Oct. 30, 2007
Bears Take On Top Conference Foes
Fresh off a bye last week, the No. 23 California men's soccer team gets back on the field this week for its final regular-season home games of 2007. The final two home contests for the Golden Bears will be critical games as they square off against the top two teams in the Pac-10, first-place UCLA and second-place San Diego State. Both the Aztecs and the Bruins were victorious when they played Cal earlier this season in Southern California. Head Coach Kevin Grimes' next victory will be his 90th.
Cal (8-4-1, 3-2 Pac-10) will face SDSU (8-4-2, 4-2) Friday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. and UCLA (8-6-2, 4-2-1) Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2:30 p.m. Both contests will be held at Edwards Stadium.
Cal in the Polls
The Bears remained in the top 25 in the polls last week after their win over Stanford two weeks ago. In the Soccer Times' top-25 poll, Cal is currently ranked No. 23. In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll and the College Soccer News' top 30, the Bears are currently ranked No. 24. Currently in the Pac-10 standings, Cal is in third place with nine points, three points behind SDSU. UCLA sits in first with 13 points.
Bears Take Down Stanford
After losing its previous two games, Cal got back on track with its third conference win of the season over Stanford, 1-0, on Oct. 20. It was the eighth time in the previous 11 meetings that the Bears have defeated the Cardinal.
Cal got on the board in the 29th minute, as junior Pat Marion scored with assists from freshman Servando Carrasco and senior Javier Ayala-Hil. Carrasco fed the ball to Marion on a cross to the far side, and Marion booted the ball past the keeper.
The Bears' defense shut down the Cardinal's offense. Sophomore keeper Stefan Frei was only called upon to make two saves, but stopped them both en route to his sixth shutout of the campaign.
Scouting the Aztecs
Despite having its last home game moved to Los Angeles, due to the San Diego wildfires, San Diego State beat Oregon State convincingly with a 3-0 shutout. The Aztecs got revenge after the Beavers shut them out, 2-0, on Oct. 21. Kraig Chiles leads SDSU in points (17) and goals (7). He scored twice when SDSU knocked off Cal, 3-2, on Oct. 12. The Bears are hoping to snap a three-game losing streak against the Aztecs.
Scouting the Bruins
The first-place Bruins have won four of their last five games. Their streak began when they defeated Cal, 1-0, on Oct. 14. They had won four in a row until Washington beat them, 1-0, last Sunday. UCLA is led by Maxwell Griffin, who scored the game winner in the previous meeting against the Bears. He leads the Bruins in points (14) and goals (7). In the conference statistics, UCLA leads the pack in points (59) and saves (69).
Bears on the Leaderboard
Andrew Wiedeman remains atop the Bears' leaderboard in points (12), goals (4) and assists (4). Seniors Andrew Jacobson and Javier Ayala-Hil, juniors Tyler Barry and Pat Marion and freshmen Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco each have two goals. The goals from Paul, Marion, Barry and two of Wiedeman's scores were game winners. Freshman Scot Van Buskirk scored the other goal for the Bears this season. Jacobson leads the squad in shots (34) and Ayala-Hil tops Cal's chart in shots on goal with 14. Sophomore keeper Stefan Frei leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (6), saves per game (4.46) and save percentage (.853). Among conference statistical leaders, the Bears lead the league in assists (21) and are tied for the league lead in fewest goals allowed (10).
Did You Know
Andrew Jacobson is going for his third all-conference honors this year. The captain was an All-Pac-10 first-team selection in 2006 and 2005.
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.
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.
In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Carrasco is third on the team in shots (21). Demitrius Omphroy and Carrasco have recorded two assists thus far, while Scot Van Buskirk scored his first goal of the season against Oregon State and A.J. Soares has collected one assist thus far.
Wiedeman and Soares are the only freshmen to start all 13 contests this season. Carrasco has started 11 of the 13.
A Look Ahead
Cal hits the road next week for the final two weeks of the regular season. The Bears head to the Pacific Northwest to face Washington on Nov. 9 and Oregon State on Nov. 11. Returning to the Bay Area the following week, Cal wraps up the regular season at Stanford on Nov. 17.
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 achieving his 80th career victory along the way, 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, 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 an 89-55-14 overall record at Cal. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 80-win plateau, and Grimes' 89 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list, behind Bill Coupe who has 113 victories. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.