No. 5 Cal Earns NCAA First Round Bye, Hosting Second Round

Nov. 18, 2002

The fifth-ranked California men's soccer team received a first round bye for the NCAA Championships, and will host a second round game Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 1:30 p.m. at Edwards Stadium, as announced Monday afternoon by the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee. The Golden Bears (13-5-2) will face the winner of No. 21 University of San Diego versus No. 14 UC Santa Barbara.

This is the ninth overall appearance for the Bears in the NCAA Tournament, its second consecutive. California finished second in the Pac-10 with a 6-3-1 record, behind No. 3 seed UCLA. The Bears are one of 16 teams to receive a first round bye and one of four Pac-10 squads to make the 48-team tournament.

The Golden Bears serve as host for the second time in school history. The first time was in 1981 against San Diego State, losing 4-0. It's the second back-to-back NCAA appearance in Cal history, with the other consecutive appearance in 1985 and 1986.

Last year in the first round of NCAAs, Cal fell short to Santa Clara, 1-0, in triple overtime at Stanford.

San Diego enters as one of 26 teams that were selected as an at-large bid. The Toreros finished the 2002 regular season with a 14-5 record, and a 3-3 WCC conference record. This is Santa Barbara's first appearance in the tournament. Its 17-2-1 record (9-0-1 Big West) is the most wins in a single season in school history.

The winner will advance to the third round, which will be played on either Saturday Nov. 30 or Sunday Dec. 1. To view the complete bracket, click on: .

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