Oct. 17, 2006
The seventh-ranked California men's soccer team (10-3-1 record, 5-1-0/15 points, 1st place Pac-10) plays its final regular-season home game when it hosts unranked Pac-10 rival Stanford (6-5-3, 4-1-1/13 points, 2nd Pac-10) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium.
The game will also feature Senior Day, as the Golden Bears honor their six seniors: midfielder Eric Ebert, defender Andrew Felder, midfielder Nick Hatzke, forward Matt Holtrust, goalkeeper Mike Oseguera, defender Steve Purdy.
This is a key matchup, as the conference-leading Bears pace Stanford by just two points with three more Pac-10 games to go after this week. The Bears play the Cardinal in one of those games, their last regular-season game, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, at Stanford.
The Bears, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, were originally scheduled to host the Cardinal on Sept. 30, but that game was rescheduled to this week because the game officials never arrived.
Besides the Pac-10 and postseason implications, this game and the Nov. 3 matchup between the two teams will decide who earns the five points from the two-game season series as part of the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge.
Purdy Named Pac-10 Player of the Week
Purdy was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week this week after scoring the game-winning goal against Oregon State last Friday and leading a defense that shut down conference-leading scorer Kevin Forrest in Cal's 3-2 (1OT) win over Washington last Sunday.
This is Purdy's first Pac-10 Player of the Week award and the Bears' 10th such honor overall. He is Cal's second-leading scorer (9 points) and goalscorer (4) and is tied with two teammates for second in game-winning goals (2).
Against the Beavers, Purdy hit a 30-yard free kick in the 85th minute to give Cal a 1-0 victory. The Huskies' Forrest, who leads the Pac-10 with 23 points (11 goals, 1 assist), had just two shots, no goals and no assists against Purdy and the Bears.
In the National Polls
Cal earned its highest national ranking of the season when the NSCAA/adidas poll moved the Bears up 12 spots to No. 7 this week. College Soccer News ranks Cal ninth, Soccer Times ranks Cal 10th and Soccer America tabs Cal 17th.
Leading the Pac
Cal leads the conference in various categories, including shutouts (7), lowest GAA (0.63), lowest goals allowed (7) and least yellow cards (7).
Individually in the Pac-10, Myers and Frei rank 1-2 in GAA (0.56 and 0.59, respectively), Frei and Myers rank 1-2 in save percentage (0.857 and 0.828) and Myers leads the way with five shutouts.
Ayala-Hil is No. 2 in the conference in goals (6) and is tied for No. 2 in the conference in scoring (14 points) and game-winning goals (3). He ranks third in goals per game (0.43).
Last Week: Cal Sweeps Oregon State, Washington
Cal swept Oregon State and Washington last week, and for the season, after Purdy's clutch goal beat the Beavers in the 85th minute last Friday and after the Bears survived a back and forth battle with the Huskies in overtime last Sunday in Berkeley.
The Huskies took leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Ayala-Hil tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal of the game in the 65th minute and junior midfielder Luke Sassano sent the game to overtime with his strike in the 80th minute. Ayala-Hil scored the winner in the 97th minute.
Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford has a 6-5-1 record (4-1-1/13 points, 2nd Pac-10) after splitting this past weekend with Washington and Oregon State at home. The Cardinal lost to Washington, 2-0, and beat Oregon State, 2-0, one week after sweeping the Beavers, 2-0, and the Huskies, 2-0, in the Pacific Northwest.
Senior midfielder Galen Thompson, who was the Pac-10 Player of the Week last week, leads the Cardinal in scoring (9). He is tied with junior midfielder Evan Morgan for the Stanford lead in goals (3 each) and is tied with junior midfielder Kyle Hency for the Cardinal lead in assists (3 each).
Junior defender Scott Bolkan scored in the 54th minute and Morgan scored in the 79th against OSU last Sunday.
Freshman goalkeeper John Moore has a 0.74 GAA and a 5-2-2 record in eight starts out of nine games played.
Bret Simon is in his sixth year as head coach at Stanford. He previously took Creighton to two NCAA College Cups (1996 and 2000).
Last Year Against Stanford
Cal beat Stanford twice in the regular season last year, winning, 1-0, on Oct. 8 at Stanford and routing the Cardinal, 4-1, on Nov. 13 in Berkeley. Pieter Berger, then a senior forward, scored Cal's goal at Stanford, while Andrew Jacobson, then a sophomore midfielder, scored the game-winning goal at Edwards Stadium.
Cal goes on the road for its final three games of the regular, and of the Pac-10, season. Next week, the Bears head to Southern California to take on San Diego State at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, and to battle UCLA at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29.
This week, the Bruins are ranked No. 10 in both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls. College Soccer News ranks UCLA No. 5, while Soccer Times has the Bruins at No. 6. San Diego State is currently unranked.