Men's Soccer Faces Santa Clara in First Round of NCAA Tournament
Nov. 20, 2001
WHATS ON TAP: The Golden Bears (10-8-1, 3-5) square off against West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara (11-8, 5-1) in Cal's first NCAA Tournament game in five years. In just his second year, coach Kevin Grimes has led the Bears to a postseason berth after recording a 6-13-1 mark his first season.
BEARS EARN NCAA TOURNAMENT BERTH: California earned its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1996. That year, the Bears were the MPSF Mountain Division champions, going 12-7-2, before falling to Fresno State, 2-1, in the first round of NCAA Tournament. This marks the eighth postseason appearance for the Bears, but Cal has never advanced past the first round.
CAL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENTYear Event Site Opponent/Score1960 Midwest Regional at St. Louis, MO Saint Louis 2, Cal 01977 Far West Regional at Los Angeles, CA UCLA 3, Cal 01981 Far West Regional Berkeley, CA SDSU 4, Cal 01983 Far West Regional at Las Vegas, NV UNLV 3, Cal 1 (OT)1985 Far West Regional at Los Angeles, CA UCLA 3, Cal 11986 Midwest Regional at St. Louis, MO Saint Louis 2, Cal 11996 Far West Regional at Fresno, CA Fresno St. 2, Cal 12001 Far West Regional at Stanford, CA Santa Clara
FOUR PAC-10 TEAMS ADVANCE TO THE TOURNAMENT: Four out of the five teams in the Pacific-10 Conference were awarded a postseason bid by the NCAA selection committee, Monday. In its second year of existance, Pac-10 Soccer boasts one of the strongest collection of teams as two of its five members were ranked among the top 10 in the nation by various polls all season. The five teams have combined for a 35-13-4 nonconference record.
SEVEN PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-PAC-10 TEAM: In its second year of existence, the Pac-10 All-Conference team was announce Nov. 16. Among the honorees were seven Golden Bears. Junior Goalkeeper Josh Saunders and senior midfielder Chris Roner garnered first team All-Pac-10 honors while freshman midfielder Mike Munoz and senior forward Austin Ripmaster were named to the second team. Junior Patrick Fisher, senior Leo Krupnik, and freshman Troy Roberts received all-conference honorable mention.
BEARS END REGULAR SEASON WITH SPLIT IN NORTHWEST: Considering that No. 10 Washington hadn't lost a home game all season, it was a tall order for Cal to sweep the season series from the mighty Huskies. The Bears came close to winning, however. After polishing off Oregon State Friday, Nov. 16, Cal tried to pull off another upset, similar to Oct. 26, when it stunned a third-ranked UW squad, 1-0. The Bears were up early, 2-1, courtesy of two Angel Quintero goals, but Cal couldn't stave off the Husky attack for a full 90 minutes. The Bears succumbed to UW in the second half, surrendering two unanswered goals. Against the Beavers, Quintero and Carl Acosta scored as the Bears held on to complete a season sweep of OSU. Cal is 7-0-1 against the Beavers since 1997.
CAL JUST A TAD SHORT AGAINST POWERHOUSES: Although the Bears are 0-4 this season vs. UCLA and Stanford, the second round of games against each team revealed to fans the stride that Cal has taken since the beginning of the conference season. UCLA defeated Cal, 2-0, in their first meeting while the Cardinal handed the Bears a convincing, 4-0, defeat at Stanford. The second time around, Cal toook the Bruins to the brink, sending the game into overtime with the score tied at 0-0. After a questionable penalty call, Ryan Futagaki converted a penalty kick to lift UCLA over the Bears. On Nov. 11 against Stanford, Cal played toe-to-toe with the third-ranked team in the land, but made just enough mistakes for the Card to capitalize. Stanford prevailed 2-0 in a hard fought battle.
BUCKING THE BRONCOS: Cal was 0-2-1 in overtime games going into its game versus Santa Clara, Oct. 7 at Berkeley. The Bears needed to prove to everyone, including themselves, that they could come through in the extra session. After sitting out the latter part of the contest, freshman Mike Munoz subbed in about 12 minutes into overtime, and 30 seconds later, he netted the game-winner to give Cal the, 1-0, victory over a tough Bronco squad.
