Stanford, No. 7 California Battle With First Place On The Line
Oct. 18, 2006
Friday, Oct. 20 - 3:30 p.m. - Berkeley, Calif.
Stanford Cardinal (6-5-3, 4-1-1 Pac-10)
- at -
No. 7 California Golden Bears (10-3-1, 5-1-1 Pac-10)
The Opening Kick-Off
Stanford (6-5-3, 4-1-1 Pac-10) and No. 7 California (10-3-1, 5-1-1 Pac-10) square off on Friday afternoon in Berkeley with first place in the Pac-10 on the line. The teams are separated by just two points atop the conference standings, with the Golden Bears owning 15 and the Cardinal 13. Friday's match is a make-up contest, as the orginally-scheduled Sept. 30 match was postponed. A Cardinal victory, coupled with at least one Bruin win, could propel Stanford into sole possession of first-place with three games remaining on the schedule.
The Golden Bears are streaking at just the right time, having won nine of their last 10 games to bump their overall record to 10-3-1. The only loss during that stretch came in the form of a 2-0 home loss to San Diego State, two days after the Aztecs were blanked 2-0 by the Cardinal. The Golden Bears have since continued to climb in the rankings, and find themselves ranked in the top-10 of three national polls. California is led by: Javier Ayala-Hil (14 points, six goals, 28 shots), Steve Purdy (four goals, nine points, Pac-10 Player of the Week) and Justin Myers (8-1 record, 24 saves, 0.56 GAA in nine starts).
Stanford All-Time vs. California
Stanford holds a 23-13-7 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to 1973. However, California has won six of the last eight meetings, with the other two games resulting in a tie. In 2005, the Golden Bears won 1-0 at Stanford and 4-1 in Berkeley. The last time Stanford defeated California was Nov. 11, 2001, when the Cardinal posted a 2-0 shutout in Berkeley.
Quite A Turnaround
Stanford enters this week with six victories- the team's highest win total since finishing the 2004 campaign at 7-6-5 overall. The Cardinal has already surpassed last year's win total of four. In addition, Stanford's four Pac-10 victories are more than the prior three seasons combined and represent the club's best effort since compiling a 5-3-2 league mark in 2002. A 2-0 road upset of then-No. 9 Washington, a 1-1 tie against then-No. 9 UCLA and strong start to conference play have been critical factors in the turnaround.
Cardinal Getting Moore Help In Goal
Freshman goalkeeper John Moore, who has played in 11 games, ranks third in the Pac-10 in saves (40) and GAA (0.79). Moore has notched four shutouts on the season, including the first of his career on Sept. 15 in a 2-0 win over Sacramento State. His other three shutouts have come against Pac-10 competition. Nationally, Moore ranks 27th in GAA.
Head Coach Bret Simon
Head coach Bret Simon enters his sixth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2006. Simon has accumulated a 57-44-16 record on The Farm and ranks sixth in the Stanford history books in career wins (57). He needs one more victory to tie Sam Koch, who posted a 58-53-16 mark from 1984-89. Simon piloted the Cardinal to consecutive College Cup appearances in his first two seasons, including a trip to the championship game in 2002.