Maite Zabala, who has been associated with California's soccer prominence for nine years, begins her third season as a full-time assistant coach for her alma mater.
Before assuming her current role, Zabala served as a volunteer coach for the Golden Bears for three seasons from 2001-03, and prior to that, she distinguished herself as one of the nation's top collegiate goalkeepers.
With Zabala as a Cal player or coach, the Bears have posted eight winning seasons and have garnered seven NCAA Tournament bids, highlighted by a third-round appearance in 2005. Under Zabala's tutelage, goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio ranked ninth in the nation in goals-against average last season at 0.474, which is the second-best mark in school history, and the Bears were tabbed seventh in the country as a team at 0.475.
As a student-athlete at Cal from 1997-00, Zabala emerged as the Bears' all-time leader for career shutouts with 26.5 and finished the 2000 season with the 10th-best goals-against average in the country at 0.64. All told, the Boise, Idaho, product recorded a .900 career GAA in 6,295 minutes of action.
Zabala garnered four All-Pac-10 honors, including first-team recognition as a sophomore and junior, and received the Bears' team MVP award during her final two campaigns. She led the Bears to three NCAA Tournament berths (1998, '99 and '00), the program's only Pac-10 title in 1998 and a school-record 17 wins in 2000.
Following her Cal career, Zabala gained additional experience playing for the WUSA's Atlanta Beat, Philadelphia Charge and Carolina Courage. During the spring of 2004, she helped Athletic Bilbao win the Spanish SuperLiga.
Zabala earned her bachelor's degree in political science from Cal in 2001.