BERKELEY - No. 18 California is home for the first time this season with a two-game Labor Day weekend homestand at Goldman Field that features games vs. Detroit and San José State. The Golden Bears host the Titans at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and the Spartans at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be the nightcap of a Cal soccer doubleheader, as the Cal men’s soccer team plays No. 3 Georgetown at 2 p.m. on Friday and No. 2 Maryland at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Live stats for both Cal women’s soccer games will be available on CalBears.com, along with scoring updates on Twitter via @CalWomensSoccer.
Note: Game times listed are approximate. Women’s matches will start no earlier than 30 minutes after the men’s soccer matches conclude.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
MATCH 3: Detroit Titans (0-1-1) Friday, Aug. 30 | 4:30 p.m. Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium | Berkeley Live Stats: CalBears.com Twitter Updates: @CalWomensSoccer
All-Time Series Record: Have Not Met
With eight newcomers and 15 letterwinners, the Titans were picked to by conference coaches to finish first in the Horizon League with six of seven first-place votes. Despite the vote of confidence, Detroit’s squad started the season with an 0-1-1 record against non-conference foes following a 3-2 loss to Eastern Michigan and a 2-2 tie in 2OTs with Central Michigan. The team’s stats through two games are nearly identical to Cal’s, with JR MF Haley Burtraw and FR MF Anna Mindling leading the way for the Titans with two goals apiece. Sophomore GK Martha Dunbar owns 155 minutes in goal through two games, with 10 saves and five goals-against.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
MATCH 4: San José State Spartans (0-2-0) Sunday, Sept. 1 | 4:30 p.m. Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium | Berkeley Live Stats: CalBears.com Twitter Updates: @CalWomensSoccer
All-Time Series Record Total: 5-0-0 Home: 2-0-0 Away: 2-0-0 Neutral: 1-0-0 Last Meeting: 8/19/2012, W 5-2
The Spartans are 0-2-0 in 2013 after dropping a game to San Diego 5-1 and a game to UC Riverside 2-1 in overtime at the University of San Diego Tournament. Senior MF Megan Molina, the team’s leading scorer in 2012 and second-team All-WAC member, has been quiet through both games with just one shot. Instead, SO F Lupita Estrada has taken the lead, netting both of the team’s two goals. Newcomer FR GK Sarah Peplinski earned herself the role of starting goalie with starts in both games for a total of 158 minutes in the frame. She has tallied all five saves with seven goals-against.
DEN DEBUT Friday marks the debut of a new Cal soccer fan initiative, the Bear Den. Modeled after fan groups of European soccer, the Bear Den was created by women’s soccer head coach Neil McGuire and men’s soccer head coach Kevin Grimes to encourage a more spirited environment at Goldman Field. Both soccer teams recorded several cheers that will be broadcast over the facility’s speakers, and fans can sing along with the cheers. Lyrics to each cheer will be available prior to each home match.
POLL POSITION With a 1-0-1 record after the first week of play, the Golden Bears are ranked in the current polls (for play through Aug. 25, 2013): NSCAA - 18, Soccer America - 18, TopDrawerSoccer - 22, Soccer Times - 17, BennettRank - 21.
LAST TIME OUT - UC Irvine & Pepperdine Then-No. 20/18 California began its 2014 campaign with a 1-0-1 weekend for the first time since 2005. The season opened with a dominant 3-1 win against UC Irvine on Anteater Turf, with all three goals scored by Golden Bear veterans - seniors Rachel Mercik and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, and sophomore Ifeoma Onumonu. Game No. 2 pit the Golden Bears against Pepperdine in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA First Round showdown, and the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate after 2OT. Fitzpatrick scored the team’s lone goal on an assist by Mercik, while senior keeper Emily Kruger registered eight saves on the day.
ON THE HORIZON - USF Tournament The Bears go back on the road - though not very far - for the San Francisco Tournament on the University of San Francisco campus from Sept. 6-8. Cal opens the tourney against Harvard on Friday, Sept. 6 at 4:30 p.m., then returns to the pitch Sunday, Sept. 8 for a 1:30 p.m. showdown vs. UC Davis.
BACK IN BERKELEY Familiar faces comprise much of the 2013 Cal squad as 19 letterwinners including nine starters return for the season. Senior GK Emily Kruger anchors the Cal backline after starting all three years at Cal in goal. Kruger will be aided by fellow captain, SR D Emi Lawson plus SR D Nina Pederson. A crop of talented offensive players, including SR MF Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, SO F Ifeoma Onumonu and SR F Rachel Mercik will continue to help Cal’s high-powered ball game.
TERRIFIC TEN The 2013 Cal roster grew to 33 with the introduction of 10 new faces to the squad in the offseason. Among the newcomers is SR D Rachelle Comeau, a four-year starter for Cal’s field hockey team who is using her fifth year of eligibility to play soccer alongside her sister, JR F Taylor Comeau. Other new faces include FR F Arielle Ship, a highly touted recruit out of Thousand Oaks, Calif. who was ranked No. 25 on TopDrawerSoccer’s 2013 National Top 100 Girls and the eighth-best forward in the nation. Head coach Neil McGuire also added depth to the defensive game, inlcuding FR D Zoe Clark. The New York City native trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team U17 squad in 2011.
ONUMONU ON HERMANN WATCH LIST Sophomore F and 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Ifeoma Onumonu is one of 31 NCAA Division I women’s soccer players named to the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Watch List. She joins just two other sophomores on the list and is the first Cal player since Alex Morgan in 2010 to be named to the list.
PAC-12 THREEPEAT Pac-12 coaches tabbed Cal to repeat 2012 with a third-place finish in the conference behind UCLA and Stanford. UCLA was picked to win the conference. Cal logged an 8-3 conference record last season, dropping games to Arizona, UCLA and Stanford.
2012 IN REVIEW The Golden Bears finished 2012 with a 16-6-0 overall record (8-3-0/3rd Pac-12) and their highest overall win total since head coach Neil McGuire took over the program in 2007. Cal reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, beating Pepperdine 1-0 in round one before falling to San Diego State 2-1. Four Bears earned postseason honors, including returners Ifeoma Onumonu (All-Pac-12 First Team, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, NSCAA All-Region First Team), Emi Lawson (All-Pac-12 Second Team, NSCAA All-Region Second Team) and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, NSCAA All-Region Third Team).
CHANNEL SURFING This season, seven of Cal’s 20 games will be broadcast live on television. Six games will air on the Pac-12 Network: St. Mary’s (9/22), Arizona State (10/4), USC (10/11), UCLA (10/13), Oregon (10/28) and Stanford (11/6). The Nov. 3 game vs. Washington will be televised on ESPNU.
SOCIAL CIRCLES For the latest news on the Golden Bear women’s soccer team and a behind-the-scenes look at practices and games, visit the Bears on social media - on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CalWomensSocer and Twitter @CalWomensSoccer.