This Week in Pac-10 Men's Soccer

Aug. 19, 2008

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UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wed., Aug. 20Sonoma State at STANFORD (ex) 7 p.m. PT

Fri., Aug. 22Trinity Western at OREGON STATE (ex) 4:30 p.m. PTSeattle University at WASHINGTON (ex) 7 p.m. PT

Sat., Aug. 23Sacramento State at STANFORD (ex) 7 p.m. PT

Sun., Aug. 24SAN DIEGO STATE at UNLV (ex) 8 p.m. PT

Wed,. Aug. 27Seattle Sounders at WASHINGTON (ex) 7 p.m. PT

Fri., Aug. 29UC Riverside at CALIFORNIA 2 p.m. PTOREGON STATE at Oakland 7 p.m. ETNo. 8 Maryland vs. No. 14 UCLA (2) (TV: FSC) 7 p.m. PTWASHINGTON vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (1) 4:30 p.m. PT

Sat., Aug. 30SAN DIEGO STATE vs. Alumni (ex) 1 p.m. PT

Sun., Aug. 31No. 8 Maryland vs. CALIFORNIA (2) 3 p.m. PTOREGON STATE at Michigan 12:30 p.m. ETSTANFORD at San Jose State 7 p.m. PTUC Riverside at No. 14 UCLA 12:30 p.m. PTWASHINGTON vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech (1) 12 Noon PT

Key(1) - Nike Portland Invitational, Portland, Ore.(2) - The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.

CALIFORNIA MEN'S SOCCER PREDICTED TO REPEAT AS CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS

Golden Bears nab their first-ever No. 1 in the preseason coaches' poll

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Coming off of back-to-back Pac-10 championships, the CALIFORNIA Golden Bears have been picked to win the Pac-10 men's soccer title for the first time in the nine-year history of the poll, as voted by the league's six coaches. Cal tallied 24 points and four of the six first-place votes.

The Bears, who earned their seventh straight NCAA Tournament bid last year, secured a double-overtime victory over UC Davis in the first round of the 2007 College Cup. Finishing at 12-6-2 (6-3-1, Pac-10), Cal's Kevin Grimes was named the 2007 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, while Andrew Jacobson was named 2007 Pac-10 co-Player of the Year.

The UCLA Bruins, who have made 25 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, received one-first place vote, but tallied a total of 20 points for second-place. STANFORD, which also nabbed a top vote, came in at No. 3 with 17 points. WASHINGTON received 13 points for fourth place, followed by SAN DIEGO STATE with 11 points for fifth and OREGON STATE with five points for sixth.

Last season, three Pac-10 teams were selected to participate in the 2007 NCAA men's soccer championship, as California, UCLA and Washington all made their way into the 48-team field. The Conference as a whole posted a 29-20-8 (.579) record against Division I non-conference opponents, including postseason play.

The 2008 Pac-10 men's soccer season kicks off on Fri., Aug. 29, when California, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington all take to the field.

Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):

2008 Pac-10 Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

1. California (4) 24
2. UCLA (1) 20
3. Stanford (1) 17
4. Washington 13
5. San Diego State 11
6. Oregon State 5

AROUND THE LEAGUE

CALIFORNIA
The Golden Bears are coming off back-to-back Pac-10 championships as head coach Kevin Grimes has led his team to seven straight NCAA tournament appearances. Cal returns NSCAA All-American and All-Pac-10 JR GK Stefan Frei, whose 0.77 goals against average ranked among the top 30 in the nation last season, and SO F Andrew Wiedeman, who led the Bears in points (20), goals (7) and assists (6) in 2007.

OREGON STATE
Despite a sixth-place finish in 2007, the Beavers ended the season on a high note, going undefeated in November (3-0-2). OSU will look to build on that strong finish with several new faces as the 2008 roster includes 17 underclassmen. The Beavers are led by a pair of senior forwards, Josh Cameron, who tied for first in the Conference with seven assists last season and Robby Christner, who had three goals and three assists for nine points a year ago.

SAN DIEGO STATE
The Aztecs, who finished runner-up in the Conference for the second year in a row, will be led by JR D Nick Cardenas, who has been named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List. Also returning for SDSU is SO F Khadim Diouf, who posted five goals as a freshman, second on the team and nearly a quarter of the team's total goals for the season. Head coach Lev Kirshner will look to guide his team back to the postseason for the first time since 2006.

STANFORD
The Cardinal return 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year MF/F Bobby Warshaw to a team that has several veteran players on its roster. Warshaw led the team in scoring in 2007 and ranked among the top 10 in the Conference in seven categories, including second in shots (50) and fourth in shots per game (2.78). Stanford will make a run at its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, when it made it to the championship match.

UCLA
The Bruins earned their 25th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007 and will look to make it 26 in 2008. UCLA returns six All-Conference players while also adding 12 newcomers to its roster. The Bruins also return 100 percent of the team's scoring from last season, led by SR F Maxwell Griffin who had nine goals a year ago.

WASHINGTON
Head coach Dean Wurzberger will look to lead the Huskies back to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season, having been there 11 of the past 13 years. Washington returns nine starters from 2007, including All-Pac-10 selections SR MF George John (first team), SR MF Raphael Cox (second team) and JR D Casey Cunningham (honorable mention).

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