No. 12 Cal Hosts No. 23 UC Santa Barbara in Second Round of NCAAs
Nov. 25, 2002
WHAT'S ON TAP: In their first second round NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, the 12th-ranked California Golden Bears (13-5-2, 6-3-1) host No. 23 UC Santa Barbara (18-2-1) Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Edwards Stadium 1:30 p.m.
BEARS IN THE TOURNAMENT: This is the ninth overall appearance for the Bears in the tournament, and their second consecutive berth. The last time Cal reached the NCAAs in back-to-back years was in 1985 and 1986.
CAL LOOKS FOR FIRST POST SEASON WIN: The Bears enter Wednesday's matchup 0-8 in the post season, looking for their first ever NCAA Tournament victory.
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 1, Cal 0 (3 OT)2002 Far West Regional Berkeley, CA UC Santa Barbara
THE FIELD: Cal is one of 16 teams to receive a first round bye and one of four Pac-10 squads to make the 48-team tournament. The Bears have faced seven 2002 teams that have qualified for the tournament, recording a 4-2-4 mark against the field and scoring 10 goals to the opponents' 10.
HOME SWEET HOME:The Bears finished the regular season with an impressive 9-1-0 home record, with their only loss two weeks into the season versus then-No. 7 Southern Methodist (1-0). At Edwards Stadium, Cal dominates in scoring, collecting 19 goals to its opponents' three.
SAUNDERS NAMED 2002 PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior goalkeeper Josh Saunders was named the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year. The Lake Forest, Calif. native was tremendous in front of the net, helping the Golden Bears to a second-straight NCAA Tournament bid. He led the Pac-10 in shutouts (10) and is ranked 14th in the NCAA and third in the conference in goals against average (0.78 per game). Saunders is the first goalkeeper to be voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, in the league's third season sponsoring men's soccer. This is his second consecutive All-Pac-10 first team selection in as many seasons at Cal. His 10 blankings are the second-most in a single season in Cal history, one behind all-time leader Todd Harmon. Saunders boasts 15 career shutouts, fifth on Cal's all-time list.
GRIMES VOTED 2002 PAC-10 CO-COACH OF THE YEAR: Cal head coach Kevin Grimes was named 2002 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year by his fellow conference coaches. Grimes, in his third year at the helm for the Bears, guided Cal to a second-place Pac-10 finish and a second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Bears have allowed the second-least amount of goals scored against them (15), and are tied for the conference lead in shutouts (11). Grimes has amassed a 29-27-4 mark during his tenure at Cal. Prior to working at Cal, he spent three seasons as an assistant at Southern Methodist, where he helped guide the Mustangs to the three NCAA Tournament appearances. Grimes received this honor along with Oregon State head coach Joe Zaher.
NINE BEARS VOTED TO ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Josh Saunders was one of nine Cal athletes chosen to the 2002 men's soccer Pac-10 All-Conference team. This is the most Cal players ever fielded on the squad. Sophomore midfielder Mike Munoz joined Saunders on the first team, tallying a team-leading seven goals and 17 points this season. This is Munoz's second-straight All-Pac-10 selection.
Three Golden Bears were named to the All-Pac-10 second team, including forward Calen Carr and defenders Troy Roberts and Tyson Wahl. In his sophomore year, Carr has notched a team-high six assists and is third on the team with 10 points. Roberts has started every game during his two years in the Cal backfield. Wahl, one of two freshmen starters for the Bears this season, has served as a key component in Cal's stellar defensive showing throughout the year.
Receiving honorable mention are sophomores Carl Acosta, Yohei Fukuda, Noah Merl and Kyle Navarro. As a forward, Acosta is second on the team with six goals and 13 points, serving as a mainstay reserve player. Defenders Fukuda, Merl and Navarro join Wahl to comprise the strong defensive wall that has muzzled opponents to a mere 15 goals this season.
IN THE POLLS: California continues to be listed as one of the nation's Top 20 teams for the ninth straight week, receiving its highest ranking in the latest poll by Soccer America (12th). The Bears are currently ranked No. 15 by Soccer Times and 23rd by NSCAA/adidas. This is the 10th week this season the Bears have been ranked by at least one poll. Cal topped its 2002 rating at No. 5 during the week of Nov. 11.
EXTRA MINUTES: The Bears have extended six of their games to overtime this season, including three to double overtime, notching a 3-1-2 mark in these extra periods.
BEARS FINISH HIGHER THAN PREDICTED: Cal went against the odds in conference play this season, narrowly finishing in second place behind first-place UCLA, despite being chosen to place fourth in the Pac-10 preseason poll. This is the first time the Bears have been the Pac-10 runner-up in the conference's three-year existence of sponsoring men's soccer. In 2000 and 2001, Cal took fourth place with respective 2-5-1 and 3-5-0 conference marks.
SUPER SOPHOMORES: Three sophomores lead the offensive attack for the Bears, guided by Mike Munoz's 17 points (seven goals and three assists). Carl Acosta has five goals and one assist, and Calen Carr brings two goals and six assists to the field.
THE SCENARIO: The winner of Wednesday's match will face the winner of Loyola Marymount and UCLA in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 30 or Dec. 1, site to be determined.
CAL VS. TOP 20: Eight of Cal's games this season have been against Top 20 teams, compiling a 5-2-1 mark against those foes. The Bears have outscored its ranked opponents 12 goals to five.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: This is UC Santa Barbara's (18-2-1) first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 23rd-ranked Gauchos (Soccer America//No. 12 NSCAA/adidas) defeated University of San Diego in Santa Barbara, 2-0, to advance to the second round of NCAAs. Its 18 victories are the most wins in a single season in school history. Rob Friend and Drew McAthy lead the offensive attack for the Gauchos with 20 and 16 goals respectively. Memo Arzate has racked 18 assists and David McGill boasts 15 assists. Goalkeeper Danny Kennedy has not allowed a goal in over 335 minutes of play. He has six shutouts, allowing only 18 goals for a GAA of 0.94. California leads the all-time series, 12-5-2. The last time the two teams met was in 2000, when the Bears edged a 3-1 victory in Berkeley.
DAUNTING FINAL TWO GAMES: Cal fell short against Pac-10 foes in its last two regular season games, losing 2-1 in overtime against Washington and 3-0 versus Oregon State. Carl Acosta scored the first goal of the game against the Huskies, unassisted at 71:57, to give the Bears a lead late in the game. Washington responded seven minutes later with a goal of its own, forcing overtime. At exactly the 100-minute mark, Sean Giudice scored on a header off Mike Chabala's corner kick to lift the Huskies past Cal. In the weekend's second game, Oregon State held the Bears scoreless in 90 minutes of play. California fired 19 shots yet was unable to connect with one of its six shots on goal.
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