Bears Battle Waves in NCAA First Round Saturday
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/07/2012

Nov. 7, 2012

Saturday, Nov. 10
1 p.m. - No. 16/23 Cal (15-5-0) at No. 21/22 Pepperdine (14-6-0)
Tari Frahm Rokus Field - Malibu, Calif.
Coverage: GameTracker, Twitter
Series Record vs. Pepperdine: 0-1-2
Last Time vs. Pepperdine: L, 2-1, 8/19/11 in Berkeley

Cal's NCAA First-Round Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

BERKELEY - California opens its ninth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a first-round match at Pepperdine at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Golden Bears finished with a 15-5-0 regular-season record and an 8-3-0 Pac-12 record to place third in one of the most challenging conferences in the nation. Pepperdine (14-6-0) tied for third with a 5-3-0 record in the West Coast Conference.

In games against six common opponents, Cal produced a 3-3-0 record, while Pepperdine was 4-2-0. Both teams beat Pacific and San Francisco and both lost to UCLA. The Bears defeated Arizona State and fell against Arizona and Santa Clara, while the Waves beat Arizona and Santa Clara and lost to ASU.

The Bears produced a 3-4-0 record against the NCAA Tournament field, with wins over Arizona State, 2-0, Washington, 2-1, and Washington State, 3-2. They suffered losses to No. 1 Stanford, 1-0, No. 2 UCLA, 3-0, No. 13 Missouri, 3-2, and No. 19 Santa Clara, 1-0.

Cal is one of six Pac-12 teams - including Stanford (No. 1 seed in Cal's bracket), UCLA (No. 3 seed in Cal's bracket), Arizona State, Washington and Washington State - to earn berths in the NCAA Tournament. Pepperdine is one of four WCC teams - including BYU, Portland and Santa Clara - to reach the postseason.

Onumonu Named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
The Pac-12 Conference took notice of California's talented team in a big way on Nov. 7, when it named Ifeoma Onumonu its Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, placed Onumonu and Olympian Betsy Hassett on its All-Pac-12 First Team, named Emi Lawson to its second team and awarded honorable mention to Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick. Onumonu also earned a spot on the all-conference freshman team.

A product of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Onumonu made a big splash in her debut season for the NCAA Tournament-bound Golden Bears. She led all Pac-12 freshmen in points (27), goals (11) and assists (5) and ranked second in the Conference in goals and points and tied for sixth in assists per game (0.26). Onumonu - who also led the Bears in goals and points - tied with Hassett for the team's top assist mark and also paced the Bears in game-winning goals (4). Onumonu was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week in early October after a weekend in which she notched three goals and an assist in a pair of wins over Colorado and Utah.

Hassett - the New Zealand Olympian who competed in London last summer - ranked second in goals (6) and points (17) as well as tied for second in game-winning goals (2) for the Bears in her final season in Berkeley. This is the second straight conference honor for the senior midfielder, as Hassett earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2011. A talented international player who hails from Auckland, Hassett competed with the Football Ferns in the 2011 World Cup as well in the Under-20 World Cup in 2009.

Lawson, a junior, is a strong, fast central defender who can also contribute to the attack. The Seattle product tied her career high in points (8), scored two goals and added four assists after starting all 20 games this season. One of the Bears' most durable players, Lawson has started in 56 of the 62 games she has played in for Cal. She also garnered conference honors in 2010, when she earned a spot on the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.

This is Fitzpatrick's second consecutive all-conference honorable mention. The Pleasanton, Calif., native ranked third in points (11) and tied for third in goals (4) for the Bears this season. One of those goals was the gamewinner in a 2-0 victory over Oregon on Sept. 28.

Regular Season Ends at Home against Stanford
Cal closed the regular season with a hard-fought 1-0 setback against No. 1 Stanford on Nov. 4 at Edwards Stadium. Dynamic freshman forward Ifeoma Onumonu leads Cal in total points (27), goals (11) and game-winning goals and is tied for the team high in assists (5) with senior midfielder Betsy Hassett. Junior Emily Kruger - who played strong in goal against the Cardinal, making six saves - has compiled a 1.02 goals-against average in 19 starts this season.

The Bears finished with a 7-4-0 home record and with an impressive 8-1-0 road mark.

Poll Position
In the final NSCAA poll of the regular season, Cal remains at No. 23, while Pepperdine remains at No. 22. In the rankings, Cal stands at No. 16, while the Waves sit at No. 21.

RPI Update
In the Nov. 5 version of the RPI, Cal is listed at No. 27. In the first issuing of the RPI, 13 of Cal's 2012 opponents were ranked in the top 85, and the power of the Pac-12 is further illustrated in this ranking system with all 12 schools in the top 85. Pepperdine has a No. 24 RPI as of Nov. 5.

Cal in the Postseason
This marks Cal's 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last 15 seasons and the 20th overall. The Bears have an all-time postseason record of 13-18-3. They have advanced to the semifinal round of the tournament, three times - 1984, 1987 and 1988. Cal has advanced to at least the second round of the tournament four out of the last seven seasons.

Last season in the NCAA second round, the Bears tied Boston College, 0-0, in overtime before falling to the Eagles, 3-1, on penalty kicks. In the first round, Cal tied Santa Clara, 1-1, before clipping the Broncos, 4-3, on PKs.

