BERKELEY – No. 4 California will hit the road for their final three matches of the regular season beginning this week as they travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games. The Bears will be in Corvallis, Ore. on Friday afternoon as they take on the Oregon State Beavers (7-7-2, 0-5-2 Pac-12) at 1 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks. They conclude their week on Sunday in Seattle against the third ranked Washington Huskies (11-1-4, 4-1-2 Pac-12) at 1 p.m., also being broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Golden Bears bring an 11-2-2 record (5-1-1 in the Pac-12) into their match with the Beavers on Friday afternoon after falling for the first time in conference play, 2-1 at the hands of the second-ranked UCLA Bruins on Sunday at Goldman Field.
Cal is looking for valuable points as the conference race heats up at the conclusion of the season. UCLA currently holds the top spot with 18 points from nine matches, though they have played two more conference tilts than both the Bears as well as the Huskies, who have 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Bears defeated Oregon State 3-1 at home back on Oct. 3 in the Pac-12 opener, thanks to a trio of goals scored in the first 50 minutes of the match. Cal hosted Washington in a battle of the unbeaten that same weekend in Berkeley, and the two sides played to a spirited 1-1 draw on Oct. 6.
Christian Miles (play-by-play) and Cobi Jones (analyst) are the announcers for Cal’s matches vs. Oregon State and Washington. Cal will appear a total of nine times on the Pac-12 Networks, including once more after Sunday’s game. The Bears’ next televised match will be for the Bay Area Derby at Stanford to close the regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Following the Games
Fans can keep track of Cal home games by following live stats and by following the team on Twitter @CalMensSoccer. Each game’s live stats link will appear on the team’s CalBears.com schedule on the day of the game.
Cal is ranked No. 3 in the Soccer America poll, No. 4 in the NSCAA and CollegeSoccerNews.com polls, while ranking fifth in the Top Drawer Soccer poll this week.
Washington comes in at No. 3 in the NSCAA and CollegeSoccerNews.com poll, is fourth in both the Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer polls.
Scouting the Bears
- Senior defender Steve Birnbaum tallied his Pac-12 leading eighth goal of the season when he scored in the 86th minute of Cal’s 1-0 win over Stanford on Oct. 20 in Berkeley; his eight goals tie him for 27th-most nationally
- Birnbaum ranks tied for fourth in the conference with 17 points, ranks first in goals (8) goals-per-game at 0.53 and is tied for the third in points-per-game at 1.13; nationally, he is tied for 72nd in points, tied for 63rd in points-per-game and ranks 34th in goals-per-game
- Redshirt junior goalkeeper Justin Taillole, who made four saves against the UCLA Bruins, is a conference-best in goals-against-average at 0.81 and ranks second in save percentage at .789, after the UCLA game
- Taillole is tied for the second-most shutouts in the Pac-12 with four
- Nationally, Taillole ranks 40th in GAA and ranks 64th in save percentage
- Senior midfielder Ryan Neil, junior midfielder Seth Casiple and junior defender Christian Dean are tied for the team high in assists (4)
- Neil scored his first goal of the season in the win against San Diego State on Nov. 1
- Casiple tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner against San Diego State on Nov. 1
- Senior midfielder Alec Sundly paces the Bears and is tied for the Pac-12 high in game winning goals (3) and has four goals on the year, including an incredible bicycle kick finish against UCLA on Nov. 3
- As a team, Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 in GAA (0.90) and goals allowed (13)
- 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 and won his 150th career game on Nov. 1 in a 3-2 win over SDSU
- Against ranked opponents, Grimes has a 40-38-16 all-time record at Cal; his record vs. ranked foes is 3-1-1 in 2013
Scouting the Beavers
- Oregon State was idle last week, but lost their last time out 2-0 to Washington, on Oct. 27 at home
- Junior forward Khiri Shelton leads the Beavers in goals (4), and points (9), though he hasn’t appeared in a game since Sept. 22 against San Jose State
- Freshman midfielder Ole Sandnes and senior forward Daniel Van Fleet are tied for second on the team with three goals apiece
- Senior forward Borce Antanasov paces the Beavers with a team-high four assists
- Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Bersano has compiled a 1.04 GAA and a Pac-12 leading .817 save percentage in 16 appearances
- Though the Beavers are 0-5-2 in Pac-12 play, they recently earned a hard-fought draw at home against UCLA
- Steve Simmons is in his fifth season as OSU’s head coach
Scouting the Huskies
- Washington has a 6-0-2 home record prior to its Friday match against Stanford
- Junior forward Darwin Jones leads the Huskies in goals (6) and points (16) and scored on Oct. 25 in a 2-0 win over San Diego State
- Sophomore midfielder James Moberg has collected a UW-high seven assists, tied for second-most in the Pac-12 with his teammate, senior defender Michael Harris
- Moberg scored the lone goal in a 2-1 loss at UCLA on Oct. 27, which was his first of the season
- Senior defender Taylor Peay has tallied six goals, including the 85th minute equalizer at Berkeley back on Oct. 6
- Freshman midfielder Cristian Roldan ranks second on the team in points (14) with five goals and four assists in 16 games played
- Sophomore forward Josh Heard is tied for fourth among the team scoring leaders (four goals and three assists) with Harris (two goals and seven assists)
- Washington’s most recent match was a 2-1 overtime win over SMU in Seattle
- Six-foot-seven sophomore goalie Ryan Herman, who made one save against UCLA, has a 0.90 GAA and .700 save percentage in 15 appearances
- Jamie Clark is in his third year as head coach at Washington
Cal finishes its regular season with three consecutive road games, with a pair in the Pacific Northwest kicking off next week. They travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Nov. 8 and to Seattle to battle the No. 4 Washington Huskies on Nov. 10. The match against the Beavers will air on the Pac-12 Networks, while the game in Seattle will be broadcast locally on Pac-12 Bay Area.
