Bears Head To The Farm
STANFORD - The Golden Bears (3-2-0, 2-2-0 Pac-12) are off to rival territory on March 20 to face the reigning national champion Stanford at 7:30 p.m. in Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The Bears and the 20th-ranked Cardinal will compete in a nonconference rivalry game that will not count towards conference standings.
Cal looks to rebound from a loss against the now 23rd-ranked Huskies on Sunday. The Bears dropped from the United Soccer Coaches poll but enter this week ranked 23rd in the TopDrawerSoccer poll.
The Bears look to bring the pace back in their attack after being outshot for the first time against the Huskies, 15-10. Despite being outshot, Cal maintained a 1-0 lead from the seventh minute all the way to the 65th minute against Washington. The Bears fell 2-1 against the Huskies, the same results from their first loss against the Utes.
Cal is currently 2-2 in games in which the Bears only scored one goal. The Bears will need to create more scoring opportunities to gain an edge against the Cardinal. Cal has only scored multiple goals against the Beavers in their first game, 3-1.
Cal faces a Stanford team with a 4-2-0 (3-1-0 Pac-12) record. The rivalry game will be televised on Pac-12 Bay Area. Fans may also follow along with live stats and updates from @CalWSoc on Twitter.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
The 20th-ranked Cardinal is coming off a 1-0 win on March 12 against Washington, the same opponent that handed Cal a loss last weekend. Stanford has two losses against Oregon State and Oregon. Cal has beaten both teams the Cardinal fell to.
Stanford currently averages two goals a game, so sending the ball to the back of the net early will be important for the Bears. The Cardinal has scored 12 times this season, with three goals each from Samantha Williams and Civana Kuhlmann. The Card posted a team season high against Utah in a 5-0 shutout win.
The Bears must continue to attack against a Stanford team that averages a 12-8 shot advantage per game against opponents. Stanford has set some dangerous plays from their 23 corner kick opportunities. The Golden Bear attack has gathered 26 corners and will need to keep up this pace against the reigning national champs.
The last time Cal faced the Card, the Bears suffered a 4-0 loss against the championship-bound team. The Bears struggled to find offensive momentum and were outshot 39-1.
The Bears are facing a much younger Cardinal team with 16 underclassmen on the roster this spring. Stanford does return three All-Americans though, in Naomi Girma, Madison Haley and Kiki Pickett.
Overall, the Bears trail in the rivalry series, 12-22-5. At the Farm, the Bears trail 5-11-3.
WESTIN KEEPS ROLLING
Senior midfielder Emma Westin scored her third goal of the season against Washington.
Westin scored her first goal and the first Golden Bear goal of the season off a penalty kick against Oregon State on Feb. 26. In that same game she earned her first assist off a goal from Anysa Gray. The senior midfielder posted her second goal in the following game, scoring the game winner against Oregon on Feb. 28.
Both a playmaker and finisher, Westin also gained a second assist off a give-and-go pass to Keely Roy against Utah that clinched the game for the Bears.
Westin led the Bears in scoring in 2019 and is on track to hold that title again in for the spring 2021 season. With three goals, two assists and eight points, she leads the Bears in all three columns.
In addition to helping tally two clean sheets so far this season, two Cal defenders have helped the Bears' attack in scoring.
Junior Sydney Collins collected her first collegiate goal against Colorado on March 7. Collins tackled the ball away from a Buffalo forward and made a long dribbling run from midfield before scoring unassisted.
Freshman Maya Evans earned her first career assist on March 14 against Washington after sending a long midfield pass to Emma Westin that led to a goal.
The Bears have made many trips to the attacking third in the first five games and have won three of four games in which they held a shot advantage. Cal has also earned many set play opportunities with 26 corner kicks. The Bears must look to convert more shots to goals as they advance in the season.
Sophomore transfer Keely Roy, who leads the Bears with 17 shots, collected her first Cal goal against Utah and has been a key force in the Bears' attack.
IN THE ONE HUNDRED
Cal's Angelina Anderson (GK) and Emily Smith (D) were both named to the MAC Hermann Award Watch List. The Hermann Trophy is awarded annually to the top male and female college soccer players. Both Bears were also selected in the National Top 100 on TopDrawerSoccer.
Both Anderson and Smith enter the 2020-21 season with great success to build off of. The duo received All-American honors at the end of the 2019 season - Anderson was selected as a second-team All-American and Smith garnered second-team Scholar All-America honors.
Racing Louiville FC selected senior defender Emily Smith in the second round of the 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft. Smith, chosen with the 31st overall pick, will report to Louisville following the 2021 season.
IN THE POLLS
The Bears drop to no. 24 on TopDrawerSoccer polls following the loss to the Washington Huskies last week. Cal fell out of the United Soccer Coaches rankings following its second loss.
Cal returns home to Berkeley for matches on March 26 and March 28 against Oregon and Oregon State, respectively, with the Bears playing both schools for the second time this season. The Oregon game will count towards conference standings while the Oregon State game will be a nonconference game.