Sept. 25, 2007
Cal Will Tangle with Towson This Weekend:
After recording back-to-back 2-1 victories last weekend in the Stanford Invitational, the No. 21 California men's soccer team will square off against Towson this weekend. It will be the final tune-up for the Golden Bears before Pac-10 play begins the following weekend.
Cal (4-2-1) will face Towson (3-2-1) Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. The Bears' offense jumpstarted against Davidson and Princeton, scoring four times last weekend. They had previously scored a total of four goals in their first five games. Cal hopes the momentum will continue this Saturday in its clash against the Tigers.
Cal In the Polls:
The Bears moved up slightly in this week's national rankings in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and College Soccer News. In the NSCAA national poll, Cal went up to No. 22. In the College Soccer News' top 30, Cal jumped up to No. 21. Cal also landed itself back in the Soccer Times top 25, securing a ranking of 24.
Bears Succeed in Stanford Invitational:
Cal produced two 2-1 victories last weekend in the Stanford Invitational, knocking off Davidson and Princeton. The Bears have freshman Andrew Wiedeman to thank in part for the victory against Davidson. Wiedeman notched two goals, including the game winner in the 88th minute. Cal trailed the Wildcats 1-0 at halftime before Wiedeman tallied the two scores.
After Friday's win over Davidson, the Bears went back to The Farm on Sunday and handled business against Princeton. Senior Javier Ayala-Hil put the Bears on the board with a goal in the 35th minute. Junior Tyler Barry increased the Bears' lead with his score in the 52nd minute. Ayala-Hil and Barry both scored their second goals of the season. Senior Andrew Jacobson also played a vital role in the two wins, recording two assists over the weekend.
Bears on the Leaderboard:
With his two goals last weekend, Andrew Wiedeman now sits atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (5). Javier Ayala-Hil and Tyler Barry are tied with Wiedeman for the team lead in goals (2). Both of Barry's goals were game winners. Freshmen Servando Carrasco and Davis Paul scored the other two goals for the Bears this season. Senior Andrew Jacobson leads the squad in shots (24) and shots on goal (8) and assists (3). Ayala-Hil is second on Cal's chart in shots with 12.
Did You Know:
Goalkeeper Patrick Fry, a junior transfer from Cal State Los Angeles, is also an accomplioshed referee. Fry was named the Cal North District IV Youth Referee of the Year. He also represented California as a referee at the USYSA Far West Regional tournament.
Cal's keeper, Stefan Frei has been strong through the first seven games of the season. So far in 2007, Frei has made 37 saves and has only allowed five goals to give him a save percentage of (.881). He has also recorded three shutouts. Frei had not given up a goal until the third game of the season.
Last weekend in the Stanford Invitational, Frei made a total of seven saves. Although they allowed two goals, Frei and the rest of the tough Cal defense hung tough and played a major role in the Bears' picking up the two wins. Against Santa Clara on Sept. 16, he made 12 saves, seven of them in the first half.
Three members from the Bear's 16th-ranked recruiting class (College Soccer News) haven't wasted any time in making an immediate impact on the field. Freshmen Davis Paul, Servando Carrasco and Andrew Wiedeman have already become 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. Wiedeman scored twice against Davidson last weekend and leads the team in points (2G, 1A). In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco is third on the team in shots (10) and tied for third on the team in points (3).
Wiedeman and midfielder A.J. Soares are the only freshmen who have also started all five contests this season. Carrasco has started six of the seven.
With three shutouts already in the books, Cal is headed towards another season of leaving many of its opponents blank on the scoreboard. Last season, the Bears recorded eight shutouts and, in 2005, they notched nine. The most Cal has earned in one season under Kevin Grimes was 11 in 2002. It also tallied 10 in 2004.
Some notable 2006 shutouts include, a 2-0 win at then-No. 9 Washington last October. Cal also earned a shutout victory in the home meeting against Stanford last year, a 2-0 decision.
The 2005 campaign started with three consecutive shutouts, the first one was a 2-0 victory against then-fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara. Later that season, Cal also notched a 1-0 win over No. 7 Santa Clara.
In Grimes' eight years as head coach at Cal, the team has earned 57 shutouts in 152 games with only seven of them ending as scoreless ties.
Scouting the Tigers:
Like the Bears, Towson will role into Berkeley with some momentum. In the Tigers' last game, they trailed Stony Brook 1-0 before Cesar Cisneros scored twice, with the game winner in double overtime to give Towson the win. It was the first victory for the Tigers since Sept. 7. Cisneros is tied with Pat Healey for the team lead in points with six each. Healey leads the team in goals with three. Saturday's contest also marks the first meeting between Cal and Towson.
A Look Ahead:
Following the Towson contest, Cal embarks on its Pac-10 schedule. Saturday's contest also marks the first of a three-game homestand for the Bears. The Bears will square off against No. 24 Washington Friday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m and Oregon State Sunday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. Both games will be played at Edwards Stadium.
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 third - and second straight - Pac-10 Coach of the Year award (2002 and 2005-06).
Grimes led the Golden Bears to their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and along the way achieved his 80th career victory, in a Pac-10 championship clinching victory over UCLA on Oct. 29, 2006. The Pac-10 crown was Cal's first.
Cal reached the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, and the Bears compiled 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 of ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has an 85-53-14 overall record at Cal. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 80-win plateau, and Grimes' 85 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who sits third on the list with 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.