No. 9 Cal Heads East to Maryland For Third Round of NCAAs
Nov. 26, 2008
The No. 9 California men's soccer team hopes to carry its momentum from the double-overtime second-round win over UC Santa Barbara into the third round of the NCAA Tournament against No. 3 Maryland on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. (PT) in College Park, Md. The Golden Bears (12-3-5) will ride a five-match winning streak to the east coast. Cal upended UCSB last Tuesday with a 3-2 double-overtime victory.
In the Rankings
The Bears ended the regular season ranked No. 9 in the Soccer Times, No. 11 in the College Soccer News NSCAA polls, and No. 12 in the Soccer America rankings.
Also at the end of the regular season, junior keeper Stefan Frei led the Pac-10 in goals-against average (0.68) save percentage (.829) and shutouts with eight.
Among NCAA Tournament leaders, Frei is tied for first in saves with 12 and sophomore AndrewWiedeman is tied for first in goals with three.
Scouting the Opposition
Second-seeded Maryland (19-3) enters Saturday's contest riding a 12-game winning streak. Since Cal beat Maryland on Aug. 31, the Terrapins have only lost two games.
Jeremy Hall leads Maryland on offense with 32 points (13G, 6A). Casey Townsend is second on the team in goals with 11. Freshman goalkeeper Zac MacMath has had a remarkable season thus far. He currently sports a goals-against average of 0.49 and has a record of 15-1 with nine shutouts.
Earlier This Season Against Maryland
For the second time in the 2008 NCAA College Cup, Cal will be facing an opponent that it had previously played against in the regular season. When the Bears and Terrapins clashed on Aug. 31, sophomore Servando Carrasco found the back of the net for his first goal of the season in the 87th minute to give then-No. 13 California a 1-0 victory over then-No. 3 Maryland at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.
Cal had only posted three shots in the first half, but recorded nine in the second half and forced Maryland keeper Zac MacMath to make five saves in the second half before the Bears got one past him for the game winner.
Stefan Frei made five saves and tallied his first shutout of the campaign. The shutout was also the 12th in Frei's collegiate career.
Bears Beat Gauchos in Second Round of NCAA Tournament
Cal defeated UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, in double overtime in the second round of the NCAA College Cup on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Harder Stadium. The Bears handed the Gauchos their first home loss in the NCAA Tournament.
Playing through steady rainfall, the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead after sophomore Davis Paul and Andrew Wiedeman found the back of the net. UCSB would rally to tie the match with two goals in a span of two and a half minutes.
Wiedeman ended the game in the 103rd minute with his game-winning goal. Stefan Frei tallied a season-best 11 saves.
If the Bears defeat Maryland, they will play the winner of the third-round game between Creighton and Connecticut. The quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament will take place either on Friday, Dec. 5, Saturday, Dec. 6 or Sunday, Dec. 7.
Postseason Success Under Kevin Grimes
When Kevin Grimes took the helm as head coach at Cal, the Bears had not won a single postseason game in the history of the program. Grimes changed that in his third year (2002), helping the Bears gain a 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara. Since 2001, Grimes has compiled a postseason record of 8-7-1. Earlier this year, Grimes recorded his 100th career coaching victory at Cal when the Bears defeated Stanford on The Farm in overtime on Oct. 18.
In last year's College Cup, Cal held off UC Davis, 2-1, in overtime in the first round at Edwards Stadium. Andrew Wiedeman continued his impressive freshman campaign with the game-winning score in overtime. The Bears earned a trip to Virginia Tech, but lost, 3-2, to the Hokies. Javier Ayala-Hil recorded both Cal goals with Wiedeman collecting the assists.
Stefan Frei - Climbing the All-Time Charts
Stefan Frei is cementing his legacy in the school's program. The junior from Alamo, Calif., originally from Widnau, Switzerland, has been stellar all season once again for the Bears. He currently has a save percentage of .833 and a goals-against average of 0.71.
Last Tuesday against UCSB, Frei made a season-best 11 saves and, despite giving up two goals, held strong against a Gaucho offense that took 24 shots. In the first round against USF on Nov. 21, Frei earned his ninth shutout of the year. He also tied Cal goalkeeper coach Henry Foulk for fourth all-time in the school's list for career shutouts with 20. He collected nine last year and had two in the previous campaign. He is two clean sheets away from tying the third-place spot, which is currently held by former Cal keeper Chris Baudouin. On Nov. 15, Frei recorded his 19th career shutout at Cal.
Frei's goals-against average of 0.68 at the end of the regular season was not only a conference best, but also ranked him 22nd in the nation.
At the start of the season, Frei was named to the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced on Aug. 19 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Wiedeman Leading The Way
After having a breakout freshman campaign, Andrew Wiedeman has not slowed down one bit. After leading the team in 2007 with 20 points, he has racked up 27 points (11G, 5A) in 2008. Wiedeman scored twice against UCSB last Tuesday, including the gamewinner, and netted Cal's third goal against USF in the first round. He has accumulated a total of 10 points (4G, 2A) through four career NCAA Tournament matches. He has recorded at least two points in all four NCAA College Cup games.
He opened the season with a five-point weekend, including two goals in the season opener against UC Riverside on Aug. 29. For that performance, Wiedeman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time in his collegiate career and the Soccer America Player of the Week. He was also named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. He scored the eventual game winner in Cal's 3-1 victory over UC Riverside.
Cal's sophomore class has been a big factor in the team's success this year besides the contributions of Andrew Wiedeman.
Servando Carrasco put in the game-winning goal at Stanford on Oct. 18, and is tied for second on the team in goals this year with three. He is also tied for first on the team in assists with seven.
Davis Paul scored the game's first goal against UC Santa Barbara last Tuesday to tie for second on the team in goals with three and is also tied for second on the team in assists with five.
A.J. Soares scored his first two collegiate goals in 2008, one of which was the game-tying goal in the 1-1 draw against SMU. He added an assist against Stanford in the regular-season finale. Demitrius Omphroy ended the regular season with two goals and an assist. One of his scores came on a free kick against UCLA on Oct. 10.
Six Bears Named to All-Pac-10 Team
Cal had six players make the All-Pac-10 team and had three honorable mention selections. Stefan Frei, Andrew Wiedeman and Hector Jimenez were first-team picks. Tyler Barry, Servando Carrasco and A.J. Soares made the second team, and Jacob Wilson, Davis Paul and Pat Marion were the honorable-mention selections. Frei and Wiedeman were also named to Top Drawer Soccer's Team of the Season.
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