No. 14 Cal Entertains Fresno State, Visits Pacific

Sept. 20, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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CAL LOOKS TO REMAIN HOT: Looking to build on a five-game unbeaten streak, No. 14 California hosts Fresno State (2-3-1) Friday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. and travels to Stockton to face Pacific (4-1-2) Sunday, Sept. 26 at noon. The Golden Bears, who often start four freshmen, sport a 5-1-1 record after opening 2003 with a 3-1-3 mark.

MOVING UP THE POLLS: After breaking into the national polls last week, Cal made its move up the polls this week - Soccer America (23 to 17), Soccer Buzz (25 to 17) and SoccerTimes (25 to 19). Cal was No. 14 in last week's NSCAA poll, which is announced on Tuesdays.

JUNIORS STEP UP: Several Cal players endured sophomore slumps in 2003, helping to account for the Bears' below .500 record (7-8-4). Without any seniors on the 2004 squad, the junior class has stepped up its play. Three of the team's top five scorers are juniors, with Liz Eisenberg (San Rafael) leading the way in points (12, T6th P10) and goals (5, T4th P10). In her first two years, she combined for four points (two goals). Forward Dania Cabello is second with eight points (3G, 2A) after tallying only six points (2G, 2A) in 2003. Midfielder Lindsay Clute played sparingly until this year and has five points (2G, 1A) in seven games, making four starts. Goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio (0.83 GAA) is back after missing most of 2003 with a broken thumb, and midfielder Sierra Schlesinger (2 assists) and defender Tracy Hamm are also playing well.

AL-LAMI PROVIDES SPARK ON BOTH ENDS: Sophomore defensive midfielder Nadia Al-Lami has stepped up her offensive contributions in 2004. The Santa Cruz native is third 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 primarily for her defensive efforts. This season, she is giving Cal an all-around performance.

SCORING IMPROVED IN `04: Seven players have accounted for Cal's 16 goals (T3rd in Pac-10) this year. After Eisenberg's five and Cabello's three, Al-Lami, Clute and Stephanie Wieger are tied at two, followed by Katie Ratican and Laurie Gartrell with a goal apiece. Last season, 11 players contributed to Cal's 22 goals. In 2004, the Bears average 2.3 gpg, compared to 1.2 per game in 2003. The scoring increase may be linked to the Bears placing more shots on goals - 52.4% in 2004 and 46.0% in 2003.

BEARS POST FIFTH SHUTOUT VS. PENN: Cal scored two first-half goals to defeat Penn, 2-0, Sept. 17 and secure its fifth shutout of the season. Clute started the scoring with a goal in the 14th minute off a long cross from Eisenberg. Cabello was the recipient of another Eisenberg assist in the 21st minute when she knocked in her teammate's rolling shot to assure that the Bears would grab a 2-0 lead. Schlesinger also earned an assist on the play. Cal, which has allowed only five goals this season, surrendered 20 goals in 2003, while recording seven shutouts.

SCOUTING FRESNO STATE, UOP: Fresno State takes a 2-3-1 record into its home game against Pacific on Sept. 22. Cortney Sobrero posted a hat trick in the Bulldogs 4-2 win over New Mexico Sept. 19 and leads the team with 16 points (7G, 2A). Pacific is 4-1-2 and is paced by Carmen Padilla's 14 points (5G, 4A). Cal is 3-0 lifetime against Fresno State and 3-1 vs. Pacific.

DID YOU KNOW: Freshman midfielder Laurie Gartrell spent the summer of 2003 building houses in Mexico with a community service group called Kids Korps and earned the President's Award for community service. Laurie's older sister, Heather, plays soccer for UC Santa Cruz. Freshman forward Stephanie Wieger also has been active in the community, earning the President's Award for over 100 hours of community service at Carondelet High School (Concord).

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