No. 6 Bears Head to Southern California to Face UCLA, SDSU

Oct. 25, 2006


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The sixth-ranked California men's soccer team (11-3-1 record, 6-1-0/18 points, 1st place Pac-10) hits the road to play Pac-10 opponents San Diego State (7-5-3, 3-2-2/11, 4th place) and UCLA (9-4-2, 4-2-1/13, tied 2nd place), respectively, on Friday and Sunday. The Golden Bears, winners of five straight, face the Aztecs at 3 p.m. on Friday in San Diego and then meet the Bruins at 2:30 p.m. in Los Angeles on Sunday. Cal beat UCLA, 3-1, and lost to San Diego State, 2-0, earlier this season in Berkeley.

Junior forward Javier Ayala-Hil leads Cal in scoring with 14 points (6 goals, 2 assists), goals and game-winning goals (3). Freshman midfielder Hector Jimenez, senior midfielder Nick Hatzke and junior midfielder Luke Sassano pace the Bears in assists (3 each).

Bears junior goalkeeper Justin Myers (9-1-0) edges redshirt freshman teammate Stefan Frei (2-2-1) for Cal's top goals-against average (0.50-0.59).

In the National Polls
Cal earned its highest national ranking of the season when the NSCAA/adidas poll moved the Bears up one spot to No. 6 this week. College Soccer News and Soccer Times rank Cal seventh and Soccer America tabs Cal 11th.

Purdy Named the Pac-10 Player of the Week
Purdy was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week last week after scoring the game-winning goal against Oregon State on Oct. 13 and leading a defense that shut down Kevin Forrest in Cal's 3-2 (1OT) win over Washington on Oct. 15.

This is Purdy's first Pac-10 Player of the Week award and the Bears' 10th such honor overall. He is Cal's second-leading scorer (9 points) and goalscorer (4).

Against the Beavers, Purdy hit a 30-yard free kick in the 85th minute to give Cal a 1-0 victory. The Huskies' Forrest, who at the time led the Pac-10 with 23 points, had just two shots, no goals and no assists against Purdy and the Bears.

Leading the Pac
Cal leads the conference in various categories, including most shutouts (8), lowest GAA (0.59), lowest goals allowed (9), least fouls (196) and least yellow cards (7).

Individually among Pac-10 goalkeepers, Myers and Frei rank 1-2 in GAA (0.50 and 0.59, respectively), Frei and Myers rank 1-2 in save percentage (0.857 and 0.839) and Myers is tied with Washington's Rylan Hawkins with six shutouts.

Ayala-Hil is tied for No. 2 in the conference in game-winning goals (3), ranks No. 3 in goals (6) and in goals per game (0.40), is tied for No. 3 in points per game (0.93) and is tied at No. 4 in points (14).

At the national level, Myers ranks No. 7 in GAA and No. 17 in save percentage.

Cal has the 11th-best GAA (0.59), is tied for No. 11 in winning percentage (0.767), is tied at No. 19 in shutout percentage (0.53) and is tied at No. 20 in save percentage (0.833).

Last Week:
Cal Blanks Stanford, 2-0
Cal beat Pac-10 rival Stanford, 2-0, last Friday at Edwards Stadium.

Luke Sassano set up the first goal, sending a cross in the box to sophomore midfielder Pat Marion, who scored past Stanford goalkeeper John Moore in the 45th minute.

In the 53rd minute, Hatzke and Purdy assisted on an insurance goal by sophomore forward Jacob Wilson, who headed in his goal past Moore from point-blank range.

Scouting the Bruins
UCLA has a 9-4-2 record (4-2-1/13 points, tied 2nd place Pac-10) after splitting its last two games. The Bruins lost to Washington, 2-0, last Sunday in Seattle after beating Oregon State, 3-0, last Friday in Corvallis, Ore. They host Stanford this Friday before playing Cal on Sunday.

The Bruins have had to overcome a rash of injuries to key players, including sophomore forward Maxwell Griffin (torn left ACL) and sohomore midfielder Tony Beltran (right ankle), who were both hurt in a 3-1 loss to Cal on Sept. 22 in Berkeley

Against the Beavers, UCLA got the winning goal and an assist from freshman forward David Estrada and two goals from sophomore midfielder Jason Leopoldo to claim their fifth straight win. That streak was snapped against the Huskies.

Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo leads the Bruins in scoring (12 points) and assists (8). Griffin and Leopoldo are tied for second (11 points, 5 goals, 1 assist each). Senior keeper Eric Reed has a 1.25 GAA in 11 starts.

Former MLS and UCLA player Jorge Salcedo is in his third year as head coach of his alma mater.

Scouting the Aztecs
San Diego State has a 7-5-3 record (3-2-2/11, 4th place Pac-10). Since beating Cal, 2-0, on Sept. 24 to start a three-game winning streak, the Aztecs have gone 0-2-2. That includes ties at Washington, 0-0 (2OT), and at Oregon State, 2-2 (2OT).

Senior midfielder Raul Bautista and freshman midfielder Evan Toft scored to give SDSU its 2-2 tie with OSU.

Senior forward Andrew DiCicco, the son of former U.S. women's national team coach Tony DiCicco, leads the Aztecs in scoring (14 points) and goals (5) and is tied with junior midfielder Kraig Chiles for the lead in assists (4). Senior goalie Tally Hall has a 1.07 GAA in 14 starts.

Lev Kirshner is in his seventh year as head coach at San Diego State.

Last Time Against UCLA, SDSU
Cal beat UCLA, 3-1, and lost to San Diego State, 2-0, in games at Edwards Stadium earlier this season. The Bears outshot the Aztecs, 18-8, on Sept. 24 but couldn't get past SDSU goalkeeper Tally Hall, who made 11 saves.

Against the Bruins on Sept. 22, the then-16th-ranked Bears outshot then-ninth-ranked UCLA, 11-7, en route to their upset victory. Junior midfielder Andrew Jacobson, assisted by Hatzke, scored the winner in the 85th minute for the Bears, who also got a goal and an assist from Ayala-Hil and a goal from senior midfielder Eric Ebert.

Looking Ahead
In its final regular-season match, Cal travels to the Peninsula to take on Pac-10 rival Stanford at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

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