No. 16 Bears Host Ninth-Annual Cal Invitational

Aug. 25, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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CAL OPENS 2003 AS HOST OF CAL INVITE: Coming off a 9-1 exhibition win over San Jose State, No. 16 California opens the 2003 regular season as host of the ninth-annual Cal Invitational Friday and Sunday, Aug. 29 and 31, at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears (12-8-1 in 2002) have won the last four Cal Invitationals. The tournament, which is the season opener for all four teams, kicks off with Saint Mary's facing Montana on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Cal-Wisconsin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday's games feature Saint Mary's against Wisconsin at 2 p.m., followed by the Cal-Montana contest at 4:30 p.m.

NSCAA TABS CAL NO. 16: 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. Soccer Buzz has Cal at No. 22, while Soccer America and SoccerTimes are expected to release their preseason polls on Tuesday.

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: Six seniors, including U.S. under-21 national team midfielder Kimberly Yokers, look to lead Cal to its sixth consecutive and 11th overall NCAA Tournament bid. In 2002, the Bears tallied their first postseason victory since 1988 with a 2-0 opening-round win over No.19-ranked Denver. Cal lost its second-round match-up with No. 1 Stanford, 1-0, in overtime.

BEARS DOWN SPARTANS IN EXHIBITION PLAY: Seven different players scored for Cal as the Bears routed San Jose State, 9-1, in an exhibition on Aug. 22. Kassie Doubrava and Bri Wiles, who was the only Cal freshman to score, led the way with two goals each. The Bears led 2-0 at the half before pouring in seven second-half goals. Also denting the scoring column for Cal were Dania Cabello, Tracy Hamm, Liz Eisenberg, Ashley Valenzuela and Lucy Brining.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Montana is coming off an 8-10-1 season. The Grizzlies' top returning scorers are forward Tara Schwager (1G, 3A-5 pts) and midfielder Kate Sloan (2G, 1A-5 pts). Cal has won both previous meetings with Montana. Wisconsin finished the 2002 campaign with a 13-9-3 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Forwards Amy Vermeulen (7G, 8A-22 pts) and Jenny Kundert (8G, 15A-21 pts) hope to lead the Badgers to the program's 300th all-time win (299-122-33) this weekend. The Cal-Wisconsin all-time series stands at 2-2. Saint Mary's posted a 9-9-1 mark last season and returns two 18-point scorers in midfielder Sarah Burgess (7G, 4A) and forward Lucianne Crenshaw (7G, 4A).

DID YOU KNOW: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, they have been reunited at Cal.

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