No. 23 Cal Entertains Penn Friday
Sept. 13, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. -
CAL RETURNS HOME TO FACE PENN: Riding a four-game unbeaten streak, No. 23 California entertains Pennsylvania (1-3) Friday, Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears are 4-1-1 through six games, compared to 3-0-3 a year ago, and have earned their first national ranking of 2004 from Soccer America this week.
EISENBERG ERUPTS IN 2004: Junior forward Liz Eisenberg, known as Gidget, is off to her best start in 2004. On the strength of a four-goal weekend, Eisenberg leads the team in goals (5) and points (10) after recording no points as a freshman and only four points (two goals) as a sophomore. In Cal's 3-0 shutout of Colgate on Friday, the San Rafael, Calif., product posted an unassisted goal with 52 seconds remaining. On Sunday, Eisenberg netted a hat trick to lift the Bears to a 5-1 victory over San Jose State. She knotched Cal's first, third and fifth goals, with the first two coming within about a minute in the first half. All-American Laura Schott amassed Cal's last hat trick, Nov. 8, 2002, against Arizona.
AL-LAMI PROVIDES SPARK ON BOTH ENDS: Sophomore defensive midfielder Nadia Al-Lami has stepped up her offensive contributions in 2004. The Santa Cruz, Calif., native is second on the team with seven points and leads the Bears with three assists. As a freshman, Al-Lami tallied only three points (1G, 1A), earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors primarly for her defensive efforts. This season, she is giving Cal an all-around performance. Against San Jose State, Al-Lami tallied a goal and two assists.
BEARS SHOWCASE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL ATTACK: Seven players have accounted for Cal's 14 goals this year. After Eisenberg's five, Al-Lami, Dania Cabello and Stephanie Wieger are tied at two, followed by Lindsay Clute, Katie Ratican and Laurie Gartrell with a goal apiece. Freshman Gartrell posted her first collegiate goal - a game winner - against Colgate. Last season, 11 players contributed to Cal's 22 goals. In 2004, the Bears average 2.3 goals per game, compared to 1.2 per game in 2003.
SULPRIZIO ANCHORS RESURGENT BEARS' DEFENSE: Junior Ashley Sulprizio is happy to be back in goal this year. Sulprizio started the first four games of 2003, but missed the final 15 games of last season with a broken thumb. Cal has blanked four of six opponents this year, with Sulprizio playing 452 of 560 minutes. She has surrendered five goals, made 18 saves and boasts a 0.99 GAA. Having a veteran in goal is important to the Bears, who feature a young backline - two freshmen (Courtney Hooker and Kristine Relja), a sophomore (Alivia Mazura) and a junior (Tracy Hamm). Sophomore Anna Key (15 games in 2003, 1.16 GAA) has been perfect in her 108 minutes in goal this year.
SCOUTING PENN: After a 9-5-3 effort in 2003, Penn is off to a slow start at 1-3 in 2004. Senior forward Katy Cross leads the team with eight points (three goals, two assists). The Bears (4-1-1) defeated the Quakers, 4-2, in the teams' only meeting Sept. 27, 2002, in Philadelphia. No current Bears scored in that game.
NOTING THE COLGATE, SAN JOSE STATE WINS: Cal opened the SMC Invitational with a 3-0 win vs. Colgate, capped by late goals from Ratican and Eisenberg. Wieger contributed two assists. In addition to Eisenberg and Al-Lami's outbursts against San Jose State, Cabello added a goal and Mazura and Clute tallied assists.
DID YOU KNOW: Freshman midfielder Chioma Igwe comes from a soccer family. Her father, Tony, played soccer for the Nigerian national team following his career at San Francisco (1975-79), where he won two national titles. Chioma's older brother, Kelechi, is a junior forward/midfielder at Santa Clara. Her younger brother, Amaechi, is in U.S. Soccer's residency program in Bradenton, Fla.