Scouting Pepperdine
Pepperdine has earned two straight bids to the NCAA Tournament and produced a 6-6-0 overall record in the postseason. Under coach Tim Ward, the Waves have won eight of their last 11 games entering Saturday's match and finished tied for third place in the WCC. Senior forward Anisa Guajardo leads the Waves in points with 28 and is tied for the team high in goals (10) and game-winning goals (4) with sophomore midfielder forward Amanda LeCave. Junior defender/forward Michelle Pao paces her team in assists (9), while senior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker has posted a 1.21 GAA in 18 starts.

Last year, Pepperdine also hosted an NCAA first-round match, but the Waves lost to Long Beach State, 1-0, in overtime. Additionally in 2011, Cal fell to Pepperdine, 2-1, in the season opener at Edwards Stadium.

The Cal-Pepperdine winner will face the winner of the San Diego State-Cal State Northridge first-round match. SDSU is the No. 2 seed in Cal's quarter of the bracket.

Road Warriors
Cal has performed exceptionally well away from home this season - boasting an 8-1 record. The Bears defeated USC 1-0 last weekend and also own a 3-2 overtime win at Colorado (Oct. 5) and a 3-1 victory at Utah (Oct. 7). Additionally, the Bears have wins at Pacific (3-0, Aug. 17), Cal Poly (4-1, Aug. 31), UC Davis (2-1 in double overtime, Sept. 7) Nevada (3-0, Sept. 23) and ASU (2-0, Oct. 14).

Five Goals Best in 15 Games
The five goals scored against San Jose State on Aug. 19 were the most Cal had scored in 15 games. Cal's most recent goal explosion of five goals or more occurred in a 6-1 win over San Francisco on Sept. 18, 2011.

Freshman Pair Score First Goals
In their very first weekend of play, freshmen Celeste Boureille and Ifeoma Onumonu both scored their inaugural career goals. Boureille got her Cal career off on the absolute best foot, scoring the Bears' first goal of the season and her first in the Blue & Gold with a strike in the 44th minute. Her goal was the ultimate gamewinner in the eventual 3-0 victory over Pacific on Aug. 17. In the 55th minute of the Aug. 19 game against San Jose State, Onumonu scored in front of the goal with Kory Lamet assisting.

Cal Opens Season With Two Wins
The Bears began 2012 on a serious high note - defeating Pacific 3-0 on Aug. 17 in Stockton, Calif., and then besting San Jose State 5-2 in the home opener on Aug. 19. Cal is now 25-5-1 in the program's history of season openers. Additionally, the Bears have won 15 of their past 17 lid lifters.

International Golden Bears
Returning to Berkeley freshly off the international pitch are senior midfielder Betsy Hassett and junior defender Ariana Martinez. After playing in last summer's FIFA World Cup, Hassett rejoined the New Zealand National Team for the London Olympics. Last season in Berkeley, Hassett played in all 22 matches with 18 starts in the midfield and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection. Martinez - who is also a member of the Mexican Senior National Team - played in this summer's U-20 World Cup in Japan as part of the Mexican squad. Martinez transferred to Cal from UCLA and will have two years of eligibility left in Berkeley.

Join the Bears in the Social Media Realm
This season, fans of the prestigious California women's soccer team can get even closer to the Golden Bears - through Facebook, Twitter and the Cal Athletics YouTube channel. By following the California women's soccer team on its social media, fans can get even closer to the team, get breaking-news alerts, see photos and get other inside information. The Cal women's soccer Facebook page features links to stories, polls, insider photos as well as YouTube videos highlighting the Bears. Cal women's soccer Twitter is the best place to find game results, links to stories as well as photos and other insider information. Additionally, Cal women's soccer videos will be posted on the Cal Athletics YouTube channel and then linked on social media.

Remembering Last Season
In 2011, Cal won 12 matches - its most since 2007 - and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship. The Bears, who climbed as high as No. 11 in the national rankings during the year, knocked off Santa Clara on the road in the opening round of NCAAs and nearly advanced to the third round of the tournament, falling to No. 16 Boston College in penalty kicks. Four Bears earned All-Pac-12 honors - Danielle Brunache, Betsy Hassett, Lauren Battung and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick - and a record 13 individuals were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, with Hassett also gaining NSCAA Scholar All-American recognition.

A Look at Cal's Schedule
Cal's 2012 schedule featured 10 home contests at Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field, with eight televised by the conference's new networks. All but two of Cal's home matches (Santa Clara and Washington State) were televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The demanding fall slate included five teams - Oregon State, Santa Clara, Stanford, UCLA and Washington State - that earned a berth in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including the defending NCAA champion Cardinal.

Pac-12 Coaches Predict Cal to Finish Third
The Conference coaches correctly predicted that Cal would take third place in the Pac-12, according to the preseason poll. The third-place slating equaled the 2007 predication, which was the highest forecast in the past six years. The 12 coaches selected defending national champion Stanford as the preseason favorite.

Cal's Morgan, U.S. Win Gold by Beating Japan
Former Golden Bear Alex Morgan and the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Japan 2-1 to win gold on Aug. 9 at the London Olympics. Morgan - a four-year letterwinner with Cal - assisted on the Americans' first goal. Morgan scored thrice - including one gamewinner - over the course of the London Games, which were the Diamond Bar, Calif., native's first Olympic outing. She had played in the 2011 FIFA World Cup, taking silver with the Americans.

A Golden Olympics for the Golden Bears
A total of 46 Golden Bear athletes, coaches and staff members represented Cal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and together, they brought home a school-record-tying 17 medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Bears have won 50 medals over the past three Olympics (16 in 2004, 17 in 2008, 17 in 2012), and they have captured 178 medals all-time (99 gold).

Cal No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including nine current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.