Cal Looks to Finish 2003 on a High Note at Stanford

Nov. 4, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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WHAT'S ON TAP: After an up and down season, California (7-7-4, 2-5-1 Pac-10, 9th) closes out 2003 at Stanford (9-8-2, 4-3-1 Pac-10, 3rd) on Friday, Nov. 7 in search of its eighth straight winning campaign. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The last time the Golden Bears finished below .500 was in 1995 (8-10-1). In all likelihood, Cal will see its streak of five straight NCAA bids snapped this year.

BEARS BID FAREWELL TO SENIORS: Seven seniors, including six of whom are regular starters, will don the blue and gold for the final time against Stanford. Defenders Kim Stocklmeir (5th year), Lucy Brining (5th year), Amy Willison and Ashley Valenzuela and midfielders Kassie Doubrava and Kimberly Yokers (U.S. under-21 national team player) have all made significant contributions to Cal. A former club rugby player, senior goalkeeper Stephanie Martling joined the Bears midseason to shore up the goalkeeping situation after sophomore Ashley Sulprizio broke her thumb four games into the season. Martling played four scoreless minutes as a starter against Washington. This season, Doubrava and Yokers lead the team in points (8) and goals (3), and Willison holds team-high honors for assists (4).

DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY: Cal may have struggled offensively this season, but its defense has been solid overall. The Bears' seven shutouts are one more than they posted in 2002. Their goals-against average of 0.95 also is an improvement over 2002's 1.08 GAA. Freshman Anna Key has done an admirable job playing against a tough schedule in her rookie season. The former Bishop O'Dowd All-American owns a 1.11 GAA and five shutouts in almost 1300 minutes of action. Sulprizio started the Bears' first four games but has been injured since Sept. 19. She is expected to have her cast removed today, but her status for this weekend hasn't been determined. Sulprizio owns a 2-0-2 record this year and boasts a 0.45 GAA (2 goals-400 minutes).

CAL TIES WSU, FALLS TO WASHINGTON: Cal closed out its 2003 home schedule with a 0-0 double OT tie to Washington State and a 3-1 loss to No. 13 Washington. Sophomore Sierra Schlesinger propelled Cal to a 1-0 lead over Washington in the 12th minute with her first collegiate goal. Freshman Katie Ratican tallied her third assist of the year. The Huskies responded with three unanswered second-half goals, including two by the Pac-10's leading goal scorer (12), Tina Frimpong.

SCOUTING STANFORD: Cal and Stanford have both had uncharacteristically off seasons. The Cardinal is 9-8-2 (4-3-1 Pac-10) following a 21-2 (9-0 Pac-10) season a year ago. Both teams have had injuries, sluggish offenses and solid defenses. Two-time All-Pac-10 honoree Marcie Ward is out for the year with a foot injury. Stanford, which has scored 23 goals and given up 15, could still garner a bid to the NCAA College Cup with a victory over the Bears. Allyson Marquand paces the team in points (18) and goals (8). Stanford leads the all-time series with Cal, 10-9-2, and has won three straight, including a 1-0 OT victory in the second round of the 2002 playoffs. Cal's last wins in the series were in Berkeley in 2000 (2-0) and at Stanford in 1999 (2-1 OT).

DID YOU KNOW?: While Cal would have liked to have scored more goals this season, the Bears haven't been short of offensive weapons. Eleven players have accounted for Cal's 21 goals in 2003, while in 2002, eight players scored the Bears' 34 goals.

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