No. 3 California Opens Pac-10 Play Against No. 7 Stanford

Sept. 29, 2004


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WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 3 California (7-0-1) opens Pac-10 play against No. 7 Stanford (5-1-2) on Friday at Stanford's Maloney Field at 7 p.m. This week's game is part of the Lexus Gauntlet series, a contest between Cal and Stanford to determine which university will have the most success against its rival in head-to-head competition this year.

BEARS CAPTURE STANFORD-NIKE INVITATIONAL TITLE: Cal won the Stanford-Nike Invitational title this weekend, beating out Brown, No. 3 Santa Clara and No. 5 Stanford. The Bears tied Brown on Sept. 24, 0-0, then knocked off perennial power Santa Clara, 1-0, on Sept. 26. The tournament showcased some of the premier teams in the nation, featuring the No. 3, 4 and 5 teams on Soccer America's Top 25 poll.

CAL REMAINS UNDEFEATED: Cal remains one of seven undefeated teams in the nation. After playing Brown to a scoreless double overtime draw, the Bears blanked undefeated No. 3 Santa Clara at Buck Shaw stadium, ending a 15-game unbeaten streak for the Broncos at home. Cal's record places it in an elite class with UC Santa Barbara (8-0), UNC Greensboro (6-0-1), New Mexico (6-0), Penn State (5-0-3), Duke (9-0-0) and South Florida (5-0-2).

CAL CLIMBING THE CHARTS: For the second consecutive week, Cal appeared on all four major college soccer polls. Soccer America, who had the Bears at No. 4 last week, has them moved up one spot to No. 3. College Soccer News, which previously ranked Cal No. 10, jumped the team up to No. 3. moved Cal up 10 spots from No. 13 to No. 3. The NSCAA/adidas coaches poll, which had tabbed the Bears at No. 16, placed them No. 10.

GRIMES GOES FOR 50: Head Coach Kevin Grimes is two victories short of reaching 50 career wins, an accomplishment achieved by only four Cal coaches prior to himself. Grimes began the season at 41-37-6, and has since improved to 48-37-7. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia is number one on the list, with 202 career coaching wins.

KRONBERG A KEEPER: Junior transfer Eric Kronberg has posted five shutouts in seven complete games on the season. Kronberg, who set the single season saves record last year for Fresno State with 106, has posted a 0.24 goals against average, allowing only two goals in Cal's eight games. The Santa Rosa native has a .913 saves percentage. Kronberg was named this week's (Sept. 21-27) Pac-10 Player of the Week. Kronberg, who also won the award as a sophomore at Fresno State, becomes the first Pac-10 men's player to win the honor at two different universities.

SCOUTING THE CARDINAL: No. 7 Stanford (5-1-2) has begun an amazing turnaround from a dismal 2003 season, already eclipsing last year's win total (3-15-2). Stanford returns its three leading scorers from last year, Matt Janusz (12 points), Darren Fernandez (11 points) and James Twellman (9 points). Cal has a four game unbeaten streak against the Cardinal, although Stanford holds the edge in the overall series record, 19-10-6.

BEARS ON ROAD TO SUCCESS: Cal is embarking on the second half of a seven game road trip which will have kept the Bears away from Edwards Stadium for a month. After taking on Stanford, Cal travels north to face Washington (6-3-1) in Seattle on Oct. 8, then moves on to Corvallis where they meet up with Oregon State (5-4-1) on Oct. 10. The Bears are 3-0-1 in away games this season.

BEARS LOOKING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT 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.

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