Cal Hosts WSU, No. 14 Washington In Final Home Weekend
WHAT'S ON TAP: With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Cal (7-6-3, 2-4 Pac-10, 8th) faces three must-win games if the Golden Bears hope to qualify for their sixth straight NCAA Tournament. The pivotal stretch begins with Cal's final homestand against Washington State (5-9-1, 1-3-1 Pac-10, T9th) on Friday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m., and vs. No. 14 Washington (9-4-3, 2-2-1 Pac-10, T4th) on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HOPES ON THE LINE: Cal has been a fixture in the NCAA Tournament over the last five seasons and has earned 11 bids in the program's 21-year history. In 2002, Cal advanced to the second round of the NCAA College Cup, posting its first postseason win since 1988 with a 2-0 opening-round shutout of Denver.
BEARS BID FAREWELL TO SENIORS: Seven seniors, including six of whom are regular starters, will be playing their final home game at Edwards Stadium Sunday against Washington. The players being honored are goalkeeper Stephanie Martling, who joined the team midseason, defenders Kim Stocklmeir, Lucy Brining, Ashley Valenzuela and Amy Willison, and midfielders Kimberly Yokers and Kassie Doubrava. Yokers and Doubrava are tied for the team points (8) and goals (3) lead this season, while Willison holds team-high honors for assists (4).
SHUTOUTS HELP, HURT CAL IN 2003: Cal's six shutouts matches last season's output. In 2002, however, the Bears netted 34 goals (9 from Tracy Hamm and 7 from All-American Laura Schott, who finished her career in 2002) and were blanked four times. This year's squad has tallied only 20 goals and has been shut out five times, including in three of their last four games. In the four games over the last seven contests that the Bears haven't been held scoreless, they have tallied 10 goals (2.5 per game). Overall, Cal's defense has been better this season, giving up 15 goals (0.90 GAA), compared to 23 in 2002 (1.08 GAA). The group of senior defenders have contributed to the Bears' defensive improvement. Freshman goalkeeper Anna Key and freshmen defenders Nadia Al-Lami and Emily Ward also deserve recognition.
MIXED RESULTS IN OREGON: Cal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 35 minutes of the game and hung on to defeat Oregon State, 3-2, Oct. 24 in Corvallis. The three goals were the most the Bears have netted in a half this year and equaled its season high for a game. An own goal by the Beavers gave Cal a 1-0 in the seventh minute. Freshman forward Alivia Mazura lifted Cal to a 2-0 lead in the 21st minute with her second goal of the season. Sophomore forward Dania Cabello scored what proved to be the game winner in the 35th minute. Willison assisted on both goals, while Doubrava also was credited with an assist on Mazura's score. OSU tallied two second-half goals. Cal lost to Oregon, 2-0, on Oct. 26 for the program's first loss to the Ducks (6-1 now).
SCOUTING WSU, WASHINGTON: After qualifying for the 2002 NCAA Tournament, Washington State is struggling this season. Rachel Rodrick leads the team with 11 points (5G, 1A). Cal leads the all-time series with WSU, 8-3-2, but hasn't defeated the Cougars since a 2-1 decision in Pullman in 2000. Washington narrowly missed qualifying for NCAAs last season. Tina Frimpong leads Washington's attack with 23 points (10G, 3 A). The Bears trail the all-time series with the Huskies, 5-7, and have lost the last three meetings. Cal's last victory over UW came in 1999 in Berkeley (3-1).
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