No. 20 Cal Opens Pac-10 Play
Oct. 2, 2007
Cal Kicks Off Conference Schedule:
Riding a three-game winning streak, the No. 20 California men's soccer team kicks off Pac-10 play at home this weekend against No. 24 Washington and Oregon State The Golden Bears ended the non-conference schedule with the best record in the Pac-10 at of 5-2-1. Heading into conference play last year, Cal had the exact same record.
Cal will face Washington (5-3-1) Friday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m. at Edwards Stadium and Oregon State (3-5) Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. After jumpstarting their offense against Davidson and Princeton last month, the Bears scored when it mattered last Saturday against Towson, collecting a double-overtime goal to gain the 1-0 victory.
Cal In the Polls:
The Bears crept up more in this week's national rankings by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and College Soccer News. In the NSCAA national poll, Cal went up to No. 21. In the College Soccer News' top 30, Cal jumped up to No. 20. In the Soccer Times top 25, the Bears went up to 21st.
Bears Beat Towson in Double Overtime:
Cal scored in the 108th minute in double overtime to defeat Towson, 1-0, last Saturday at Edwards Stadium. Freshman Davis Paul headed in the game winner to give the Golden Bears their third win in a row. Paul's goal came with assists from fellow freshmen Demitrius Omphroy and Andrew Wiedeman.
Defensively, the Bears were just as tough as they have been all year. Sophomore keeper Stefan Frei had another excellent game to notch his fourth shutout of the season. Although he was only called on to make four saves, they were critical saves as the Tigers had some good chances to score.
Bears on the Leaderboard:
With his assist last weekend, Andrew Wiedeman reamins atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (6). Javier Ayala-Hil, Tyler Barry and Davis Paul are tied with Wiedeman for the team lead in goals (2). Both of Paul's and Barry's goals were game winners. Freshmen Servando Carrasco scored the other goal for the Bears this season. Senior Andrew Jacobson leads the squad in shots (25), shots on goal (8) and assists (3). Ayala-Hil is second on Cal's chart in shots with 14. Among conference statistical leaders, the Bears lead the league in fewest goals allowed (5) and saves (41).
Did You Know:
Forward Andrew Wiedeman played in all three games for the U.S. Under-18 National team in the SBS Cup. He also recorded an assist in the club's 1-0 victory over Japan.
Scouting the Huskies:
The Huskies fell to Creighton, 2-1, last weekend in Omaha, Neb. They have also lost two of their last three after winning four of their first six. Although Washington leads the all-time series, 20-11-5, Cal has won the last three contests. The last matchup was a 3-2 overtime win in Berkeley. Kevin Forrest, the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year, has been the star of the team and the conference. He is currently the only player in the conference to have double-digit points (15). He also leads the Pac-10 in shots (39) and goals (6).
Scouting the Beavers:
Oregon State had a bye last week. On Sept. 22, the Beavers snapped a three-game losing skid when they knocked off Loyola, 1-0. It was their first win since defeating Sacramento State, 2-1, on Sept. 9. Nick Webb leads the Beavers in points (6). Cal holds a convincing 17-7-1 overall series lead over Oregon State. In addition, the Bears have won the last six in a row, including a 5-0 decisive victory in Corvallis last year.
2007 Pac-10 Preview:
UCLA was picked to win the Pac-10 for the sixth consecutive season in the preseason coaches poll that was released in August. Cal finished in a second-place tie with Washington in the poll. The Bruins received 23 points, while the Bears and the Huskies received 20 points. Stanford was picked fourth with 13 points, San Diego State was fifth with nine points and Oregon State was sixth with five points.
2006 Pac-10 Recap:
California, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Stanford amassed a 37-20-6 (.635) record against non-conference Division 1 teams in the process of sending four teams to the NCAA Tournament. Cal captured its first-ever Pac-10 title in 2006 after going 7-3-0 in conference play and 13-6-1 overall. The Bears knocked off UCLA, 4-1, in Los Angeles to win their first conference crown. UCLA reached the NCAA final, but lost to UC Santa Barbara, 2-1.
Cal's keeper, Stefan Frei has been strong through the first eight games of the season. So far in 2007, Frei leads the Pac-10 in saves (41), goals allowed (5) and save percentage (.891). His goals against average of .592 not only ranks him first in the conference but also 20th in the nation. He has also recorded four shutouts. Frei did not give up a goal until the third game of the season.
Last weekend against Towson, Frei made four saves in earning his fourth shutout. In the Stanford Invitational the week before, Frei made a total of seven saves. Although they allowed two goals, Frei and the rest of the tough Cal defense hung tough and played a major role in the Bears' picking up the two wins. Against Santa Clara on Sept. 16, he made a career-best 12 saves, seven of them in the first half.
Three members from the Bear's 16th-ranked recruiting class (College Soccer News) haven't wasted any time in making an immediate impact on the field. Freshmen Davis Paul, Servando Carrasco and Andrew Wiedeman have already become forces to be reckoned with. In the season opener at USD, Paul and Carrasco got their collegiate careers off to an excellent start as they each scored in Cal's 2-0 victory. Paul headed the game winner against Towson last weekend. Wiedeman scored twice against Davidson on Sept. 21 and leads the team in points with six (2G, 2A). In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco is third on the team in shots (14) and tied for third on the team in points (3).
Wiedeman and midfielder A.J. Soares are the only freshmen who have also started all eight contests this season. Carrasco has started six of the eight.
A Look Ahead:
Cal will head back on the road to Southern California next weekend. The Bears will square off against San Diego State Friday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m. at the SDSU Sports Deck. Following the match against the Aztecs, Cal returns to the site of its 2006 Pac-10 Championship when it faces No. 18 UCLA Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. in Los Angeles.
Head Coach Kevin Grimes:
Kevin Grimes continues his eighth season as the leader of the California men's soccer program after coming off some of his best seasons as a Golden Bear and his unprecedented third - and second straight - Pac-10 Coach of the Year award (2002 and 2005-06).
Grimes led the Golden Bears to their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and along the way achieved his 80th career victory, in a Pac-10 championship clinching victory over UCLA on Oct. 29, 2006. The Pac-10 crown was Cal's first.
Cal reached the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, and the Bears compiled a 13-6-1 overall record and a 7-3-0 conference mark. Among the big wins during the regular season were upsets of ninth-ranked UCLA, 3-1, on Sept. 22 and of ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has an 86-53-14 overall record at Cal. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 80-win plateau, and Grimes' 86 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who sits third on the list with 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.
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