No. 22 Cal Returns Home to Host BYU, Santa Clara
Sept. 24, 2008
Thurs., Sept. 25 No. 22 Cal vs. BYU Berkeley 4 p.m.Sun., Sept. 28 No. 22 Cal vs. Santa Clara Berkeley 4 p.m.
Bears Complete NonConference Schedule
California (5-3-0) returns home, where it has a 2-1 record, after a difficult weekend on the road. This weekends' games against BYU (6-4-0) on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. and Santa Clara (3-5-1) on Sunday at 1 p.m. are Cal's final nonconference games before opening Pac-10 play next weekend. Neither opponent is national ranked, but BYU is receiveing votes in the Soccer Buzz poll.
Bears Drop Two Games in Texas
Cal lost, 1-0, to No. 8 Texas A&M on Sept. 19 in front of a crowd of 3,323 in College Station, Texas. The Golden Bears out shot the Aggies, 17-11, and had five shots on goal. Tough defense kept both teams scoreless in the first half. The Aggies got on the board in the 52nd minute when Inge Harding scored an unassisted goal off a second chance. Despite several shots on goal in the second period, the Bears could not convert. Junior keeper Gina Pellegrini had eight saves in the box and five different Bears had one shot on goal each - Nkechi Kanu, Katrin Omarsdottir, Alex Morgan, Megan Jesolva and Camellia Senemar. On Sunday, Sept. 21, Cal dropped a heartbreaker in the final seconds, 2-1, to No. 7 Texas. The Golden Bears held a 1-0 lead for much of the game before the Longhorns tallied two goals in the second half to push ahead for good. Cal struck first with a goal from Morgan with 15:23 to play in the first half and the Bears remained in the lead until the 73rd minute when UT tied the score at 1-1. The teams appeared headed into overtime until the Longhorns scored at 89:21.
Morgan Paces Bears on Road Trip
Cal sophomore forward Alex Morgan scored in the Bears' 2-1 loss to No. 7 Texas on Sunday. Sophomore Megan Jesolva sent the kick into the penalty area, pulling UT keeper Dianna Pfenninger away from the net. The ball deflected off a diving Pfenninger to Morgan, who recorded her fifth goal of the season. The Diamond Bar, Calif., native led the team in shots on goal - one on A&M and three against Texas - over the weekend.
Cal in the Polls
After moving up in the polls for two consecutive weeks, the Bears droped slightly in the national polls this week. Cal moves from No. 18 to No. 22 in the NSCAA poll and from No. 16 to No. 20 in the Soccer Times edition. The Bears are now No. 23 (from No. 22 last week) according to Soccer America and went from No. 16 in the Soccer Buzz poll to receiving votes.
The Bears have shutout four of their six opponents in 2008. Cal's first clean sheet of the season was a 6-0 defeat of Saint Joseph's on Aug. 30. Cal had 10 shutouts in 2007, which was the fourth consecutive season with double-digit shutouts. The program record is 14, which was most recently tied in 2005.
Scouting the Cougars and Broncos
BYU holds a 3-0-0 all-time series lead over Cal, with the last meeting between the two occurring in 2005, when the Bears lost 1-0 in Provo, Utah in front of 3,810 fans. BYU brings a three-game winning streak to California with its most recent win coming Sept. 20 against previously undefeated Michigan State. The Broncos and Bears have a more storied history with Cal narrowly maintaining the 16-13-3 all-time lead as well as a three-game winning streak. SCU's 3-5-1 record is deceptive with three of the Broncos' five losses coming from teams nationally ranked in the top 10.