No. 6 Cal Hosts No. 17 Santa Clara in NCAA First Round Match
Nov. 18, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 6 California (12-3-3, 4-3-1) has earned a program-record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and will host No. 17 Santa Clara (15-5-0, 8-4-0 WCC) in a first round match at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Berkeley's Edwards Stadium.
FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TRIP: In head coach Kevin Grimes' second season, the Bears reached the first-round of the tourney. Cal followed in 2002 with an impressive run to the Sweet 16 (14-6-2). Last season's squad advanced to the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the year with an 11-9-2 record.
CAL IN THE POSTSEASON:Year Event Site Score1960 Midwest Regional at St. Louis, MO Saint Louis 2, California 01977 Far West Regional at Los Angeles, CA UCLA 3, California 01981 Far West Regional Berkeley, CA SDSU 4, California 01983 Far West Regional at Las Vegas, NV UNLV 3, California 1 (OT)1985 Far West Regional at Los Angeles, CA UCLA 3, California 11986 Midwest Regional at St. Louis, MO Saint Louis 2, California 11996 Far West Regional at Fresno, CA Fresno State 2, California 12001 Far West Regional at Stanford, CA Santa Clara 1, California 0 (3 OT)2002 Second Round Berkeley, CA California 2, UC Santa Barbara 1 Sweet 16 at Los Angeles, CA UCLA 3, California 22003 First Round Berkeley, CA California 2, San Jose State 0 Second Round at Santa Barbara, CA UCSB 2, California 0
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: This season marks the second straight year and 11th time in the past 15 years the Broncos have earned an NCAA berth. Santa Clara has made 14 prior appearances in the NCAA Tournament and won the 1989 NCAA National Championship. Santa Clara boasts one of the nation's better defenses, ranking 10th nationally in goals against average (.750). Senior goalkeeper Kent Harkness' 0.755 goals against average leads the WCC and is 16th in the NCAA. Moroccan born sophomore Medhi Ballouchy, the WCC Player of the Month for September, leads the teams with 14 points and 8 assists.
CAL-SCU HISTORY: California holds the edge in the all-time series, 22-11-4. In the only meeting this season, the Bears defeated Santa Clara, 1-0, at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sept. 26. The win snapped a 15-game home winning streak for the Broncos. Friday's meeting between California and Santa Clara will mark the second time in the past four years that the teams will play in the NCAA first round. In 2001, the Broncos battled to a 1-0 triple overtime win over the Bears in a first round meeting at Stanford. Prior to 2001 the schools had never faced each other in the postseason.
BROTHERLY LOVE: When Cal and Santa Clara face off, the match will be more than two Bay Area rivals reconnecting. Midfielder Nick Hatzke and defender Troy Roberts will be reuniting with their younger brothers, both of whom are freshmen on the Bronco squad. Matthew Hatzke has started 19 matches in the Broncos defense. Jamil Roberts appeared in 19 matches.
GRIMES RETURNS TO ALMA MATER: Should the Bears win and advance to the second round, they would travel to Dallas to take on tournament seventh-seeded Southern Methodist (15-3-1, 8-0-0 MVC), the alma mater of Cal head coach Kevin Grimes. Grimes was a two-time first team All-American, as well as two-time Herman Award Finalist, while playing for the Mustangs from 1986-89. Grimes went on to serve as an assistant coach at SMU, where he helped the Mustangs to three NCAA Tournament bids in his three years on the coaching staff.
