra minutes five times in 2004.