Oct. 7, 2008
Fifth-ranked California returns to Berkeley this weekend to face Southern California rivals UCLA and San Diego State. The Golden Bears (6-1-3, 1-0-1) opened Pac-10 play last weeked in the Pacific Northwest and left with a win and a tie. The Bears will battle UCLA on Friday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. and SDSU on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 2:30 p.m. Both contests will be played at Edwards Stadium.
Bears Beat Beavers, Tie Huskies
Last weekend, Cal topped Oregon State, 3-0, and tied Washington, 2-2, opening conference play on the road. Against the Beavers, junior goalkeeper Stefan Frei made five saves and earned his fourth shutout of the season. Senior Tyler Barry scored his second goal of the year and tallied an assist on another goal. The Bears' star against the Huskies was sophomore Andrew Wiedeman, who collected both of Cal's goals. The goals were the fourth and fifth of 2008 for Wiedeman, and he now currently has 14 points on the year.
In the Rankings
With last week's success, Cal has moved back into the top 10 of every major national poll, and crept back into the top 5 of a few as well. In the NSCAA poll, the Bears jumped up from No. 10 to No. 6. They're currently ranked No. 5 in three other polls - Soccer Times College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer. Cal returned to the top 10 in the Soccer America poll, coming in at No. 9.
Among conference leaders, Stefan Frei leads the Pac-10 in goals-against average at 0.66, saves (34) and shutouts (4). Sophomore Hector Jimenez leads the Pac-10 in assists with six. Wiedeman also leads the conference in points (14) and is tied for first in game-winning goals (2).
Cal, as a team, leads the conference in shots (140), points (65), assists (25), shutouts (5), goals allowed (7) and goals-against average (0.66), and is tied for first in goals with 20.
Scoring Early and Often
In four of Cal's six wins this season, the Bears have pounced on their opponents early, scoring within the first 10 minutes of the contest. The trend started in the season opener against UC Riverside when senior Pat Marion notched the first goal of the season in the fourth minute. In both contests last weekend, Cal tallied the first score within the first 10 minutes. In addition to scoring early, the Bears' goal production is up from a year ago. Cal is currently tied for the conference lead in goals with 20. This time last year, the Bears had only recorded 14 goals.
Scouting the Opposition
UCLA and SDSU met last weekend in their conference opener, with the contest ending in a 3-3 tie. The Bruins (2-3-5, 0-0-1) have had their last four matches end in draws. Before the tie with the Bruins, the Aztecs (2-5-1, 0-0-1) had lost their previous three matches, including a 2-1 decisison against then-No. 23 UC Davis. When these teams met last year in Berkeley, Cal topped UCLA, 3-1, on Senior Day and knocked off SDSU, 1-0, two days before that.
The Bears travel to Stanford for the second time this season, this time to face the Cardinal. Cal and Stanford will meet on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at Maloney Field. The following week is the Bears' bye week.