No. 10 Cal Opens Pac-10 Schedule at No. 4 UCLA, No. 19 USC
Oct. 3, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
CAL OPENS PAC-10 PLAY AT UCLA, USC: No. 10 California, which is ranked fourth in the nation in goals-against average at 0.288, opens Pac-10 Conference play at defending conference champion UCLA and USC in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears (7-1-2), who finished second in the conference last year with a program-best 7-1-1 record, face the No. 4 Bruins (9-2) Friday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. at Drake Stadium before battling No. 19 USC (7-2-1) Sunday, Oct. 8, at 1 p.m. at McAlister Field. UCLA won the conference in 2005 at 7-0-2, while USC was third (6-2-1). The Cal-UCLA game can be seen on a taped-delay basis on Fox Sports Net. In the Bay Area, the game will be shown on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.
RANKINGS: Cal, which has won three straight games, is ranked No. 10 nationally by Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times, while the NSCAA poll tabs the Bears at No. 11. The No. 10 ranking equals the Bears' highest of the 2006 season. This week, UCLA is ranked as high as No. 4 by the NSCAA, while USC is listed as high as No. 19 by Soccer Times.
CAL EDGES BOISE STATE, BLANKS USF: Cal rallied from a goal deficit to defeat Boise State, 2-1, Sept. 22. Randi Baker scored on a scramble inside the six-yard box to give Boise State a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. Cal senior forward Julia Schnugg tied the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute. Junior midfielder Caroline Lea was credited with an assist on the play for delivering a perfect pass to Schnugg. Less than two minutes into the second half, Cal senior forward Katie Ratican scored her first goal of 2006 on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box to put her team ahead for good. Four different players scored to lift Cal to a 4-0 victory over San Francisco Sept. 24. In the Bears' biggest offensive outburst of the season, they received second-half goals from Ratican (game winner), junior midfielder Laurie Gartrell and junior forwards Bri Wiles and Stephanie Wieger, who also had an assist in the game.
CAL'S DEFENSE AMONG THE BEST IN NATION: Cal has posted seven shutouts in 10 games this season en route to the fourth-best goals-against average in the nation at 0.288. The Bears are also tied for 10th in the country in shutout percentage with USC at 0.70 and stand tied for 13th for save percentage at 0.880. After tying a school record with 14 shutouts in 2005, Cal has now accumulated 21 shutouts in its last 32 games and has allowed only 14 goals in the other 11 games and has never permitted more than two goals in a game during that stretch.
KEY AMONG TOP GOALKEEPERS NATIONALLY: Senior Anna Key is ranked fourth in the country in goals-against average at 0.293 and 18th in save percentage (0.880). Key is on pace to break the Cal record for GAA in a season of 0.45, set by Noreen Paris in 1985. Additionally, she has been credited with all seven of Cal's shutouts, moving her career total to 15 (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.
BEARS SPREAD OFFENSIVE WEALTH AROUND: With the graduation of Liz Eisenberg, Cal's leading scorer the last two seasons, Cal has counted on a variety of players for offensive production this season. Nine players have accounted for the Bears' 14 goals, with Katie Ratican, Julia Schnugg, Valerie Barnes, Stephanie Wieger and Bri Wiles leading the way with two goals each. Ratican paces the team in points (7) and assists (3), and now has 16 career assists, two shy of the program's all-time top-five list.
SCOUTING UCLA, USC: UCLA boasts the best record in the Pac-10 at 9-2, with a season-opening 3-1 setback to No. 3 Penn State and a 3-0 loss to No. 5 Santa Clara Sept. 22. Freshman forward Lauren Cheney leads the team in points (16), goals (8) and game-winning goals. USC is 7-2-1 and ranks second in the Pac-10 in GAA (0.48). Senior midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo leads the Women of Troy in points (15) and assists (7), and is tied for the team lead in goals (4). UCLA holds an 8-4 series lead over Cal after posting a 2-0 win last year in Berkeley. USC leads the series, 6-5, but Cal rallied for a 2-1 triumph in Berkeley in 2005. The last time Cal faced UCLA on the road in 2004 Stephanie Wieger scored a golden goal in the 105th minute to lift the 15th-ranked Bears to a 1-0 win over the sixth-ranked Bruins.
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