Around the Pac-12
This past week, four of the six Pac-12 men’s soccer teams were in action:
Cal – Defeated San Diego State 3-2 on Friday, Nov. 1 behind a pair of goals from junior midfielder Seth Casiple
Lost to UCLA 2-1 on Sunday, Nov. 3 in Berkeley and fell to 11-2-2 overall (5-1-1 in Pac-12)
Oregon State – Were idle last week, but drew with UCLA in Los Angeles on Oct. 25 and lost to San Diego State 2-0
on Oct. 27 in San Diego to fall to 7-7-2 (0-5-2 inPac-12)
San Diego State - Lost to Cal 3-2 on Friday, Nov. 1 in Northern California
Tied 1-1 with Stanford on Sunday, Nov. 3 in Palo Alto and improved to 5-9-2 (2-5-2 in Pac-12)
Stanford - Lost 2-1 on Friday, Nov. 1 at home to UCLA
Drew 1-1 with San Diego State on Sunday, Nov. 3 at home and are now 7-5-3 (1-4-2 in Pac-12)
UCLA – Knocked off Stanford 2-1 on Friday, Nov. 1 on the road in Palo Alto behind goals by Gage Zerboni and Nathan Smith.
Defeated Cal 2-1 on Sunday, Nov. 3 in Berkeley to improve to 10-3-4 (5-1-3 in Pac-12)
Washington – Were idle last week, but defeated San Diego State 2-0 in San Diego on Friday, Oct. 25 and lost to UCLA 2-1 on Sunday, Oct. 27 in Los Angeles to fall to 11-1-4 (4-1-2 in Pac-12)
Casiple and Jalali Named to Capital One All-Academic District 8 First Team by CoSIDA
Fourth-ranked California (11-2-2, 5-1-1 Pac-12) has certainly been a success on the field thus far this season, but they are also succeeding in the classroom as well. Junior midfielders Seth Casiple and Omid Jalali both were named to the 2013 Capital One All-Academic District 8 First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday. The athletes selected to each team are recognized as the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performance in athletics and academics. The Academic All-District teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. As first team selections, Casiple and Jalali are eligible to be selected for Capital One Academic All-America honors, which take place later this month. Casiple, an anthropology major, boasts a 3.43 grade-point-average and has posted two goals and four assists thus far this season. He has appeared in 50 games for the Bears in his career. Jalali, a pre-med business administration major, has a 3.85 grade-point-average. Jalali has made 13 appearances for the Golden Bears this season and has tallied two goals and one assist.
Bears in the Pros
Cal is one of the most prolific producers of professional soccer players among college programs in the nation. Currently there are 16 former Golden Bears playing in the pro ranks, including 12 playing in Major League Soccer: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Calen Carr (Houston Dynamo), Servando Carrasco (Houston Dynamo), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas), Hector Jimenez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Purdy (Chivas USA), Josh Saunders (Real Salt Lake), A.J. Soares (New England Revolution), Tyson Wahl (Columbus Crew) and Andrew Wiedeman (Toronto FC). Three Bears – Anthony Avalos (SK Vard Haugesund, Norway First Division), Leo Krupnik (Maccabi Netanya, Israeli Premier League) and Jacob Wilson (Vasas SC, Hungary First Division) – play abroad, and Troy Roberts (Rochester Rhinos) plays in the USL Pro League.
Bears in the MLS Cup Playoffs
Of the 12 former Cal Bears in Major League Soccer, six will be available to participate in the MLS Cup Playoffs with their clubs. Forward Calen Carr and midfielder Serrando Carrasco of the Houston Dynamo grabbed the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and defeated the Montreal Impact in the knockout round. They battled the Supporter’s Shield holding New York Red Bulls to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their conference semifinal tilt and will be in Harrison N.J. for the second leg on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 5:00 p.m. PT on Univision. Former Golden Bear defender A.J. Soares’ New England Revolution returned to the postseason for the first time since the 2008 campaign. They earned the Eastern Conference’s third seed and will travel to take on former Cal goalkeeper Eric Kronberg’s Sporting Kansas City side in the second leg of the conference semifinal on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. PT, with the Revs leading 2-1 on aggregate. Midfielder Hector Jimenez’s defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy earned the Western Conference’s third seed and will be away for the second leg of the conference semifinal when they battle the second seeded Real Salt Lake and former Bears goalkeeper Josh Saunders on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2, with the Galaxy holding a 1-0 advantage on aggregate.