No. 18 Cal Opens 2007 With Exhibition Vs. UC Davis

Aug. 21, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. - The 18th-ranked California women's soccer team opens the 2007 season with an exhibition game at UC Davis Friday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. at Aggie Soccer Stadium. Cal is ranked No. 18 in the preseason NSCAA/adidas Top 25 Poll.

UC Davis finished the 2006 season with a 9-6-2 record. The Golden Bears hold a 7-0-1 all-time record against the Aggies. The last time the teams faced each other Cal posted a 3-0 exhibition win in 2004, which doesn't count towards the series history.

Friday marks the Bears' first game under the direction of Neil McGuire, who was the head coach at Texas Tech the last two seasons. McGuire takes over a Cal program which posted a 12-5-5 overall record last season and advanced to the second round of the postseason, marking the program's eighth bid in the last nine seasons.

Cal returns seven starters and six seniors who have all seen a lot of playing time for the Bears. Three of the returning starters are from Cal's dominant backline. Seniors Courtney Hooker and Kristine Relja and junior Nkechi Kanu played major roles in the Bears posting 12 shutouts and a 0.69 goals-against average last year. Hooker earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors, and Kanu was an honorable mention choice.

The Bears also feature two Pac-10 honor recipients in the midfield in senior Caroline Lea and sophomore Kelly Menachof. Lea garnered her second straight second-team conference selection, while Menachof was named to the first-ever Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

Midfielders Caitlin Hannegan and Laurie Gartrell and forward Stephanie Wieger round out Cal's seniors.

Cal opens the regular season as host of the 13th-annual Cal Invitational Labor Day Weekend. The Bears face Columbia Friday, Aug. 31, at 4:30 p.m. on the opening day of the tournament.

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