PAC-10 STATUS: Cal finished 4-3-1 in the Pac-10, tied for second place in the final conference standings. UCLA (6-2-0) clinched the Pac-10 crown, followed by Cal and Washington (4-3-1), Stanford (2-3-2) and Oregon State (1-6-0). Pac-10 teams had a particularly successful regular season, with four of the five teams (Cal, Washington, UCLA and Stanford) posting overall winning records. Three Pac-10 teams were invited to the NCAA Championships. Besides Cal, the Bruins, seeded sixth, were awarded a first-round bye and will await the winner of the Cal St. Northridge (11-5-2)-Loyola Marymount (10-7-3) match, hosting the winner within the confines of Drake Stadium on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. The Washington Huskies (11-6-2 overall, 4-3-1 Pac-10) join the NCAA field for the ninth time in the last 10 years. They will host for the second year in a row, facing off against Portland (11-7-2) in Seattle on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m..
LAST WEEK'S WRAP UP: The Bears closed out the regular season against Stanford on Nov. 15 with a double overtime, 3-2 victory. Junior midfielder Nick Hatzke opened scoring for the Bears, and senior Yohei Fukuda's goal in the 90th minute of regulation pushed the game into overtime. Junior Calen Carr found sophomore Eric Ebert unmarked in the Cardinal's six-yard box. Ebert slid his third game-winner of the season past the Cardinal keeper at 102:29.
POSTSEASON HONORS: Cal placed a school-record and conference high 12 players on the All-Pac-10 team. Calen Carr, Nick Hatzke and Troy Roberts were first team honorees, Carl Acosta, Eric Kronberg, Noah Merl and Tyson Wahl were second team performers, and Eric Ebert, Mike Munoz, Kyle Navarro, Steve Purdy and Angel Quintero all received honorable mention. Roberts is the teams only three-time honoree, while Carr, Acosta, Merl and Wahl are two-time honorees. Washington placed nine players on the team, UCLA and Stanford each had eight and Oregon State finished with three.
CAL ON THE CHARTS: At the conclusion of the regular season, Cal remains on all four major college soccer polls. Soccer America moved Cal to No. 6 after having them at No. 7 this past week. College Soccer News has the Bears moving up two spots to the No. 12 position. SoccerTimes.com has Cal holding at the No. 11 position. The NSCAA/adidas coaches' poll has the Bears moving up to No 23.
BEARS FIERCE AT HOME: The Broncos will have their hands full playing Cal in Berkeley, as the Bears are 8-1-1 this season at Edwards Stadium. In Cal's eight home wins, the Bears have outscored their opponents, 18-4. :
SENIOR SENSATIONS: Cal's six seniors (Carl Acosta, Yohei Fukuda, Mike Munoz, Noah Merl, Kyle Navarro and Troy Roberts) have played an instrumental role in Cal's success. Combined, they have accounted for eight goals and five assists, as well as anchoring Cal's defensive back line. Merl, Navarro and Roberts have each started every game over the past three seasons, a combined 180 starts.
BERGER HONORED AS ALL-DISTRICT ACADEMIC: Junior forward Pieter Berger was named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII men's soccer team. Berger has three goals, all game-winners, and one assist this season, while maintaining a 3.57 GPA in American Studies. The Irvine native has amassed nine goals and seven assists over 60 career appearances, including 35 starts. Berger received first team Pac-10 All-Academic honors last season.
GRIMES GAINS 50: Head coach Kevin Grimes gained his 50th career victory in the Oct. 21 3-0 win against UC Davis. Fifty wins is an accomplishment achieved by only four Cal coaches. Grimes began the season with a career record of 41-37-6, and has since improved to 52-38-8. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia is No. 1 on the list, with 202 career victories.
WIDESPREAD ATTACK: Cal's multi-faceted attack features six players who have scored three or more goals this season. Nick Hatzke leads the team with six goals, followed by Calen Carr (five), Carl Acosta (four), Eric Ebert (four), Yohei Fukuda (three) and Pieter Burger (three). The Bears have totaled 29 goals this season while amassing 267 shots.
NON-CONFERENCE DOMINATION: Cal's record against non-conference opponents doesn't bode well for the Broncos. The Bears have gone undefeated (8-0-1) in non-conference matches this season. Cal has racked-up 16 goals in those nine goals, while only conceding two.