No. 15 Cal Faces Cal State Bakersfield, Vermont at Saint Mary's Classic

Sept. 4, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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BEARS COMPETE IN SMC FALL SOCCER CLASSIC: After posting consecutive shutouts to start the season, No. 15 California travels to the Saint Mary's Fall Soccer Classic Sept. 7 and 9 at Saint Mary's Soccer Stadium in Moraga. The Golden Bears (2-0) face Cal State Bakersfield (0-2) Friday at 2 p.m. and Vermont (1-1) Sunday at noon. Cal plays its next six games on road or neutral site fields before returning home to host Saint Mary's Sept. 28.

CAL IN THE POLLS: Cal jumped two places to No. 15 in the Soccer America poll and two spots to No. 16 in the NSCAA poll. After receiving votes in the preseason poll, the Bears are No. 30 this week, according to Soccer Buzz. Soccer Times, which tabbed Cal No. 20 in the preseason, hasn't released a poll yet this week.

BEARS CLAIM CAL INVITE WITH TWO SHUTOUTS: Junior forward Valerie Barnes scored on a long-range shot in the 58th minute to lift Cal to its eighth straight season-opening victory. Sophomore midfielder Katie Oakes was credited with the assist, accounting for her first point of her career. Cal outshot Columbia, 20-1. Cal went on to win the Cal Invitational by shutting out Colorado College, 1-0, in double overtime on the strength of a rebound goal from senior forward Caitlin Hannegan in the 102nd minute. Hannegan successfully followed up a mishandled blast by freshman defender Megan Jesolva.

BARNES NAMED MVP OF CAL INVITE: Valerie Barnes was named the MVP of the 13th-annual Cal Invitational. Barnes netted the game-winning goal in Cal's 1-0 triumph over Columbia, marking the second straight season that she delivered the game-winning goal in the Bears' season opener (last year vs. Indiana, 1-0). Four of Barnes' five career goals have been game winners.

SHUTOUT TREND CONTINUES IN 2007: Cal has become synonomous with shutouts in recent years. In 2005, Cal tied the school record with 14 shutouts and followed that effort with 12 shutouts in 2006. The Bears have registered shutouts in 28 of their last 46 games (60.9 percent). Cal sophomore goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini has been credited with four of those shutouts and owns a 0.12 goals-against average in 775 minutes in goal in two seasons.

CAL RETURNS FOUR PAC-10 HONOR RECIPIENTS: Senior defender Courtney Hooker and senior midfielder Caroline Lea garnered second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2006. Junior defender Nkechi Kanu earned honorable mention All-Pac-10, while sophomore midfielder Kelly Menachof earned a spot on the first-ever Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

CAL FRESHMAN CLASS RANKED NO. 5 BY SOCCER BUZZ: Cal's freshman class was ranked No. 5 by Soccer Buzz, a women's college soccer Web site. The Bears brought in two top 15 recruits in Megan Jesolva (No. 10), who can play in the back, midfield or up top, and goalkeeper Jorden Kussmann (No. 12).

SCOUTING CS BAKERSFIELD, VERMONT: Cal State Bakersfield, a first-year Division I program, is off to an 0-2 start after posting a 7-9-4 record last season. The Roadrunners lost to Long Beach State, 5-0, and UC Irvine, 3-0, last weekend. Vermont is 1-1 following a 5-10-3 season a year ago. The Catamounts blanked Central Arkansas, 1-0, and lost to George Washington, 2-1, in overtime. Cal has never faced Cal State Bakersfield and shut out Vermont, 3-0, in the teams' only previous meeting in 1985.

2006 SEASON IN REVIEW: Cal recorded a 12-5-5 overall record in 2006 and placed sixth in the Pac-10 with a 3-3-3 conference mark. The Bears earned their third straight NCAA Tournament bid after defeating No. 4 Santa Clara, 1-0, in overtime and No. 11 Stanford, 1-0, during the final week of the regular season. Julia Schnugg tallied two goals and an assist in Cal's 3-1 triumph over Auburn in the first round of NCAAs, but the Bears lost to Florida State, 3-1, in the second round.

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