No. 8/7 Cal Opens on Road at Georgetown, No. 1/8 Maryland

Sept. 1, 2009

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This Week

California opens the 2009 regular season with road games against Georgetown on Friday, Sept. 4, and defending NCAA College Cup champion Maryland on Sunday, Sept. 6. The Golden Bears battle the Hoyas at 1 p.m. PT on Friday in Washington, D.C., and take on the No. 1/8 Terrapins, who ended Cal's run in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, at 7 p.m. in College Park, Md.

This marks the first meeting between Cal and Georgetown. The Bears have a 1-1 record in the all-time series with the Terrapins, with both meetings coming last year. The Bears defeated Maryland, 1-0, in the 2008 regular season.

In a pair of preseason polls, Cal is ranked No. 8 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and No. 7 by Soccer America magazine.

Scouting the Golden Bears

Cal brings back eight of 11 starters from the squad that made a deep run in the 2008 NCAA College Cup. Leading the way is junior NSCAA All-American forward Andrew Wiedeman, who led Cal in points (29), goals (12) and game-winning goals (4) last season. Also back are junior midfielder Hector Jimenez and junior defender A.J. Soares, both of whom joined Wiedeman on the 2008 NSCAA Far West All-Region team.

Last Year vs. Maryland

Cal played Maryland in the second game of 2008, topping Maryland, 1-0, in a neutral-site game at UCLA on Aug. 13. Then-sophomore midfielder Servando Carrasco scored at the 86:30 mark for the Bears.

The Terrapins took a 2-0 lead against Cal on Nov. 29 in the NCAA College Cup's third round before Andrew Wiedeman scored at 67.37. Cal goalkeeper Stefan Frei made seven saves in his last game as a Bear, as Maryland won, 2-1.

Scouting the Opposition

Georgetown opens its season at 2 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Aelphi before hosting Cal on Friday, Sept. 4. The Hoyas (1-5-3 record in 2008) were picked to duplicate their 2008 third-place finish in the Blue Division of the Big East Conference in the Big East preseason poll.

Senior defender Len Coleman, a third-team all-Big East pick last season, earned a spot on this year's preseason all-Big East team. Senior midfielder Scott Larrabee is the Hoyas' top returning scorer (11 points from 4 goals, 3 assists). Brian Wiese is in his fourth season as Georgetown head coach.

The Terrapins open this season by hosting UCLA at 5 p.m. PT on Sept. 4 before hosting Cal at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6.

Sophomore forward Casey Townsend, who earned spots on the 2008 All-ACC Freshman Team and All-ACC Tournament Team, is the Terps' top returning scorer. He ranked second at Maryland in goals (11) and points (26) last year. Sophomore Zac MacMath, a fellow 2008 All-ACC freshman honoree, started 20 games in goal last year and produced a 0.44 GAA. Sasho Cirovski, who also led the Terps to the 2005 NCAA title, is in his 17th year as Maryland head coach.

Next Week

Cal hosts two games of the Cal Legacy Classic at Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field in Berkeley. The Bears will play George Washington at 4 p.m. on Sept. 11 and then take on Cal Poly at 2 p.m. on Sept. 13.

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