September 9, 1998
THIS WEEK: Friday, Sept. 11 at University of Alabama-Birmingham Birmingham, AL 8:00 p.m. CT Sunday, Sept. 13 vs. #17 St. Louis Birmingham, AL noon CT
BEARS CONTINUE ROAD TRIP: Cal plays the third and fourth games of its nine-game road trip against this weekend at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Bell South Classic. The Golden Bears open the tournament against UAB, Friday, at 8 p.m. CT. Sunday at noon CT, the Bears wrap up tournament play against 17th-ranked (NSCAA) St. Louis.
ABOUT UAB: UAB boasts a 2-1 mark following last weekend's action. The team posted wins against Southern Alabama, 2-0, and Alabama A&M, 7-1, while it lost to Furman, 1-0. Last year, UAB finished fourth in Conference USA with a 4-3-1 mark and a 10-8-1 overall record.
ABOUT ST. LOUIS: A final four team in '97, St. Louis is ranked 17th in this week's NSCAA poll after being ranked fourth in the pre-season. Surprisingly, the Billikens dropped 13 places after losing to 10th-ranked Creighton (now ranked fifth) Sept. 4, 1-0. The Conference USA team has wins against Tulsa (3-0) and Drake (2-1). The Billikens are 2-1 heading into Wednesday's home game with Southwest Missouri State. St. Louis is led by Last season, St. Louis posted a 17-5-3 record in '97 before losing to Virginia, 3-1, in the NCAA semifinal under then-first-year head coach Bob Warming. Warming's '98 squad has seven returning starters and is led by senior midfielders Kevin Kalish and Mike Moriarty.
SIMMONDS AND MACDONALD -- GO-TO SCORERS?: Heading into 98, coach Mallon predicted that sophomore Kendall Simmonds (Simi Valley) and junior John MacDonald (Granada Hills) would be a deadly combination and make up for the loss of Adam Hunter, the team's leading scorer the last two seasons. Early on, Mallon appears to be a profit. Simmonds netted both of Cal's goals in the 2-1 win over Butler, including the game winner with 86:01 on the clock. After the first weekend of play, Simmonds already has four points after tallying 12 points (five goals, two assists) in '97. MacDonald assisted on both of Simmonds goals.
FRESHMEN CALLED INTO ACTION: Chris Roner (Novato) and Brian Purcell (Barrington, RI) were the only true freshmen on the Indiana Classic travel squad and both saw playing time in both games. Roner earned his first collegiate start against Indiana.
CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: California's 1998 schedule is one of the toughest in the country. The Bears play three of the final four teams from 1997 (UCLA, Indiana and St. Louis), six pre-season Top 10 ranked teams and the last two NCAA champions in UCLA (1997) and St. Johns (1996).
HEAD COACH: Mark Mallon returns for his sixth season as head coach of the Bears with a school and career record of 43-46-8, including a 24-14-3 mark since the 1996 season. In '97, Mallon's squad jumped to a 4-0-1 mark and a No. 10 national ranking before a series of injuries effected his team's play. Mallon is joined by first-year assistants Manoj Khettry, Peter Woodring and Drew Leonard.
IN REVIEW -- BEARS HOLD OWN AGAINST NOW NO. 1 INDIANA: Cal kicked off its season in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 win over Butler, the defending MCC champion, at the Indiana-Adidas/Metlife Classic. Simmonds posted both of the Bears goals, including a header with just under four minutes remaining to secure the win. In the tournament final, Cal lost to then-third-ranked Indiana, 2-0, propelling the Hoosiers into the No. 1 ranking in the coaches' poll. In the first half, the Bears had an apparent game-tying header waved off due to a handball. The Bears placed three players on the all-tournament team: senior MF Brandon Moggio (Northville, MI) junior GK Doug Brooks (Succasunna, NJ) and Simmonds.