No. 16 Bears Open Pac-10 Action Against No. 9/10 UCLA, San Diego State
Sept. 19, 2006
Cal Hosts Bruins, Aztecs at Edwards
The 16th-ranked California men's soccer team (5-2-1 record) opens Pac-10 play when it hosts defending conference champion UCLA this Friday, Sept. 15, and San Diego State on Sunday, Sept. 17, respectively, on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears, who took second place in the Pac-10 last season, entertain the No. 9/10 Bruins (4-2-1) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and then play the Aztecs (4-2-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Senior defender Steve Purdy leads Cal in scoring, with six points from a career-high three goals. The Bears have played all three of its goalkeepers through its first six games. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Stefan Frei has played the most minutes (376 minutes, 47 seconds) of the three and has a 0.48 goals-against average.
In the National Polls
Cal is ranked No. 23 by the NSCAA, No. 16 by Soccer Times and No. 18 by College Soccer News. Cal is unranked by Soccer America. UCLA is ranked No. 9 by Soccer America and No. 10 by the NSCAA.
Leading the Pac
As of Sept. 18, Frei leads the Pac-10 in save percentage (0.889) and is tied with Washington's Tilley Copps in saves per game (4.00). Frei is also fourth in saves (16).
Frei is tied with junior teammate Justin Myers for second in the conference in shutouts per game (0.50). The two are also tied with two other goalies in shutouts (2 each). Frei (0.48) and Myers (0.51) also rank Nos. 2 and 3 in the Pac-10 in GAA.
Myers ranks eighth in saves (8), while Purdy is tied for eighth in points (6). Purdy, a defender, is also tied for fifth in the conference in goals (3).
In the NCAA rankings, Frei is 11th in GAA and 11th in save percentage.
Ayala-Hil is tied for second in the Pac-10 in game-winning goals (2).
Cal Takes Third Straight adidas Cal Legacy Classic
The Bears claimed their third consecutive crown at their own adidas Cal Legacy Classic after beating Dartmouth, 2-1, on Sept. 15 and Sacramento State, 2-0, on Sept. 17. Cal junior forward Javier Ayala-Hil, who scored the game-winning goal in each game, earned the tournament MVP honor.
Scouting the Bruins
UCLA has a 4-2-1 record and moved up to No. 10 in the NSCAA rankings after wins over then seventh-ranked Santa Clara, 2-1, and then eighth-ranked San Francisco, 2-0, respectively, last Friday and Sunday.
UCLA leads the all-time series with Cal, 27-8-3.
Maxwell Griffin, the Pac-10 Player of the Week over the past two weeks, leads the Bruins in scoring, with 11 points from five goals and one assist. He scored a goal against the Dons and a goal and an assist against the Broncos.
The sophomore forward is the only Bruin with more than one goal, though seven players each have one. Midfielder Sal Zizzo, last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, leads UCLA with four assists.
Goalkeeper Eric Reed has a 1.12 GAA and has allowed seven goals in six starts.
Former Bruin and MLS player Jorge Salcedo is in his third year as head coach at UCLA.
Scouting the Aztecs
San Diego State also has a 4-2-1 record. The Aztecs are winless on the road against UCs, having lost at UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, on Sept. 2 and at UC Riverside, 3-2, on Sept. 6.
Cal leads the all-time series with San Diego State, 11-10-1.
Junior midfielder Kraig Chiles is tied with senior forward Andrew DiCicco (4 goals) for the San Diego State lead in scoring, with eight points. DiCicco is the son of former U.S. women's national team coach and WUSA commissioner Tony DiCicco.
Chiles (3 goals, 2 assists) is also tied for the team lead in assists. Chiles has recorded two game-winning goals and has also converted both of the Aztecs penalty kicks this season. Chiles got both a gamewinner and penalty kick in overtime last Sunday, when the Aztecs beat Long Island, 2-1.
Aztecs senior goalie Tally Hall has a 1.23 GAA in seven starts.
Lev Kirshner is in his seventh year as head coach at San Diego State.
Last Year Against the Bruins and Aztecs
In the 2005 season, Cal lost to both UCLA, 2-0, and San Diego State, 1-0, in Southern California. Later in the season, the Bears tied the Bruins, 1-1, in double overtime and beat the Aztecs, 2-1, also in overtime, in Berkeley.
Cal continues Pac-10 play and concludes a five-game homestand on Sept. 30 when it hosts rival Stanford at 2:30 p.m. at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Cardinal leads the all-time series with Cal, 19-13-7. But Cal has won the last three straight and is unbeaten in eight straight games with Stanford.
The Bears beat Stanford twice last year, edging the Cardinal, 1-0, on the Farm and routing its rival, 4-1, in the East Bay.
Did You Know?
Cal has two sets of brothers on this year's team - the Eberts (Eric, a senior midfielder, and Ian, a redshirt freshman midfielder) and the Sassanos (Luke, a junior midfielder, and Evan, a freshman midfielder).
Don Ebert, the father of Cal players Eric and Ian Ebert, played professional soccer for the New York Cosmos (NASL), St. Louis Steamers (MISL) and Los Angeles Lazers (MISL).
Seventh-year Cal head coach Kevin Grimes was an All-American player at SMU and was a two-time finalist for the Hermann Award.