No. 17 Women's Soccer Faces No. 14 Saint Mary's in NCAA First Round
Nov. 15, 2001
CAL HAS REMATCH WITH SAINT MARY'S IN NCAA FIRST ROUND:
The Cal women's soccer team looks to avenge a 1-0 overtime loss to Saint Mary's, Oct. 5, in a first round NCAA Tournament game Friday. The 17th-ranked Bears and the 14th-ranked Gaels face each other at 4:30 p.m. at Stanford's Maloney Field. The winner of the Cal game will face the winner of the Stanford/Denver contest Sunday at 1 p.m. at Stanford. Several Bears have been playing hurt for all or parts of the season, but Cal coach Kevin Boyd hopes they're ready to play tomorrow. Those athletes are Kathleen Cain (shin splints), Ashley Mueller (knee) and Ashley Valenzuela (knee, ankle).
BEARS EARN 10TH BID TO NCAA TOURNAMENT:
Cal earned its 10th NCAA Tournament selection in program history and fourth straight when the 64-team field was annnounced Nov. 12. Cal is 7-10 lifetime in the NCAAs. This is the first time in school history that the Bears have garnered four-straight postseason bids. The Bears, however, have lost their last five NCAA Tournament games and have not won an NCAA game since defeating Colorado College in the quarterfinals, 2-1 in OT, in 1988. Also in 1988, Cal defeated Saint Mary's in the first round, 2-0, in Berkeley. In 2000, Cal earned a first-round bye as the No. 8 seed but lost in the 2nd round to SCU, 2-0, in Berkeley.
CAL VS. THE 2001 NCAA FIELD:
Cal is 4-5 this season against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Bears own victories over Santa Clara (2-1), Texas (2-1), Michigan (4-2) and USC (1-0 OT) and have lost to Texas A&M (3-1), Saint Mary's (1-0 OT), Washington (1-0), Stanford (2-1) and UCLA (2-0).
FOUR BEARS EARN ALL-PAC-10 HONORS:
Junior forward Laura Schott was named to the first team All-Pac-10 team for the second-straight season earlier this week. The All-American led the conference in points (33) and goals (15) for the second- straight season and ranks 11th nationally for goals-per-game at 0.79. Sophomore midfielder Kim Yokers and freshman goalkeeper Mallory Moser earned second team recognition, and junior midfielder Brittany Kirk was an honorable mention pick.
SCHOTT AMONG NOMINEES FOR HERMANN AND M.A.C.:
Laura Schott is one of 15 players nominated for the Hermann Trophy and Missouric Athletic Club award for national player of the year honors. Both awards will be announced in early December. Schott, who hails from Wilsonville, Ore., has 110 career points (2nd at Cal) from 49 goals (2nd at Cal) and 12 assists and is on pace to surpass U.S. national team member Joy Fawcett's school records of 133 points and 55 goals, set from 1986-89.
BEARS FINISHED TIED FOR FIFTH IN PAC-10 RACE:
After being picked to finish second in the preseason by the Pac-10 coaches, injuries hurt Cal as it finished tied for fifth with Arizona State with a 4-4-1 Pac-10 mark. UCLA won the title with an 8-1 record.
In the various polls this week, Cal is No. 17 in the NSCAA, No. 19 by SoccerTimes, No. 24 by Soccer Buzz and are unranked by Soccer America and CollegeSoccer.com. The Bears have been ranked as high as No. 6 by the NSCAA the last week of September and the first week of October and as high as No. 8 by Soccer America during those same two weeks. Cal's highest ranking of the year was a preseason No. 5 ranking by Soccer Buzz.
BEARS WIN 11 OR MORE FOR LAST SIX YEARS:
Cal has become one of the most consistent teams in the country over the last six years, winning 11 or more games each of those seasons. In 2000, Cal won a school record 17 wins.
SEVERAL BEARS EARN WEEKLY HONORS:
The Bears were periodically included on Soccer America and Soccer Buzz's national teams of the week. For the week of Sept. 17-23, Kim Yokers and Laura Schott were named to Soccer America's Team of the Week for their game-winning assist and goal, respectivley, against No. 3 Santa Clara. As for Soccer Buzz, Kyla Sabo (Aug. 27-Sept. 3), Yokers (Sept. 18-24) and Brittany Kirk (Oct. 9-14) were honored.
KIRK MOVES UP CAL ASSISTS LADDER:
Brittany Kirk will likely become Cal's all-time career assists leader next season. She leads Cal with seven assists this year (11 points total) and has 17 for her career, which is tied for fourth in school history. Joy Fawcett set the Cal record of 23 from 1986-89. Kirk would do anything to help Cal win and even played at sweeper for two games at the end of the season due to Cal's injuries.
YOKERS EMERGES AS ELITE PLAYMAKER:
Kim Yokers started for Cal as a central midfielder as a freshman, and fans could immediately see her potential. She led all Cal freshmen last season with eight points (3G, 2A), and this season has emerged as one of the best playmakers in the country. Laura Schott and Yokers are the focal points of most teams scouting reports. The second team All-Pac-10 pick is one of six Cal players with double figure points in 2001 with 12 (3G, 6A).
MOSER LEARNS UNDER FIRE: Freshman Mallory Moser entered the 2001 season with the unenviable task of replacing All-Pac-10 goalkeeper Maite Zabala. Zabala, who is a volunteer coach at Cal, finished her eligibility last season as the school's all-time shutout (26.5) and saves (277) leader. Moser showed so much improvement throughout the season that she was named a second team All-Pac-10 selection. She has a goals-against-average of 0.98 and has posted five shutouts.
SCOUTING THE WEEKEND OPPONENTS
A LOOK AT SAINT MARY'S:
Saint Mary's is 14-2-2 overall and 5-2 in the WCC. The Gaels are led by freshman forward Katie Frattone, who has 28 points (11G, 6A) and goalkeeper Ruth Montgomery, who has allowed only eight goals this year for a 0.45 GAA in 1609 minutes in goal. SMC and Cal have each scored 38 goals this year. Cal leads the overall series with Saint Mary's, 10-7-2, but the Gaels won the earlier meeting this year 1-0 in overtime. The shots in that game were even at 10-10, but the Bears had the best chance to win the game in regulation. Laura Schott missed her only penalty kick of the season (3-of-4 overall) in the 70th minute.
A LOOK AT STANFORD:
Stanford takes a 13-3-2 overall record and a 6-2-1 Pac-10 mark into the postseason. The Cardinal is led by sophomore midfielder/forward Marcie Ward and junior forward Marcia Wald. Ward finished second to Schott for points in the Pac-10 with 30 (10G, 10A), and Wald posted 29 (11G, 7A). The Cal-Stanford series is knotted at 9-9-2. The Cardinal broke a three-game losing streak to the Bears with a 2-1 victory at home, Oct. 28.
A LOOK AT DENVER:
Denver, which is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, is 16-2-2 and 6-1-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Pioneers are a high-scoring team, posting 58 goals this year. Junior forward Katie Antongiovanni leads the team in scoring with 30 points (12G, 6A), followed by forward/midfielder Molly George with 23 (11G, 1A). Denver and Cal have never played each other.