BERKELEY – Top-ranked California begins its final homestand of the regular season when the Golden Bears (9-0-2, 3-0-1 in the Pac-12) host Stanford (6-3-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12) at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20, on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. This is the fifth Bears’ game to appear on the Pac-12 Networks. This is also the first match of the traditional Pac-12 home-and-home series, with the rivals meeting again in the regular-season finale on Nov. 13 at Stanford.
Christian Miles (play-by-play) and Brian Dunseth (analyst) are the announcers for Sunday’s game. Sunday’s match is also Cal’s fourth home game on the Pac-12 Networks, which will show a total of nine Cal men’s soccer matches this season.
Following the Game
Cal is ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA, Soccer America, TopDrawerSoccer.com and CollegeSoccerNews.com polls this week.
Bonomo Named Pac-12 Player of the Week
Stefano Bonomo claimed the first Pac-12 Player of the Week award of his career when the conference honored the Golden Bear on Oct. 14 for his golden goal that beat UCLA on Oct. 13 in Los Angeles.
Cal trailed UCLA at 1-0 and then 2-1 in that match. But Christian Dean tied the score at 1-1 and senior defender Steve Birnbaum converted a penalty kick to send the match to overtime tied 2-2. Just 32 seconds into the first overtime, senior forward Luis Fuentes found Connor Hallisey on the flank, and the junior midfielder crossed to the onrushing Bonomo in UCLA’s box. The junior forward scored to end the match, give the Bears a 3-2 victory and keep Cal undefeated.
Bonomo, a San Francisco Bay Area product from Hillsborough, Calif., has started all 11 games so far this season and ranks second on the team in points (12), goals (5) and gamewinning goals (2). He scored his other gamewinner in a 3-1 win over the College of Charleston on Sept. 22 at home on Goldman Field. Bonomo is also tied for second on the squad with two assists. One of his assists set up Christian Thierjung for the winning goal just 19 seconds from the end of regulation in a 1-0 result at San Francisco on Sept. 5.
This marks Cal’s second Pac-12 Player of the Week award this season; Birnbaum also won the honor on Sept. 3.
Junior central defender Christian Dean, a product of East Palo Alto, Calif., is the younger brother of Stanford basketball player Josh Huestis.
Scouting the Bears
- Cal has won two straight heading into this Sunday’s game
- Senior defender Steve Birnbaum leads the Pac-12 in points (15), goals (7) and goals-per-game (0.64)
- Birnbaum ranks second in the Pac-12 in points-per-game (1.36)
- Nationally, Birnbaum ranks 24th in goals-per-game, 25th in goals, 37th in points and 41st in points-per-game
- Senior midfielder Alec Sundly is tied for the Pac-12 lead in gamewinning goals (3)
- Junior midfielder Seth Casiple and senior midfielder Ryan Neil are tied with several others at third in the Pac-12 in assists (4)
- In assists per game, Neil is tied for third (0.40) and Casiple is tied for sixth (0.36) in the conference
- Redshirt junior goalkeeper Justin Taillole ranks second in goals-against average (0.70) and third in save percentage (.778) in the Pac-12; his GAA ranks 25th nationally
- Cal’s co-captains are Birnbaum, Sundly and Casiple
- Kevin Grimes is in his 14th season as head coach at Cal; the former SMU All-American (class of 1990) claimed five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010) before the conference became the Pac-12 in 2011
- Against ranked opponents, Grimes has a 40-37-16 all-time record at Cal; his record vs. ranked foes is 3-0-1 in 2013
Scouting the Cardinal
- In its last two games, Stanford lost at UCLA, 1-0, on Oct. 10 and tied San Diego State, 3-3, in two overtimes on Oct. 13
- Freshman forward Jordan Morris leads Stanford in points (13) and assists (5) and ranks second in goals (4)
- Morris is tied for his team high in gamewinning goals (2)
- Junior forward Zach Bateer leads the Cardinal in goals (5)
- Senior Drew Hutchins has played every minute in goal for Stanford, posting a 1.30 GAA and .674 save percentage
- Hutchins made two saves against the Bruins and five against the Aztecs
- Against SDSU, sophomore midfielder Aaron Kovar scored in the 24th minute and sophomore midfielder Eric Verso scored in the 28th minute to give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead
- Morris, who assisted on the first two goals against the Aztecs, scored in the 84th to give Stanford a 3-2 lead
- Jeremy Gunn is in his second season as Stanford’s head coach
Cal hosts San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25, at 3:30 p.m.