No. 17 Cal Gets Set For First Round of NCAA College Cup
Nov. 20, 2007
Bears Host Aggies in College Cup
The No. 17 California men's soccer team returns to Berkeley to face UC Davis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Bears, who won their second consecutive Pac-10 championship on Nov. 11, earned their seventh consecutive bid to the national tournament and their 14th overall.
Cal (11-5-2, 6-3-1 Pac-10) will face the Aggies (12-4-3, 7-3-2 Big West) Friday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.
Cal Earns Seventh Straight Appearance to College Cup
Cal earned its seventh straight bid in the NCAA championships when the 48-team field was announced Monday afternoon. This is Golden Bears' 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which is also called the College Cup. Under head coach Kevin Grimes, a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007), Cal has amassed a 5-6-1 record in the postseason. Overall, the Bears have a 5-13-1 record in the national tournament.
This season, Cal boasts an impressive 7-1-1 record at Edwards Stadium, including winning their last six in a row at home.
The NCAA College Cup concludes with the semifinals on Dec. 14 and the final on Dec. 16 in Cary, N.C.
Grimes Once Again Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year
Kevin Grimes was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the third consecutive season and fourth time overall, and six Bears were awarded spots on the All-Pac-10 team Tuesday. Sophomore goalkeeper Stefan Frei, senior midfielder Andrew Jacobson and midfielder/forward Luke Sassano earned first-team all-conference recognition. Jacobson was also selected as the Pac-10 co-Player of the Year.
Two Bears collected second-team honors, freshman forward Andrew Wiedeman and senior forward Javier Ayala-Hil, and junior Tyler Barry earned honorable mention recognition.
Cal Falls to Stanford in Final Game of Regular Season
In the regular-season finale at Stanford last Saturday, the Bears fell to the Cardinal, 1-0, a Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. Cal had its chances, outshooting Stanford, 15-11, but couldn't find the back of the net.
Junior Pat Marion provided two shots on goal, while senior Javier Ayala-Hil and freshman Andrew Wiedeman recorded one each.
Scouting the Aggies
The Aggies, who were chosen to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll, finished second in their first official season as a member of the Big West Conference. They earned a conference record of 7-3-2 to finish one point ahead of Cal Poly and behind defending national champion UC Santa Barbara. The Aggies were unbeaten in their final six games.
UC Davis is making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The men's soccer team is the first UC Davis program to qualify for an NCAA Division I team tournament. The Aggies became official Division I members on July 17, 2007. Their last playoff appearance was at the Division II level during the 1999 season.
Dwayne Shaffer is in his 11th season as the head coach of UC Davis. He owns an overall record of 119-78-19 (.595). He is a former NSCAA West Region Coach of the Year honoree.
Frei Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Stefan Frei was selected last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week for his performances against Washington and Oregon State on Nov. 9 and 11. Frei earned his eighth and ninth shutouts of the season to guide Cal to its second consecutive Pac-10 championship. It was also the third time this year Frei posted back-to-back shutouts. Frei made seven saves against Oregon State, part of the 10 he recorded over the course of the weekend. He currently leads the conference in shutouts (9), saves per game (4.53) and save percentage (.875).
Ayala-Hil Makes Soccer America National Team of the Week
Javier Ayala-Hil was selected to last week's Soccer America National Team of the Week for his performance against UCLA on Nov. 4. In his final regular-season home game at Edwards Stadium, Ayala-Hil played a major role in the Bears' overtaking the Bruins for first place in the Pac-10. He was involved in all three Cal scores, tallying the first goal of the game and recording assists on the other two scores.
Bears on the Leaderboard
Andrew Wiedeman remains atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (16) and goals (6). Senior Javier Ayala-Hil leads the Bears in assists with five. Senior Andrew Jacobson and Ayala-Hil are second on the team in goals with three each, while juniors Tyler Barry and Pat Marion and freshmen Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco each have two goals. The goals from Paul, Marion, Barry, four of Wiedeman's scores and Luke Sassano's lone goal of the season were game winners. Wiedeman is also tied for the conference lead in game-winning goals. Freshman Scot Van Buskirk scored the other goal for the Bears this season. Jacobson leads the squad in shots (41), and Ayala-Hil tops Cal's chart in shots on goal with 20.
Wiedeman Earns National and Pac-10 Recognition
Andrew Wiedeman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week earlier this year for his performances on Oct. 5 and 7 against Washington and Oregon State. Wiedeman was also selected to Soccer America's Men's Team of the Week and College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. Wiedeman recorded two assists in Cal's 2-1 victory against Washington on Oct. 5 and scored the first two goals in the Bears' 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Oct. 7.
Besides Andrew Wiedeman, other members from the Bears' 16th-ranked recruiting class have been major contributors to the Bears' success in 2007. Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco have become proven forces to be reckoned with. In the season opener at USD, Paul and Carrasco got their collegiate careers off to an excellent start as they each scored in Cal's 2-0 victory. Paul headed in the game winner against Towson on Sept. 29, and Wiedeman scored twice against Davidson on Sept. 21 and Oregon State on Oct. 7. Wiedeman has produced four game-winning goals, most recently against Washington on Nov. 9.
In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco currently boasts three assists. Scot Van Buskirk scored his first goal of the season against Oregon State. Demitrius Omphroy has recorded two assists and A.J. Soares has collected one assist thus far.
Wiedeman and Soares are the only freshmen to start all 18 contests this season. Carrasco has started 16.
Head Coach Kevin Grimes
Kevin Grimes continues his eighth season as the leader of the California men's soccer program after coming off some of his best seasons as a Golden Bear and his unprecedented third - and second straight - Pac-10 Coach of the Year award (2002 and 2005-06).
So far this season, Grimes clinched the Golden Bears' seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance achieving his 90th career victory along the way. Cal won its second consecutive Pac-10 championship last Sunday in a 0-0 tie against Oregon State.
Cal reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, compiling a 13-6-1 overall record and a 7-3-0 conference mark. Among the big wins during the regular season were upsets of ninth-ranked UCLA, 3-1, on Sept. 22 and ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has a 92-56-15 overall record at Cal. He earned his 90th victory in a 1-0 decision against San Diego State on Nov. 2. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 90-win plateau, and Grimes' 91 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who has 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and former head coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.