Bears Reveal 2010 Schedule
June 8, 2010
BERKELEY - Fans of the California women's soccer team will have a lot of opportunities to see the Golden Bears play in their natural habitat of Edwards Stadium with 15 home games during the 2010 season, head coach Neil McGuire announced recently. Cal will play 19 games this fall as well as host a four-game tournament before taking on some of the best teams in the nation in the Pac-10 Conference.
Nine of Cal's 19 opponents played in last season's NCAA Tournament with seven of those nine teams advancing at least past the first round. UCLA and Stanford both went to the Women's College Cup with Stanford facing off against UNC in the national title match. Portland was one of the final eight teams, Oregon State went into the third round and Washington and Washington State both advanced to the second round.
'We are pleased with the balance of the schedule for this season,' McGuire, who is about to start his fourth year at Cal, said. 'We will be tested in both nonconference and conference play, which will prepare us well for any NCAA tournament match-up. Our roster is deep and there will be healthy competition for playing time.'
To view the complete schedule, please click here.
Cal will face off against former assistant coach Brian Zwaschka, who is the head coach of Fresno State, in an exhibition match against the Bulldogs on Aug. 13. The 2010 season officially begins Aug. 20 versus LMU. Cal will close its campaign-opening weekend Aug. 22 against Irvine.
The nonconference slate continues with an Aug. 27 match against Santa Clara. In 2009, the Bears and Broncos battled to a double-overtime 1-1 tie. SCU advanced to the third round of last season's NCAA Tournament, in which it lost to eventual national runner-up Stanford on penalty kicks.
The Bears will put on the annual Cal Invitational, which is in its 16th year, on Sept. 3 and 5, welcoming San Francisco, Hawaii and Rice. USF and Hawaii meet in the tournament opener at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 while Cal will play Rice at 4 p.m. On Sept. 5, the Dons and Owls play the earlier game (12:30 p.m.) while the Bears and Rainbow Wahine close the invitational at 3 p.m.
The incredible 10-game homestand continues with a Sept. 12 match-up against Long Beach State. The following weekend, Cal will see USF, which features former Golden Bear Maite Zabala as an assistant coach, on Sept. 17. That weekend closes with a 1 p.m. tilt with Pacific, which the Bears defeated, 3-0, in exhibition play in 2009. One of the highlights of the nonconference schedule will be perennial powerhouse Portland on Sept. 23. The Pilots advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to UCLA. Cal hits the road for the first time in 2010 with a short trip to Moraga, Calif., to play East Bay rival Saint Mary's on Oct. 2.
'Portland and Santa Clara are two of many key games in our non-conference segment that will allow us the ability to assess where we are relative to similar teams in our own conference,' McGuire noted. 'Our goal in nonconference play will be to allow our younger players to mature as well as help prime our upperclassmen for the battle of Pac-10 play.'
The Pac-10 season kicks off Oct. 8 with a two-game trip to Southern California. First up will be UCLA, which played in the semifinals of the Women's College Cup, on Oct. 8. The Bears will meet the Trojans of USC on Oct. 10.
Cal returns home to host Washington and Washington State on Oct. 15 and Oct. 17, respectively. For only the second true road trip of the season, the Bears will make their way to the desert to play Arizona (Oct. 22) and Arizona State (Oct. 24). While past seasons have seen the Bay Area Derby - the annual rival match between Cal and Stanford - close the regular season, the Bears and Cardinal will meet Oct. 30 in Berkeley.
The regular season and Pac-10 play concludes for the Bears with two home games. Cal hosts Oregon on Nov. 5 and Oregon State on Nov. 7 at Edwards Stadium. In 2009, the Pac-10 sent the most teams - eight of 10 - it had ever sent to the NCAA Tournament since 2000, when it sent seven.
'This year, like all years, will provide us with stiff competition in the Pac-10,' McGuire noted. 'All of the teams added some significant fire power to their rosters and we are looking forward to the challenge.'
The 2010 team will feature key senior leadership in forward and U.S. national team member Alex Morgan, U.S. under-23 national team member defender/midfielder Megan Jesolva, midfielder Emily Shibata and defender/forward McKenna McKetty. Cal finished the 2009 season at an 11-9-1 clip for the program's sixth-consecutive winning record and the 23nd in school history. The Bears went 4-5-0 in the Pac-10 to finish tied for sixth in the competitive conference. With an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the 2009 selection marked Cal's 17th playoff bid in program history, the 11th in the last 12 years and the sixth straight. Thanks to a 2-1 overtime win over Auburn in the opening round, the Bears advanced to the second round, in which they lost, 3-0, to host and No. 1-seeded Florida State.