Aug. 25, 2008
The road to a third conference championship begins this week for the No. 13 California men's soccer team. The Golden Bears begin the 2008 season playing host to UC Riverside and then heading to Los Angeles, Calif. for a neutral site contest against No. 8 Maryland. Cal faces UC Riverside Friday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at Edwards Stadium and Maryland on Sunday, Aug. 31, at 3 p.m.
Cal secured two top-15 rankings in the preseason polls and was picked to win a third consecutive Pac-10 crown.
The College Soccer News preseason poll had Cal ranked higher than UCLA at No. 13 with the Bruins at No. 14. The Bears were selected 14th in the Soccer Times preseason national rankings and were the second-highest Pac-10 team in the poll, just below No. 13 UCLA.
In the preseason Pac-10 poll, Cal was picked to win the conference title for the first time in the nine-year history of the poll, as voted by the league's six coaches. Cal tallied 24 points and four of the six first-place votes. UCLA came in second and received 20 points and one first-place vote, while Stanford, picked to come in third, took the other first-place vote with 17 points.
Frei Named To Hermann Trophy Watch List
California junior keeper Stefan Frei has been named to the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced on Aug. 19 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Considered the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer, the recipients of the MAC's Hermann Trophy are selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the NSCAA.
Wiedeman Hopes For Repeat Performances in 2008
One player head coach Kevin Grimes is hoping is just as successful this year as he was last year is sophomore forward Andrew Wiedeman. Last year, Wiedeman led the Bears in scoring (7G, 6A, 20 points). He was named to the All-Pac-10 second team and to Soccer America's All-Freshman first team. Wiedeman was also recently named as one of 23 collegiate men's soccer players who were invited to a domestic training camp for the U.S. Men's Under-20 National team.
Tough Road Ahead
The 2008 campaign will be no walk in the park for Cal, as the Bears will be squaring off against some high-ranked opponents. In the NSCAA preseason top-25 poll, three of Cal's foes were ranked in the top 10 (No. 5 Santa Clara, No. 6 Creighton, No. 8 Maryland). The NSCAA poll also had UCLA and SMU ranked in the top 20, as well. In addition, the Bears will be facing six teams (Washington, UCLA, SMU, Creighton, Maryland and Santa Clara) that reached the 2007 NCAA Tournament, three of which received first-round byes (Creighton, Santa Clara and Maryland).
Cal returns to Berkeley next weekend, hosting its annual tournament, the Cal Legacy Classic. This year, the Bears will be joined by Stanford, SMU and Cornell, with Cal facing Cornell on Friday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m. and SMU on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 2:30 p.m. The Bears hope to take advantage of playing three of their first four games of the season on their home turf.