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Cal Clashes With Titans To Start 2022

Aug 22, 2022
Wyatt Meyer (28), Tate Dolan (3) and the Bears start the season in Fullerton.

BERKELEY – First-year head coach Leonard Griffin leads the California men's soccer team into the season opener at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The Golden Bears then host Villanova on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium.
The game in Fullerton will air on ESPN+. Fans can also follow live scores for Thursday's game here. Sunday's game vs. the Wildcats will air on the Pac-12 Networks (on both the national Pac-12 Network and local Pac-12 Bay Area) with live stats available here. As always, fans can follow Twitter updates for the Bears at @CalMSoc
The Bears finished preseason with a 3-0 record, capped off by a 2-1 victory over Pacific on Aug. 19 in Berkeley. Cal previously routed UC Riverside, 4-0, on Aug. 12 and beat Cal State Bakersfield, 1-0, on Aug. 14 in preseason action on the road.
Bears Beat Tigers
Evan Davila and Nonso Adimabua led a comeback win for Cal in its preseason finale last Friday, as the Golden Bears defeated Pacific, 2-1, at Edwards Stadium.
All the scoring took place over a five-minute span in the second half, starting with Pacific's 54th minute goal from Samuel Saiz.
In the 57th minute, Adimabua gathered a pass from Juan Martinez and slotted the ball by goalkeeper Eric Cotton from 15 yards out for the equalizer. At 58:15, Davila fired past Cotton from the flank to give the Bears a lead they would never relinquish.
Nonso Adimabua Named Player To Watch
New Bear Nonso Adimabua earned national distinction on Aug. 16 when the United Soccer Coaches named him to its list of 30 forwards to watch this season.
Adimabua, a junior transfer from San Francisco, played his freshman year at USF under Leonard Griffin. In the 2021 spring regular-season, Adimabua was named the WCC Freshman of the Year and named to the All-WCC first team after leading USF in points (11), goals (3) and assists (5).
In the fall of 2021, the Asaba, Nigeria, product led USF in points (11) and goals (5) and again earned All-WCC first-team status. Also in his sophomore season, Adimabua was named to the United Soccer Coaches West Region second team after he tied for third in shots on goal (17) in the WCC and finished fifth in shots (38), tied for fifth in goals and ninth in points in the conference.
About the Bears

  • In the preseason in Riverside, forward Nate Carrasco netted a brace, including the gamewinner, and midfielders Jake Himelstein and Rohan McEligot scored a goal apiece
  • Himelstein, off a McEligot assist, scored the winning goal in Bakersfield
  • One of many returning starters, Davila (2 goals, 4 assists) led the Bears in points (8) and assists last season
  • Along with Davila, the 2022 midfield could include Juan Martinez, Adrian Guzman and a host of other Bears
  • Also back are senior Jack Singer, junior defender Wyatt Meyer and forward Shoei Honda, a sophomore; all three tied for last year's team high in goals with three each
  • Other returning defenders include Singer, redshirt junior Tate Dolan, fifth-year senior Christian Gomez and sophomores Kevin Carmichael and Santiago Hopkins
  • This year's frontline could see some combination of Adimabua, Honda, Carrasco, Arman Samimi, fifth-year senior Jonathan Estrada and even the versatile Singer, who last season played in the back, in midfield and up front
  • Collin Travasos, a redshirt junior, is the most experienced goalkeeper for the Bears, starting 14 of 20 games
  • Head coach Leonard Griffin returned to Cal in March 2022, after leading Grand Canyon to a 15-4-1 record and to the NCAA tournament in fall 2021. A UCLA alumnus (class of 2005) and a former Cal assistant coach in 2013, Griffin was part of the Bruins' NCAA championship team in 2002.

About The Titans

  • Cal State Fullerton had a 3-11-3 record last fall
  • Midfielder Sebastian Cruz – who led the Titans with 17 points from seven goals and three assists last year – was named to the 2022 Big West Preseason All-Conference Team
  • Cruz – who also scored all of the Titans' gamewinning goals last season – earned 2021 Big West honorable mention
  • George Kuntz is in his ninth year as Cal State Fullerton's head coach

About The Wildcats

  • Villanova opens its season at Stanford on Thursday
  • The Wildcats were 12-8-1 last season and were 5-4-1 in the Big East
  • Nova reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last fall
  • Midfielder Lyam MacKinnon was named to the All-Big East second team
  • Last season, MacKinnon led Nova in points (21), goals (8) and assists (6)
  • Tom Carlin is in his 15th season as Villanova's head coach

Next Time
Cal returns to southern California to play at UC Irvine on Sept. 2 and at UC San Diego on Sept. 4.
Social Media
For more coverage of the Cal men's soccer team, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMSoc), Instagram (@CalMSoc) and Facebook (@CalMSoc).