Sept. 18, 2007
Cal Prepares for Stanford Invitational:
After snapping a brief two-game losing skid with a scoreless tie against No. 8 Santa Clara last weekend, the No. 24 California men's soccer team will compete in the Stanford Invitational this weekend. The Golden Bears square off against Davidson and Princeton down on The Farm.
Cal (2-2-1) will face Davidson (1-4) Friday, Sept. 21, at 5 p.m. The Bears take on Princeton (0-4) Sunday, Sept. 23, at 12 p.m. Both games will take place at Maloney Field at Stanford.
After playing a tough San Francisco squad and a high-ranked Santa Clara team last weekend, the Golden Bears hope to rebound against two teams this weekend with a combined record of 1-8.
Cal In the Polls:
The Bears were able to remain in the Top 25 in this week's national rankings in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and College Soccer News. In the NSCAA national poll, Cal fell down to No. 24. In the College Soccer News' Top 30, Cal dropped to No. 25.
Bears Fall to USF, Tie Santa Clara:
Cal had to endure a winless weekend, losing to USF, 2-1, and forcing a 0-0 tie against Santa Clara. The Bears left Edwards Stadium with their heads held high against the Broncos, as they were able to hold off Santa Clara's potent offense for the entire contest. Sophomore keeper Stefan Frei was called upon to make 12 saves in the game, seven in the first half. Frei was one factor in Cal's overall strong team defensive effort. Last Sunday's game was also Kevin Grimes' 150th game as head coach of the Bears.
The loss to the Dons was a harder pill to swallow. Senior Javier Ayala-Hil put the Bears on the board early with a goal in the early minutes. However, USF rebounded quickly to score right back, and it notched the game-winning goal early in the second half.
Cal's keeper, Stefan Frei has been strong through the first five games of the season. So far in 2007, Frei has made 30 saves and has only allowed three goals to give him a save percentage of (.909). He has also recorded three shutouts. Frei had not given up a goal until the third game of the season.
In last weekend's contest against Santa Clara, he made 12 saves, seven of them in the first half. The Broncos were on the offensive attack right after the opening kickoff, but Frei and the rest of the Bears' tough defense responded by not allowing Santa Clara to score. In the 2006 meeting against the Broncos, Frei was also in the net and recorded a season-high nine saves in that game that ended in a tie, as well.
Bears on the Leaderboard:
Servando Carrasco leads the Bears with three points (1G, 1A). All four of Cal's goals have come from different scorers (Carrasco, Davis Paul, Javier Ayala-Hil, Tyler Barry). Senior Andrew Jacobson leads the squad in shots (18) and shots on goal (8). He is the only Bear to have taken more than 10 shots. Ayala-Hil is second on Cal's chart in shots on goal with four.
Two members from the Bear's 16th-ranked recruiting class (College Soccer News) haven't wasted any time in making an immediate impact on the field. Freshmen Davis Paul and Servando Carrasco have already become forces to be reckoned with.
In the season opener at USD, both true freshmen got their collegiate careers off to an excellent start as they each scored in Cal's 2-0 victory. In addition to the goals, they have been huge contributors to the Bears' offensive firepower. Against USF, Carrasco recorded an assist on Javier Ayala-Hil's goal.
Carrasco is one of three freshmen to start all five contests this season. Forward Andrew Wiedeman and midfielder A.J. Soares are the other two. Wiedeman recorded an assist on Paul's goal, the first score of the season for Cal. He also recorded a shot on goal against the Dons.
With three shutouts already in the books, Cal is headed towards another season of leaving many of its opponents blank on the scoreboard. Last season, the Bears recorded eight shutouts and, in 2005, they notched nine. The most Cal has earned in one season under Kevin Grimes was 11 in 2002. It also tallied 10 in 2004.
Some notable 2006 shutouts include, a 2-0 win at then-No. 9 Washington last October. Cal also earned a shutout victory in the home meeting against Stanford last year, a 2-0 decision.
The 2005 campaign started with three consecutive shutouts, the first one was a 2-0 victory against then-fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara. Later that season, Cal also notched a 1-0 win over No. 7 Santa Clara.
In Grimes' eight years as head coach at Cal, the team has earned 57 shutouts in 150 games with only seven of them ending as scoreless ties.
Scouting the Wildcats:
Aside from a 2-1 victory in overtime over Dayton, Davidson hasn't had much luck thus far in 2007. The Wildcats opened the campaign with a 2-0 loss to Saint Mary's and then fell in overtime to San Jose State, 3-2. The win over Dayton was sandwiched between two blowout losses, 3-0 to Lafayette and 5-1 to Charlotte. The Wildcats leading scorer is Robby Hoak, who has five points (2G, 1A).
Scouting the Tigers:
It's been a tough stretch thus far for the winless Tigers. Currently, Princeton's leading scorer is Brandon Busch. Busch has three points (1G, 1A). The Tigers dropped their most recent decision to Seton Hall last Monday. Although Princeton fell by the score of 4-3, it was the first time the Tigers had scored since their first game of the season, a 2-1 loss to Loyola (MD).
Did You Know:
When the Bears head to Stanford this weekend, they will be playing near the hometowns of a few players on the team. Javier Ayala-Hil is from East Palo Alto. Andrew Jacobson is from Palo Alto. Junior Chris Deal and sophomore Imaan Kerchgani are from San Jose.
A Look Ahead:
Following the Stanford Invitational, Cal returns to Berkeley for its final non-conference game of the season. The Bears host Towson Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.
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 and along the way achieved his 80th career victory, 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, and the Bears compiled 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 of ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle on Oct. 8.
Grimes now has an 83-53-14 overall record at Cal. Only three other Cal coaches have reached the 80-win plateau, and Grimes' 81 total wins rank him fourth on the all-time list. Legendary Cal player and coach Bob DiGrazia tops the list with 202 career victories.