Nov. 24, 2008
The No. 9 California men's soccer team increased its winning streak to four as it heads to Santa Barbara for the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Bears (11-3-5, 5-2-3 Pac-10) will play at No. 19 UCSB on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. at Harder Stadium. Cal is fresh off a convincing 3-0 victory against San Francisco last Friday at Edwards Stadium.
In the Rankings
The Bears are currently ranked No. 9 in the Soccer Times, No. 11 in the College Soccer News NSCAA polls, and No. 12 in the Soccer America rankings.
At the end of the regular season, junior keeper Stefan Frei led the Pac-10 in goals-against average (0.68) save percentage (.829) and shutouts with eight.
Cal, as a team, led the conference in goals-against average (0.68), goals allowed (13), and shutouts with nine.
Scouting the Opposition
UC Santa Barbara (10-6-5) has not been in the win column since beating Cal State Northridge, 3-1, on Oct. 29. Since that victory, the Gauchos have gone 0-2-3. In its last game, UCSB fell to UC Irvine, 4-2 in the Big West Championship match. Despite not getting the automatic bid, the Gauchos advanced to their seventh consecutive NCAA College Cup and earned a first-round bye in the process.
Chris Pontius leads UCSB with 32 points on 14 goals.
Postseason History Against UC Santa Barbara
Although they have not met in the postseason for a few years, Cal and UCSB have met twice before in the NCAA College Cup. The Bears topped the Gauchos in 2002, 2-1, in Berkeley. It was a historic victory for Cal as it was the program's first-ever postseason victory and it was also Kevin Grimes' first postseason win at Cal.
In 2003, UCSB got revenge when it ousted the Bears in Santa Barbara. The Gauchos shut out Cal, 2-0.
Bears Beat Dons in First Round of NCAA Tournament
Cal defeated USF, 3-0, in the first round of the NCAA College Cup on Friday, Nov. 21, at Edwards Stadium. The Bears had goals from sophomores Andrew Wiedeman and Demitrius Omphroy, and senior Chris Deal.
The Bears got on the scoreboard in the 35th minute when Deal booted in a rebound after Wiedeman's shot was saved by the USF keeper. Deal led all players in shots with four, two of which were on goal.
Just over four minutes later, Omphroy scored Cal's second goal. After dribbling in on USF's keeper Jeremy Coupe, Omphroy dodged the diving Coupe and was able to find the back of the net.
Wiedeman put the match out of reach with his score in the 85th minute. Sophomore Scot Van Buskirk tallied the assist on the goal.
Stefan Frei earned his ninth shutout of the season and the 20th of his collegiate career.
If the Bears defeat UCSB, they will play the winner of the second-round game between Maryland and George Mason. The third round of the NCAA Tournament will take place either on Saturday, Nov. 29, or Sunday, Nov. 30.
Postseason Success Under Kevin Grimes
When Kevin Grimes took the helm as head coach at Cal, the Bears had not won a single postseason game in the history of the program. Grimes changed that in his third year (2002), helping the Bears gain a 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara. Since 2001, Grimes has compiled a postseason record of 7-7-1. Earlier this year, Grimes recorded his 100th career coaching victory at Cal when the Bears defeated Stanford on The Farm in overtime on Oct. 18.
In last year's College Cup, Cal held off UC Davis, 2-1, in overtime in the first round at Edwards Stadium. Andrew Wiedeman continued his impressive freshman campaign with the game-winning score in overtime. The Bears earned a trip to Virginia Tech, but lost, 3-2, to the Hokies. Javier Ayala-Hil recorded both Cal goals with Wiedeman collecting the assists.
Stefan Frei - Climbing the All-Time Charts
Stefan Frei is cementing his legacy in the school's program. The junior from Alamo, Calif., originally from Widnau, Switzerland, has been stellar all season once again for the Bears. He is a key component of the Bears' tough defense.
Last Friday against USF, Frei earned his ninth shutout of the year. He also tied Cal goalkeeper coach Henry Foulk for fourth all-time in the school's list for career shutouts with 20. He collected nine last year and had two in the previous campaign. He is two clean sheets away from tying the third-place spot, which is currently held by former Cal keeper Chris Baudouin. On Nov. 15, Frei recorded his 19th career shutout at Cal.
Frei's goals-against average of 0.68 at the end of the regular season was not only a conference best, but also ranked him 22nd in the nation.
At the start of the season, Frei was 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).
Wiedeman Leading The Way
After having a breakout freshman campaign, Andrew Wiedeman has not slowed down one bit. After leading the team in 2007 with 20 points, he has racked up 23 points (9G, 5A) in 2008. Wiedeman scored Cal's third goal against USF last Friday. He also tallied both goals when Cal traveled to Washington in October, also tallying a goal when the Huskies visited Berkeley on Nov. 9, and had the lone goal for the Bears against San Diego State on Oct. 12 and Oregon State on Nov. 7.
He opened the season with a five-point weekend, including two goals in the season opener against UC Riverside on Aug. 29. For that performance, Wiedeman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time in his collegiate career and the Soccer America Player of the Week. He was also named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. He scored the eventual game winner in Cal's 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. Wiedeman scored two goals in less than four minutes apart to give the Bears a commanding 3-0 lead. On Aug. 31 against Maryland, Wiedeman tallied an assist on the game-winning goal.
Jimenez, Carrasco Making a Big Impact
Heading into this season, two players Cal was counting on to lead the team were Andrew Wiedeman and Stefan Frei. While those two have been having strong seasons, they aren't the only Bears who have been impressive this year. Servando Carrasco and Hector Jimenez have both been instrumental in the Bears' success in 2008.
Carrasco put in the game-winning goal at Stanford on Oct. 18, and is tied for second on the team in goals this year with three. He is also tied for first on the team in assists with seven.
Jimenez tallied seven assists in 2008, before suffering a season-ending injury, and also had two goals on the year. For most of the campaign, Jimenez led the Pac-10 in assists and was ranked in the top 25 for most of the season in that category.
Six Bears Named to All-Pac-10 Team
Last week, Cal had six players make the All-Pac-10 team and had three honorable mention selections. Stefan Frei, Andrew Wiedeman and Hector Jimenez were first-team picks. Tyler Barry, Servando Carrasco and A.J. Soares made the second team, and Jacob Wilson, Davis Paul and Pat Marion were the honorable-mention selections. Frei and Wiedeman were also named to Top Drawer Soccer's Team of the Season.