No. 12 Cal Hosts Arizona, Arizona State in First Pac-10 Homestand
Oct. 10, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
CAL HOSTS ARIZONA, ASU: No. 12 California (7-2-3, 0-1-1, T7th), which plays six of its final eight regular-season games at home, hosts Arizona (8-5, 1-1 Pac-10, T4th) Friday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m. and Arizona State (5-5-2, 0-2, 10th) Sunday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears are 3-0-1 at home in 2006 after posting a 6-2-1 mark last season. Freshman midfielder Kelly Menachof scored in stoppage time Oct. 10 to give Cal a 1-1 tie against the Ghana National team.
RANKINGS: After seeing its three-game winning streak snapped against No. 4 UCLA Oct. 6 and posting a tie against No. 19 USC Oct. 8, Cal's rankings fell in all of the major polls. Cal is ranked as high as No. 12 by Soccer Times. Soccer Buzz tabs the Bears No. 16, Soccer America has Cal at No. 19, and the NSCAA lists Cal at No. 22.
BEARS FALL TO UCLA, TIE USC: Cal had a rough weekend against two of the top three teams in the Pac-10 last season. Against No. 4 UCLA, senior forward Katie Ratican gave Cal a 1-0 lead in the second minute with a goal in her third straight game. Junior forward Stephanie Wieger, who made her first start of the season, played the ball into the box, and Ratican was able to beat UCLA goalkeeper Valerie Henderson. Wieger netted the only goal in a 1-0 double-overtime Cal triumph in Los Angeles in 2004. Cal trailed 2-1 at the half, and UCLA iced the game with two more goal in the second half, marking the first time in more than two years that Cal had surrendered more than two goals in a game. Freshman goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini received her first start against No. 19 USC and posted five saves to help the Bears record a 0-0 double overtime tie, the team's eighth shutout in 12 games. Wieger led Cal with four shots in her second consecutive start.
CAL'S DEFENSE STILL AMONG THE BEST IN NATION: Cal has posted eight shutouts in 12 games this season en route to the 23rd-best goals-against average in the nation at 0.554. The Bears are also tied for 11th in the country in shutout percentage at 0.67. After tying a school record with 14 shutouts in 2005, Cal has now accumulated 22 shutouts in its last 34 games. This season, Cal has surrendered seven goals in 1140 minutes.
PELLEGRINI SHINES IN FIRST START: Gina Pellegrini learned at practice Oct. 7 that she would make her first collegiate start against USC Oct. 8. She responded with five saves and punched out several dangerous crosses. Prior to the game against the Women of Troy, Pellegrini has played a total of about 15 minutes off the bench in Cal's 3-1 triumph over Air Force Sept. 7. The Santa Rosa producted recorded two saves as the starting keeper in the Bears' 1-1 tie against the Ghana National team Oct. 10. In addition to playing on the Santa Rosa High School soccer team, Pellegrini was a kicker for the school's football team.
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' 15 goals, with Katie Ratican leading the way with three goals. Julia Schnugg, Valerie Barnes, Stephanie Wieger and Bri Wiles are second with two goals each. Ratican, who had 12 points last year, paces the team in points (9) and assists (3), and now has 16 career assists, two shy of the program's all-time top-five list. Wieger is second on the team with six points after tallying only two points in 2005.
SCOUTING ARIZONA, ASU: Arizona, which is receiving votes in the NSCAA poll, lost to Oregon, 2-1, in its Pac-10 opener and rebounded to blank Oregon State, 2-0. The Wildcats have scored 12 of their 18 goals in the first half this year. Gianna DeSaverio paces her team with 16 points (six goals, four assists). Cal is 10-0-1 all-time against Arizona, with the Wildcats posting their lone tie (0-0) in 2005 in Tucson. After dropping road games to Oregon and Oregon State, Arizona State looks for its first Pac-10 win of the year in the Bay Area. The Sun Devils hold a 7-1-2 all-time record in their first Pac-10 road match of the year. Courtney Crane leads ASUwith nine points (four goals, one assist). Cal holds a 5-3-1 all-time record against Arizona State following last year's 1-0 victory in Tempe. Sierra Schlesinger, who has exhausted her eligibility, scored the game-winner for the Bears.