Dec. 6, 2007
BERKELEY - The California men's soccer team had a banner year in 2007, as the Golden Bears won their second straight Pac-10 title and made their seventh straight appearance in the NCAA College Cup, advancing to the second round. Head coach Kevin Grimes added to his legacy, capturing an unprecedented fourth and third consecutive Pac-10 Head Coach of the Year award. Cal wrapped up the campaign with a final record of (12-6-2, 6-3-1).
The veteran leadership paved the way for the Bears' success this season. Seniors Andrew Jacobson, Javier Ayala-Hil and Luke Sassano made their presence felt, as all three made the All-Pac-10 team, Jacobson and Sassano as first-team picks and Ayala-Hil as a second-team choice. Jacobson was also named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He tied for the team lead in shots with Ayala-Hil (44), collected 11 points (4 goals, 3 assists) and had 15 shots on goal. Ayala-Hil garnered Soccer America National Team of the Week honors after recording four points (1 goal, 2 assists) on Senior Day in Cal's 3-1 victory over UCLA. In conference games, Ayala-Hil's five assists led the league.
Among Cal's 16th-ranked recruiting class, freshman Andrew Wiedeman emerged as one of the team's top competitors. Wiedeman, an All-Pac-10 second-team choice, earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and was selected to the Soccer America National 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. Wiedeman ended the season as the team leader in points (20), goals (7) and assists (6). Not only did he rack up the points, but Wiedeman also proved to pull through in the clutch, as five of his goals were game winners.
Another key component to the team was sophomore keeper Stefan Frei. Frei had an outstanding season, garnering All-Pac-10 first-team honors and was selected the 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 the Pac-10 championship. It was also the third time Frei posted back-to-back shutouts. Earlier in the season, Frei recorded a career-best 12 saves when Cal tied Santa Clara, 0-0 He ended the year leading the conference in save percentage (.850), saves (91), saves per game (4.55) and shutouts (9). In Pac-10 contests, Frei also led all keepers in goals-against average (0.68).
The Bears had some tough matches in accumulating their 12 wins in 2007. In the final tune-up before starting conference play, Cal pulled out a double-overtime victory against 2006 NCAA participant Towson. Freshman Davis Paul headed in the game winner to increase the Bears' winning streak to three. When Cal squared off against Stanford in the first meeting of the year, it was junior Pat Marion who scored the game's only goal, as the defense shut down Stanford and recorded its sixth shutout of the season. On Senior Day against UCLA, all three seniors scored as the Bears beat the Bruins, 3-1. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Cal won a hard-fought match against UC Davis, 2-1. Wiedeman sent the Bears into the second round with his goal in double overtime.