Nov. 26, 2007
Cal Plays at Virginia Tech in Second Round of NCAA College Cup
Seventeenth-ranked California (12-5-2), the 2007 Pac-10 champion, travels to No. 11 seed Virginia Tech (11-3-5) in a second-round match of the NCAA College Cup at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Tech Soccer Stadium in Blacksburg, Va. This year marks the seventh consecutive postseason appearance for the Golden Bears and their 14th overall. For the Hokies, they are making their third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Virginia Tech earned a first-round bye after earning a No. 11 seed in the tournament.
The Bears earned an automatic bid into the NCAA College Cup when they won the 2007 Pac-10 title. Cal has now won back-to-back conference championships after claiming its first-ever crown in 2006.
The Bears have a 3-1-1 record against other teams in the College Cup field this season. Cal beat Washington twice (2-1 and 1-0), split the two contests against UCLA (L 1-0, W 3-1) and tied Santa Clara (0-0).
Eighth-year head coach Kevin Grimes, named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time, has led the Bears to an 8-1-1 home mark and 4-4-1 when playing away from Berkeley in 2007.
Under Grimes, Cal has a 6-6-1 record in the postseason. Overall, the Bears have a 6-13-1 record in the tournament.
Bears Defeat UC Davis in Double Overtime
In the first round of the NCAA College Cup, Cal beat No. 25 UC Davis, 2-1, in double overtime at Edwards Stadium on Nov. 23 in Berkeley. In front of 3,479 fans, freshman Andrew Wiedeman scored the game-winning goal after a throw-in from senior Luke Sassano to advance the Golden Bears to the second round. It was Wiedeman's fifth game-winning goal of the season. The Bears got on the board first in the 33rd minute with a goal from senior Andrew Jacobson, with another assist from Sassano. Jacobson's long-range shot got past goalkeeper Ryan McCown to give Cal an early advantage.
Scouting the Hokies
In its last time out, Virginia Tech lost, 3-1, in a semifinal game in the ACC championships to eventual winner Boston College.
Robert Edmans and Patrick Nyarko are the Hokies' leading scorers, each with a team-high 18 points. Edmans leads the squad in goals (7), while Nyarko is tied for the team lead in assists (8).
Virginia Tech dropped a 2-1 decision at UNC-Greensboro in the first round last season. The Hokies are still looking for their first playoff win as they enter Wednesday's contest with a playoff record of 0-2-2.
Oliver Weiss is in his sixth season as the head coach of Virginia Tech. He owns an overall record of 65-38-16. This is Virginia Tech's fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past six seasons under Weiss.
Bears On The Leaderboard
Andrew Wiedeman remains atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (18) and goals (7). Wiedeman scored the seven goals with only 13 shots on goal. Javier Ayala-Hil and Luke Sassano are tied for the team lead in assists with five. Andrew Jacobson is second in goals (4), Ayala-Hil has three and Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco each have two goals. The goals from Paul, Marion, Barry, five of Wiedeman's scores and Sassano's lone goal of the season were game winners. Scot Van Buskirk scored the other goal for the Bears this season. Jacobson leads the squad in shots (44), and Ayala-Hil tops Cal's chart in shots on goal with 20.
In the National Stats
One of the top defensive teams in the country, Cal completed the regular season ranked among the Top 25 in three key categories: save percentage (51th, .868), goals-against average (14th, .640) and shutout percentage (21st, 0.50 with nine shutouts). The Bears allowed more than one goal just twice in 18 games. Individually, sophomore Stefan Frei is seventh in the nation in save percentage (.869) and 19th in goals-against average (0.643). He has played every minute on the season and allowed just 13 goals. As a freshman in 2006, he saw action in six games, recording two wins and a 0.59 goals-against average.
In the National Polls
Cal enters the postseason ranked 18th in both the Soccer America and the Soccer Times national polls. The Bears are also 17th according to College Soccer News and 20th in the NSCAA poll. During the course of the year, Cal reached as high as seventh.
Besides Andrew Wiedeman, other members from the Bears' 16th-ranked recruiting class have been major contributors to the Bears' success in 2007. Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco have become proven forces to be reckoned with. In the season opener at USD, Paul and Carrasco got their collegiate careers off to an excellent start as they each scored in Cal's 2-0 victory. Paul headed in the game winner against Towson on Sept. 29, and Wiedeman scored twice against Davidson on Sept. 21 and Oregon State on Oct. 7. Wiedeman has produced five game-winning goals, most recently against UC Davis in Cal's first-round win.
In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco currently boasts three assists. Scot Van Buskirk scored his first goal of the season against Oregon State. Demitrius Omphroy has recorded two assists and A.J. Soares has collected one assist thus far.
