No. 16 Cal Hosts Exhibition Against San Jose State Friday
Aug. 20, 2003
CAL OPENS SEASON AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE: California opens the 2003 campaign Friday, Aug. 22, with a home exhibition game against San Jose State. Kick-off is at 11 a.m. at Edwards Stadium. Admission is free to all weekday home games this year. The Golden Bears are coming off a 12-8-1 season (4-5 Pac-10, T6th), while the Spartans were 3-14-3 (1-5-2 WAC, 7th). Cal holds a 2-0 series lead with a 4-0 triumph in 2000 in San Jose and a 3-0 win in 1998 in Berkeley.
NSCAA TABS CAL NO. 16 IN PRESEASON POLL: After finishing the 2002 season ranked No. 18 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the Bears are tabbed No. 16 in its 2003 preseason poll. Santa Clara holds the top spot, followed by North Carolina and Portland. Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times will release their preseason polls next week.
BEARS PICKED FIFTH IN PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL: Cal, which tied for sixth in the Pac-10 with Arizona State last year at 4-5, was picked to finish fifth in the 2003 Pac-10 preseason coaches' poll. Stanford was chosen to defend its title by virtue of six first-place votes, followed by UCLA (four first-place votes), Arizona State, USC, Cal, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona and Oregon.
CAL SHOOTS FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT NCAA TOURNAMENT: Cal opens the 2003 season in pursuit of its sixth consecutive and 11th overall NCAA Tournament bid. The current streak of five is the longest in school history. In 2002, the Bears tallied their first postseason victory since 1988 with a 2-0 opening-round win over No. 19-ranked Denver at Stanford's Maloney Field. Cal lost its second-round match-up with No. 1-ranked Stanford, 1-0, in overtime.
VETERAN GROUP LOOKS TO LEAD BEARS: Cal returns 18 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year's team. Nine of the returners are seniors, six of which are returning starters. Senior midfielder Kimberly Yokers, a 2002 first team All-Pac-10 and second team NSCAA All-West Region honoree, competed in her second straight Nordic Cup over the summer with the U.S. under-21 national team. The only returning starters who aren't seniors are the super sophomore duo of forwards Tracy Hamm (9G, 0A-18 pts) and Dania Cabello (5G, 7A-17 points), two of the Bears' top three scorers in 2002. Chronic injuries will keep three seniors from playing this season - GK Sani Post (started 14 games in 2002), MF Cami Boswell and D Kat Cain.
A LOOK AT THE NEWCOMERS: The Bears feature eight newcomers, highlighted by two 2003 McDonald's All-American game participants in freshmen goalkeeper Anna Key and defender Nadia Al-Lami. A trio of freshmen forwards also have been impressive during the preseason camp - Katie Ratican, Bri Wiles and Alivia Mazura. Defender/midfielders Beth Dearaujo and Emily Ward also will be vying for playing time. Midfielder Jenny Wendell will sit out the 2003 season to rehabilitate an ACL tear. The Bears' 2003 recruiting class was ranked No. 14 nationally by Soccer Buzz.
DID YOU KNOW:Dania Cabello and Anna Key have known each other since they were ages six and five, respectively. They both hail from the Oakland area and played on the same playgrounds, learned to play soccer together and went to the same elementary and middle schools. After attending different high schools, the duo has been reunited at Cal.