Sept. 30, 2008
The No. 4 California men's soccer team got back on track last week with a win after suffering its first loss of the season the week before. The Golden Bears (5-1-2) open Pac-10 play on the road against Oregon State and Washington this weekend. The Bears will battle Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore., and Washington on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. in Seattle, Wash. Cal finished 6-3-1 in the Pac-10 last year to win its second straight conference title.
Bears Shut Out Dons
In its last match, Cal defeated USF, 2-0, Friday, Sept. 26, at Edwards Stadium. Sophomore Andrew Wiedeman, the Bears' leading scorer thus far, got the Bears on the board first with a score in the 71st minute. The goal gave Wiedeman 10 points on the season (3 goals, 4 assists) and was also his second game-winning goal of the campaign. Cal got its second goal when it forced an own goal by USF. Junior goalkeeper Stefan Frei garnered five saves en route to earning his third shutout of the campaign and the 14th of his career.
In the Rankings
Cal moved back up in the national polls after winning last weekend. In the NSCAA poll, the Bears moved back into the top 10 at No. 10. They're listed in the top 10 of three other polls - No. 4 in College Soccer News, No. 5 in Top Drawer Soccer and No. 6 in the Soccer Times polls. Cal also improved to No. 11 in the Soccer America poll.
Among conference leaders, Stefan Frei leads the Pac-10 in goals-against average at 0.60 and saves (28) and shutouts (3). Sophomores Hector Jimenez and Andrew Wiedeman lead the Pac-10 in assists with four. Wiedeman is also tied for first in game-winning goals (2).
Cal, as a team, leads the conference in assists (16), shutouts (4), goals-against average (0.59) and goals allowed (5).
Tough Road Ahead
After enjoying five of its first eight contests at home, and two of the three road games still played in the Bay Area, Cal hits the road for five of its next seven matches.
Playing on the road did not lead to very successful results in 2007 for Cal. While the Bears were an impressive 8-1-1 at Edwards Stadium, they could only manage a record of 2-5-1 when playing on the opposing team's field. So far in 2008, Cal has been the visiting team once, a game that ended in a 1-1 draw against Santa Clara. The other two times the Bears played away from Berkeley, the games were both played on neutral sites, and both resulted in victories for Cal.
Scouting the Opposition
Washington and Oregon State start conference play in second and third place, respectively, following the nonconference schedule. The Huskies (5-3) lead the conference in points (47) and goals (17), while Robby Christner from Oregon State (3-4-2) leads the individual conference stats in points (13) and goals (6). Last year, Cal beat Washington in Seattle, 1-0, and tied Oregon State in Corvallis, 0-0.
Cal returns to Berkeley next weekend for its Pac-10 home opener on Friday, Oct. 10, against UCLA at 4 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. Following the clash with the Bruins, the Bears square off against San Diego State Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2:30 p.m.