Surging Bears Head To Washington and Oregon State
Nov. 6, 2007
Bears In the Pacific Northwest This Week
Following two big wins last weekend, the No. 17 California men's soccer team gets back on the road this week, as it heads to Washington and Oregon State. With two weeks left in the regular season, the Bears are currently enjoying a three-game winning streak as they strive to repeat as conference champions. Cal was victorious over the Huskies and the Beavers when they played earlier this season in Berkeley.
Cal (10-4-1, 5-2 Pac-10) will face Washington (7-6-2, 2-3) Friday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Husky Soccer Stadium and Oregon State (7-10, 2-5) Sunday, Nov. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at Paul Lorenz Field.
Cal in the Polls
The Bears returned to the top 25 in the Soccer America national poll this week, coming in at No. 17. In the Soccer Times' Top-25 Poll, Cal is currently ranked No. 18. In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll and the College Soccer News' top 30, the Bears are currently ranked No. 19. Currently in the Pac-10 standings, Cal holds a first-place lead with 15 points, two points ahead of UCLA.
Bears Take Top Spot in the Pac-10
Fresh off a bye week, Cal knocked off the top two teams in the conference to take over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10. The Bears defeated San Diego State, 1-0, last Friday. Freshman Andrew Wiedeman scored the game's only goal. He picked off an errant Aztec pass in front of the net and blasted a shot past the keeper.
In the battle for Pac-10 supremacy against UCLA, Cal gained the 3-1 victory. On Senior Day, all three Bear seniors - Javier Ayala-Hil, Andrew Jacobson and Luke Sassano - notched a score. It was the second time this season Cal scored three times. Sunday's win marked the seventh season in a row that Cal has reached the 10-win plateau.
Ayala-Hil Makes Soccer America National Team of the Week
Javier Ayala-Hil was selected to this week's Soccer America National Team of the Week for his performance against UCLA last Sunday. In his final regular-season home game at Edwards Stadium, Ayala-Hil played a major role in the Bears' overtaking the Bruins for first place in the Pac-10. He was involved in all three Cal scores, tallying the first goal of the game and recording assists on the other two scores.
Scouting the Huskies
Washington has only won two of its last seven games, but the two wins have been recent. The Huskies defeated San Diego State, 3-1, on Oct. 19 and UCLA, 1-0, in their last game on Oct. 28. Washington is coming off a bye week so the Huskies will be well rested when they host Cal on Friday. When these teams first met back on Oct. 5, the Bears earned a 2-1 victory to open conference play. The Huskies are led by Ely Allen and Kevin Forest. Allen leads the team in points (17) and goals (8), while Forest is second in both categories with 15 points and six goals.
Scouting the Beavers
Oregon State ends the regular season on a five-game homestand, with the contest against Cal being fourth in the series. Last weekend, the Beavers knocked off two non-conference opponents, Loyola Marymount and Cal State Bakersfield. In the first meeting this year between Cal and Oregon State, the Bears shut out the Beavers, 3-0, scoring three times for the first time this season. Nick Webb leads Oregon State in points (13) and goals (5).
Bears on the Leaderboard
Andrew Wiedeman remains atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (14), goals (5) and is tied for the team lead in assists with Javier Ayala-Hil (4). Seniors Andrew Jacobson and Ayala-Hil are second on the team in goals with three each, while juniors Tyler Barry and Pat Marion and freshmen Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco each have two goals. The goals from Paul, Marion, Barry, three of Wiedeman's scores and Luke Sassano's lone goal of the season were game winners. Wiedeman is also tied for the conference lead in game-winning goals. Freshman Scot Van Buskirk scored the other goal for the Bears this season. Jacobson leads the squad in shots (39), and Ayala-Hil tops Cal's chart in shots on goal with 18. Sophomore keeper Stefan Frei leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (7), saves per game (4.47) and save percentage (.859). Among conference statistical leaders, the Bears lead the league in points (69), and assists (27).
Wiedeman Earns National and Pac-10 Recognition
Andrew Wiedeman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week earlier this year for his performances on Oct. 5 and 7 against Washington and Oregon State. Wiedeman was also selected to Soccer America's Men's Team of the Week and College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. Wiedeman recorded two assists in Cal's 2-1 victory against Washington on Oct. 5 and scored the first two goals in the Bears' 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Oct. 7.
Besides Andrew Wiedeman, other members from the Bears' 16th-ranked recruiting class have been major contributors to the Bears' success in 2007. Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco have become proven 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 in the game winner against Towson on Sept. 29, and Wiedeman scored twice against Davidson on Sept. 21 and Oregon State on Oct. 7. Wiedeman has produced three game-winning goals, most recently against San Diego State last Friday.
In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco is third on the team in shots (21) and also currently boasts three assists. Scot Van Buskirk scored his first goal of the season against Oregon State. Demitrius Omphroy has recorded two assists and A.J. Soares has collected one assist thus far.
Wiedeman and Soares are the only freshmen to start all 15 contests this season. Carrasco has started 13 of the 15.
A Look Ahead
Cal returns to the Bay Area next weekend, as it wraps up the regular season at Stanford on Nov. 17.
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 achieving his 80th career victory along the way, 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, compiling 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 ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has an 91-55-14 overall record at Cal. He earned his 90th victory in a 1-0 decision against San Diego State on Nov. 2. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 90-win plateau, and Grimes' 91 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who has 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and former head coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.