No. 18 Cal Travels to Washington, Washington State
Oct. 17, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
CAL TRAVELS TO WASHINGTON, WSU: After an unlucky home weekend, No. 18 California (7-4-3, 0-2-2, 10th Pac-10) travels to the state of Washington for its final regular-season road trip this weekend. The Golden Bears visit Washington (6-8, 1-2, 6th) Friday, Oct. 20, at 5 p.m. in Seattle and Washington State (7-4-3, 2-0-1, 3rd) Sunday, Oct. 22, at noon in Pullman. Cal is only two points out of fifth place in the conference. Head coach Kevin Boyd, the 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, will coach his 200th game for the Bears against the Huskies.
RANKINGS: After going 0-1-1 last weekend after allowing only an own goal and a penalty kick, Cal dropped out of the NSCAA and Soccer America polls. Soccer Times tabs the Bears No. 18, and Soccer Buzz lists them at No. 28.
BEARS TIE ARIZONA, FALL TO ASU: Cal's defense didn't allow an Arizona or Arizona State player to score in the run of play but suffered a frustrating 1-1 tie against the Wildcats and a 1-0 setback to the Sun Devils. Senior forward Julia Schnugg propelled Cal to a 1-0 lead over Arizona with a goal in the 12th minute off of a long free kick by freshman defender Brianna Bak. Arizona tied the game in the 42nd minute when the Bears, who held a 13-10 shot advantage, surrendered an own goal off of a corner kick by the Wildcats' Kaity Heath. Despite holding an 11-7 shot advantage over ASU, Cal couldn't dent the scoreboard and gave up a penalty kick with 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
CAL'S DEFENSE POSTS EIGHT SHUTOUTS: Cal has posted eight shutouts in 14 games this season and are tied for 23rd in the nation in shutout percentage (0.57). After tying a school record with 14 shutouts in 2005, Cal has now accumulated 22 shutouts in its last 36 games (.611). This season, Cal has surrendered nine goals (tied for second in the Pac-10) in 1340 minutes for a 0.60 GAA (second in Pac-10). The Bears began the season with three veteran defenders starting on the backline in senior Alivia Mazura, junior All-American Courtney Hooker and sophomore Kristine Relja. Relja tore her ACL against Boise State Sept. 22 and is out for the year, and her replacement, freshman Brianna Bak, missed the Arizona State game with a concussion. Sophomore defender Nkechi Kanu saw limited action against the Sun Devils before being pulled due to a leg injury. Mazura and Hooker have started all 14 games for the Bears, and Bak, junior Caitlin Hannegan and senior Julia Schnugg have been called upon to play on the backline in recent games. Bak and Kanu may be available this weekend.
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' 16 goals, with senior forwards Katie Ratican and Julia Schnugg leading the way with three goals each. 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 and Schnugg are second on the team with six points after tallying only two points in 2005.
KEY, PELLEGRINI SHINE IN GOAL: Senior Anna Key and freshman Gina Pellegrini have proven to be a formidable combination in goal for the Bears this season. Key, who was named the 2006 NCAA Division I Sportsmanship Award winner, owns a 0.64 GAA and seven shutouts (T1st in Pac-10) in 13 games of action. Pellegrini earned a 0-0 tie against No. 19 in her first collegiate start Oct. 8. She owns a 0.43 GAA in three games and has only surrendered one goal (an own goal vs. Arizona). Pellegrini is probable for this weekend after being elbowed in the face against Arizona. In addition to playing on the Santa Rosa High School soccer team, Pellegrini was a kicker for the school's football team.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON, WSU: Washington is 6-8 ater posting an 0-17-3 mark last season. Melissa Beal leads the Huskies with nine points (3 goals,3 assists). WSU is 7-4-3 after not being selected to NCAAs with an 11-7-2 record in 2005. Carly Dobratz paces the Courgars with 11 points (3 goals, 5 assists). UW holds a 9-6 series edge over Cal, while Cal leads the series with WSU, 9-3-3. In 2005, Cal defeated Washington, 1-0, on a goal by Caroline Lea and WSU, 3-0, with Tracy Hamm netting two goals and Katie Ratican posting one score.