No. 7 California Heads to Cal State Fullerton Tournament

Sept. 14, 2004


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WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 7 California (4-0-0) travels to Fullerton, Calif., for the SoccerTown Classic, Sept. 17 and 19. The Golden Bears put their undefeated record on the line against the host Titans on Friday at 7 p.m., then sqaure off against UC Irvine on Suday at 5 p.m.

BEARS KEEP PIECE OF TOURNEY TITLE AT HOME: By shutting out San Jose State, 2-0, Sept. 12, Cal clinched a first-place tie in its own adidas Cal-Legacy Classic. Cal defeated San Diego, 1-0, on Friday. The Bears were co-champions along with Stanford, both of whom finished at 2-0. San Diego and San Jose State finished the tournament 0-2, placing third and fourth respectively. Cal senior defender Noah Merl and Stanford sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Kartunen shared the MVP honor. Merl, along with Carl Acosta, Eric Kronberg and Troy Roberts, received all-tournament honors.

BEARS RANKED SEVENTH: This week's Soccer America poll has undefeated Cal ranked No. 7 in the nation. The Bears were ranked No. 9 last week, having moved up from their preseason No. 10 position. Four Pac-10 teams received national rankings, three reaching the Top 10. California (No. 7) is followed by Stanford (No. 8), Washington (No. 10) and UCLA (12) .

BEARS TOPS IN PAC-10: Cal's perfect mark (4-0-0) gives it the best record in the Pac-10. Stanford, the only other undefeated, is second (3-0-1), followed by Washington (4-1-0), UCLA (3-1-0) and Oregon State (1-4-0). The Bears were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in a preaseason coaches' poll, after finishing the 2003 season tied for third.

CAL'S DEFENSE LOOKING GOLDEN: Cal's defense, one of the most experienced units in the nation, has given up one goal on a mere 23 shots in its first four games. The Bears' defense is anchored by seniors Noah Merl, Kyle Navarro, Troy Roberts, sophomore Steve Purdy and junior transer Eric Kronberg in goal. The Bears' 0.25 GAA is among the best in the NCAA.

BEARS BOAST WIDESPREAD OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER: Cal has spread its offensive productivity around, with six Bears having scored at least one goal. Senior Carl Acosta and juniors Nick Hatzke and Pieter Berger have notched two goals, while seniors Troy Roberts, Yohei Fukuda and sophomore Eric Ebert have each tallied one. Cal is averaging 20 shots-per-game, with a .538 shots-on-goal percentage.

BEARS ON THE ROAD: This weekend's trip marks the beginning of seven consecutive road games for Cal. The Bears next game in Berkeley is on Friday, Oct. 15 against UCLA.

BEARS LOOKING FOR FOURTH STRIAGHT NCAA TOURNAMENT BID: This year's Bears look to reach the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season. In 2001, coach Kevin Grimes' second season, the Bears reached the first-round of the tourney. They followed in 2002 with an impressive run to the Sweet 16. Last season's squad advanced to the second-round.

SCOUTING THE TITANS AND ANTEATERS: While Fullerton (0-3-1) is still looking for its first win of the season, they have faced top-notch opponents in 2004. After dropping a 2-1 game in double overtime to No. 1 Indiana, the Titans came away with a 0-0 tie against No. 11 Notre Dame. Last year's Titans were 8-10-2 (3-6-1 Big West). Fullerton is full of fresh faces, with 14 newcomers joining eight returning lettermen. UC Irvine (2-2-0) won a share of Northwestern's Lakeside Classic this past week, defeating DePaul, 2-1, and UW-Green Bay, 1-0. The Anteaters finished 2003 6-11-3, tied for third in the Big West. They return senior forward and second team All-Big West honoree Sebastian Galmarini (7 goals in 2003).

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