No. 13 Cal Hosts Boise State, San Francisco
Sept. 19, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
CAL HOSTS BOISE STATE, USF: No. 13 California, which is ranked fifth in the nation in goals-against average at 0.24, returns home to host Boise State Friday, Sept. 22, and San Francisco Sunday, Sept. 24. After playing the last four games on the road, the Golden Bears (5-1-2) host the Broncos (4-3) Friday at 1 p.m. and the Dons (3-4-1) Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Through eight games last year, Cal was 6-1-1. Cal head coach Kevin Boyd and assistant coach Maite Zabala both attended Bishop Kelly High School in Boise.
RANKINGS: Cal fell in all four polls after suffering its first defeat of the season last weekend to Ohio State. The Bears dropped three spots to No. 13 in the Soccer Times poll. Soccer Buzz moved Cal from No. 16 to No. 19, while the NSCAA has the Bears at No. 20 after being at No. 15 last week. Soccer America no longer ranks Cal after tabbing the Bears No. 15 a week ago.
BEARS FALL TO OHIO STATE, BLANK DAYTON: Cal fell to Ohio State, 1-0, Sept. 15 on the opening day of the Ohio State Invitational for its first setback of 2006. Jenna Greenwood netted what held up as the game-winning goal for Ohio State in the 15th minute when she tapped in the rebound of Laura Dickenmann's shot. Ohio State outshot Cal, 15-10, with senior forward Katie Ratican, freshman forward Lisa Kevorkian and freshman defender Brianna Bak leading Cal with two shots each. Junior midfielder Caroline Lea and freshman midfielder Kelly Menachof scored off corner kicks in the 23rd and 35th minutes, respectively, to lift Cal to a 2-0 victory over Dayton Sept. 17. The goals were Lea's and Menachof's first of 2006. Ratican assisted on Lea's goal, while senior defender Alivia Mazura was credited with the assist on the Bears' other score. Cal held a 12-6 shot advantage, including a 9-3 edge in shots on goal.
CAL'S DEFENSE AMONG THE BEST IN NATION: Cal has posted six shutouts in eight games this season en route to the fifth-best goals-against average in the nation at 0.24. The Bears are also tied for 10th in the country in shutout percentage with USC at 0.75 and stand 14th for save percentage at 0.905. After tying a school record with 14 shutouts in 2005, Cal has now accumualted 20 shutouts in its last 30 games and has allowed only 13 goals in the other 10 games and has never permitted more than two goals in a game during that stretch.
KEY AND THE DOMINATNT BACKLINE: Cal's defense starts with its high pressure from its forwards, but the final line of defense is the team's formidable backline and senior goalkeeper Anna Key. The Bears rely on senior outside back Alivia Mazura and junior central defenders Courtney Hooker and Kristine Relja, who have started on the backline for the last three seasons. The trio were all named to the Ohio State Invitational all-tournament team. Mazura was selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week after the opening week of the season. Sophomore Nkechi Kanu and freshman Brianna Bak have done well at the other outside back spot for the Bears. Key is ranked eighth in the country in goals-against average at 0.243 and 16th in save percentage (0.905). Additionally, she has been credited with all six of Cal's shutouts, moving her career total to 14 (tied for fifth all-time at Cal). Key started 14-of-15 games she played in as a freshman before serving primarily as a reserve the last two seasons. The Oakland, Calif., product was named the 2006 NCAA Division I Female Sportsmanship Award winner for the work she has done to help the children of Malawi and the country's women's soccer federation.
RATICAN APPROACHES CAL TOP-FIVE ASSIST LIST: Katie Ratican, who led Cal with six assists last season, paces the team in assists again this year with three. The Fullerton, Calif., product has 16 assists for her career, two shy of the program's all-time top-five list.
SCOUTING BOISE STATE, USF:Boise State brings a 4-3 record to Berkeley after losing its last two games to UC Davis (2-1) and Wyoming (2-1). Katie Keller leads the team with six points from three goals. San Francisco sports a 3-4-1 mark after beating Cornell, 2-1, and tying Hawaii, 0-0, last weekend. Fiona O'Sullivan paces the Dons with 10 points and has tallied five of her team's nine goals this season. This will be the first meeting between Cal and Boise State. The Bears own a 9-3-2 all-time series lead over San Francisco after posting a 3-0 win the last time the teams played in the regular season Aug. 25, 2000, in Berkeley.