Wiedeman and Soares are the only freshmen to start all 19 contests this season. Carrasco has started 17 of the 19.
Head Coach Kevin Grimes
Kevin Grimes continues his eighth season as the leader of the California men's soccer program after coming off some of his best seasons as a Golden Bear and his unprecedented fourth - and third straight - Pac-10 Coach of the Year award (2002 and 2005-07).
So far this season, Grimes and the Bears clinched their seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance, achieving his 90th career victory along the way. Cal won its second consecutive Pac-10 championship on Nov. 11 in a 0-0 tie against Oregon State.
Cal reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, compiling a 13-6-1 overall record and a 7-3-0 conference mark. Among the big wins during the regular season were upsets of ninth-ranked UCLA, 3-1, on Sept. 22 and ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has a 93-56-15 overall record at Cal. He earned his 90th victory in a 1-0 decision against San Diego State on Nov. 2. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 90-win plateau, and Grimes' 93 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who has 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and former head coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.
Three Bears Picked for All-Pac-10 First Team
Stefan Frei, Andrew Jacobson and Luke Sassano earned first-team all-conference recognition. Jacobson was also selected as the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year.
Jacobson is one of the three captains for the Golden Bears. He ended the regular season with nine points (3 goals, 3 assists) and led the team in shots (44). He scored two of his goals against San Diego State on Oct. 12 and also scored in the Bears' first-round victory against UC Davis. This marks the third time he earned first-team all-conference honors, Jacobson shares his Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year honors with Ely Allen from Washington.
Sassano is another captain on the team. He ended the regular season on a high note, notching five points (1 goal, 3 assists). Against UCLA on Senior Day, Sassano had one assist and scored the game-winning goal. Sassano also recorded two assists against UC Davis last week.
Frei turned in some strong performances as the Bears' goalkeeper in 2007. Frei led the Pac-10 in shutouts (9), save percentage (.868) and saves per game (4.39), notching back-to-back shutouts three different times. He had a career-best 12 saves in a match against Santa Clara (Sept. 16). He has played every minute on the season and allowed just 13 goals.
Two Bears collected second-team honors, Andrew Wiedeman and Javier Ayala-Hil. Wiedeman, who leads the Bears in points (18) and goals (7), was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and selected to the Soccer America Men's Team of the Week and the College Soccer News' National Team of the Week on Oct. 9 for his six-point weekend against Washington on Oct. 5 and Oregon State on Oct. 7. He scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against UC Davis last Friday.
Ayala-Hil, Cal's third co-captain in 2007, garnered Soccer America Men'sTeam of the Week honors after recording four points (1 goal, 2 assists) on Senior Day in Cal's 3-1 victory over UCLA. He led the team in assists (5) heading into the postseason. In the Bears' win against Stanford on Oct. 20, he had an assist on the game's only goal and recorded three shots on goal.
Junior defender Tyler Barry earned honorable mention honors.
Frei Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Stefan Frei was selected Pac-10 Player of the Week for his performances against Washington and Oregon State on Nov. 9 and 11. Frei earned his eighth and ninth shutouts of the season to guide Cal to its second consecutive Pac-10 championship. It was also the third time this year Frei posted back-to-back shutouts. Frei made seven saves against Oregon State, part of the 10 he recorded over the course of the weekend. He currently leads the conference in shutouts (9), saves per game (4.53) and save percentage (.869).
Ayala-Hil Makes Soccer America National Team of the Week
Earlier this season, Javier Ayala-Hil was selected to the Soccer America National Team of the Week for his performance against UCLA on Nov. 4. In his final regular-season home game, Ayala-Hil played a major role in the Bears' overtaking the Bruins for first place in the Pac-10. He was involved in all three Cal scores, tallying the first goal of the game and recording assists on the other two scores.
Wiedeman Earns National and Pac-10 Recognition
Andrew Wiedeman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week earlier this year for his performances on Oct. 5 and 7 against Washington and Oregon State. Wiedeman was also selected to Soccer America's Men's Team of the Week and College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. Wiedeman recorded two assists in Cal's 2-1 victory against Washington on Oct. 5 and scored the first two goals in the Bears' 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Oct. 7.
Jacobson Named Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year
One of Cal's biggest playmakers throughout the 2007 campaign has been the 2007 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year, Andrew Jacobson. Jacobson, who scored his first two goals of the season on Oct. 12 against San Diego State, leads the team in shots is also tied for second on the team in points (11) and second in shots on goal (14). On Senior Day against UCLA, Jacobson scored in his final regular-season home match. Jacobson also got Cal's first goal in the Bears' 2-1 victory over UC Davis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.