SIZZLING SIX: From Sept. 16 - Oct. 7, Cal went on a torid six-game unbeaten streak. The trend started with an upset over then-No. 14 San Jose State, 3-2. It also included convincing victories over Cal Poly (4-0) and Dartmouth (3-0), and a game that got away - a 1-1 tie vs. Fresno State in the Cardinal Invitational. The Bears also battled the elements, upending San Francisco at a frigid Negoesco Field, Oct. 5.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS: One can certainly claim that Cal hasn't had a 'bad' loss all year. The Bears have kept up with the top-notched teams while beating teams they were expected to defeat. Opponents such as Cal Poly, Dartmouth, San Francisco and Sacramento State were all teams on Cal's slate that were a must win game. In those four contests, the Bears outscored their opponents, 12-2.
BEARS RACK UP WINS IN NONCONFERENCE: The Bears faced a rigorous test in conference play with UCLA, Stanford and Washington waiting in the gauntlet. The nonconference schedule was just as tough. However, Cal recorded a 7-3-1 mark with its only losses coming against then-No. 8 Clemson, 2-1, a double overtime loss to then-No. 15 Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, and another overtime loss to Loyola Marymount, 1-0. The Bears are 7-0-1 in their last eight nonconference games.
TEST OF CHARACTER: Cal has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. Through 19 games thus far, eight of the Bears' opponents were ranked in the Top 25 at the time the game was played. In addition, opponents such as Loyola-Maryland, Loyola Marymount, Fresno State, and UCLA have been ranked in various national polls.
FRESHMAN CLASS PART OF SEASON'S SUCCESS: Coach Kevin Grimes brought 12 freshmen into this season knowing that many of them would have to contribute to the team right away for the squad to be successful. Things are going according to plan with the rookies accounting for 15 of the 31 goals and 45 of the 96 points this year. Mike Munoz, Calen Carr, Troy Roberts, Alex Martinez, Carl Acosta, Kyle Navarro and Noah Merl have all contributed offensively. Defender Yohei Fukuda has also filled in nicely, before his season-ending foot injury, in the backfield with veteran Leo Krupnik and Roberts. In addition, three of the top four scorers on the team are freshman (Munoz, Quintero and Acosta).
RIPMASTER TOP 10 IN GOALS, POINTS: Senior Austin Ripmaster is tied for fourth in the Pac-10 with 17 points. He had an assist on Carl Acosta's game-winning goal versus Oregon State, Nov. 16, to up his season total. He is also sixth in scoring with six goals.
SCOUTING SANTA CLARA: The Broncos hail from the WCC and have earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by winning the league title. Santa Clara was one of five teams from the WCC to be selected to the tournament. In their last meeting, Cal prevailed, 1-0, over the Broncos in overtime. Since then, Santa Clara has combined for a 7-2-0 overall record, including a 5-1-0 conference mark. The Broncos have a balanced attack with nine players tallying at least three points this year, but no player has more than nine points in 2001. Jamil Walker leads the team in shots with 52. Goalkeepers Rusty Johnson and Steve Cronin have split time carrying a 0.64 and 0.82 goals-against-average, respectively. SCU is coached by Mitch Murray who is in his 11th year.
SCOUTING STANFORD: Third-ranked Stanford (16-1-1, 6-1-1) was awarded the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal have a first round bye and host the winner of the California-Santa Clara contest. In two previous meetings this season, Stanford prevailed 4-0, and 2-0. The Card have beaten every team it has faced this year with the exception of UCLA, who handed Stanford its lone loss and its only tie of the season. Roger Levesque leads the Card in scoring with 10 goals. Johanes Maliza and Derek Shanahan are tied for second in goals with seven. Stanford is coached by 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Bret Simon, in his first season on the Farm.
Go to www.ncaasoccer.net for more information on the 2001 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament.