Cal Opens 2004 With UC Davis Exhibition Friday

Aug. 16, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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CAL OPENS SEASON AGAINST UC DAVIS: Boasting the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the country, California opens the 2004 season at home with an exhibition game against UC Davis Friday, Aug. 20, at noon at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears are coming off a frustrating 7-8-4 season (2-6-1 Pac-10, T9th), while the Aggies were 9-9-1 (7-7 CCAA, T3rd). Cal holds a 7-0-1 series lead over UC Davis.CAL EYES RETURN TO NCAAS: Cal opens the 2004 season in pursuit of its 12th overall NCAA Tournament bid. After finishing with a below .500 record for the first time in eight years, the Bears failed to advance to the postseason in 2003 for the first time in six seasons. In 2002, the Bears tallied their first NCAA 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.YOUTH IS SERVED IN 2004: Cal returns 14 letterwinners and five starters from last year's squad, but none of the returners are seniors. The returning starters are defenders Aliva Mazura (sophomore, 2003 Freshman of the Year) and Tracy Hamm (junior), sophomore midfielder Nadia Al-Lami (2003 honorable mention All-Pac-10), junior forward Dania Cabello and sophomore goalkeeper Anna Key, but there will be ample competition for starting spots this season. For example, Key, junior Ashley Sulprizio, who started the first four games of last season before breaking her thumb, and freshman Nicole Jarbo will vie for the starting nod in goal.BEARS BOAST TOP 10 RECRUITING CLASS: Headlined by freshman midfielder Chioma Igwe and freshman midfielder/forward Caroline Lea, Cal brings in 11 players who comprise the 10th-ranked recruiting class in the country, according to both Soccer America magazine and Soccer Buzz. Igwe is an alternate for the United States at the 2004 U19 World Championships, while both athletes are listed among the Top 25 newcomers in the nation, according to Soccer Buzz. Soccer America ranks Igwe No. 17 on its Top 25 recruiting list.TOUGH SCHEDULE IN 2004: Cal has assembled a difficult schedule in 2004. The Bears' regular season opens at the Nebraska adidas Classic in Lincoln, Neb., as the Bears face Creighton Aug. 27 before battling North Carolina, last year's NCAA champion at 27-0, Aug. 29. The Tar Heels have amassed 17 NCAA women's soccer titles. Overall, eight of the 19 teams Cal plays in 2004 advanced to the 2003 NCAA Tournament - UNC, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, Stanford, Arizona State, USC, UCLA and Washington.DID YOU KNOW:
- Alum Joy Fawcett (1986-89) is competing in her third Olympics and is expected to retire after the 2004 Athens Games. Fawcett joins Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly as one of four U.S. players who have played in four World Cups (1991, '95, '99 and '03). Fawcett is the Bears' only three-time All-American in the program's history.- 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 have been reunited at Cal.- Beth DeAraujo's father ran the 5000m for Brazil at the 1972 Munich Olympics.- Freshman midfielder Laurie Gartrell built houses in Mexico during the summer of 2003 with a community service group called Kids Korps.

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