No. 7 Bears Open 2014 Against Pair of Top 25 Foes
|Match Center: No. 7 Cal at No. 22 North Carolina & No. 11 Wake Forest|
|Opponent||Time (PT)||Location||Broadcast||Live Stats|
|Friday, Aug. 29||No. 22 UNC||4 PM||
Chapel Hill, NC (Fetzer Field)
|Sunday, Aug. 31||
No. 11 Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC (Spry Stadium)
|Game Info: Notes | Twitter (@CalMensSoccer) | Instagram (@CalMensSoccer) | Facebook|
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The No. 7 California Golden Bears will kick off their 2014 campaign on Friday night at Fetzer Field at 4 p.m. PT against the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels. The match is being broadcast live on GoHeelsTV, courtesy of GoHeels.com and live stats will be available here. The Bears then head west to battle the 11th-ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sunday, Aug. 31 at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem.
SCOUTING REPORT: No. 22 NORTH CAROLINA
• Tabbed to finish third in ACC Coastal Division
• 9-6-5 (4-2-5 ACC) in 2013
• Reached the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in 2013
• Team returns 10 starters
• Leading scorer senior Tyler Engel returns, after scoring six goals and posting two assists
• Senior Brendan Moore, who played all 20 matches in goal last season returns after posting 10 shutouts in 2013
• LAST MEETING: N/A. This will be the first meeting between Cal and UNC
• Picked to finish second in the ACC Atlantic Division
• Scored 39 goals in 2013
• Michael Gamble returns as the team’s leading scorer, after posting four goals and four assists in only 11 appearances last season for the Demon Deacons
• Both Alec Ferrell (RS sophomore) and Andrew Harris (Junior) return in goal. The two combined for five shutouts in 2013
• LAST MEETING: Cal defeated Wake Forest 3-2 in Berkeley in the 2005 NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16
The Golden Bears open their season with a pair of top 25 programs for the second consecutive year after hosting and defeating No. 3 Georgetown and No. 2 Maryland in 2013. Cal hits the road to begin 2014 with a pair of tough tests in the Tar Heel State. Cal heads to Fetzer Field to battle the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday, Aug. 29 and heads west to do battle with the No. 11 Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sunday, Aug. 31.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN(S)
Though two of last season’s three co-captains have moved on to Major League Soccer, the Bears are not short on leadership. Senior midfielder Seth Casiple returns to wear the armband and is joined by fellow seniors Dylan Serrano and Omid Jalali.
Senior midfielder and co-captain Seth Casiple was named to the College Sports Madness Preseason Second Team All-American team. Casiple scored two goals and a team-high seven assists in 2013.
PAC-12 PRESEASON COACHES POLL
The Pac-12 coaches predicted Cal will finish fourth in the conference behind 2013 Pac-12 champion Washington, UCLA and Bay Area rival Stanford. In 2013, the Golden Bears finished third with a 6-3-1 conference record.
The Golden Bears have plenty of new faces in Berkeley this season. There are nine new players to the program, with eight freshman and one transfer, sophomore Trevor Haberkorn.
Haberkorn, a sophomore, transferred to Cal following his freshman season at Furman. He appeared in all 18 matches for the Paladins and was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshman Best XI and was also selected to the Southern Conference’s second team.
The eight incoming freshman made up a deep and talented recruiting class for head coach Kevin Grimes and are comprised of midfielders Marko Helfrich (Lafayette, Calif.), Aravind Sivakumar (Cupertino, Calif.) Eloi Vasquez (San Rafael, Calif.), defenders Matt Locklear (Irvine, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (Van Nuys, Calif.), Joshua Morton (Brentwood, Calif.), Ugo Rebecchini (Rome, Italy) and forward Paul Salcedo (Inglewood, Calif.).
The California Golden Bears go by the moniker Cal, and it is incredibly appropriate, considering the team’s roster is made up of 23 players from the Golden State. Only three of the 26 players are from outside of California, in sophomore defender Trevor Haberkorn (Keller, Texas), senior goalkeeper Justin Taillole (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and freshman defender Ugo Rebecchini (Rome, Italy).
SOMETHING TO PROVE
The Bears reached previously unknown heights in 2013, carrying the number one ranking for the first time in program history for six consecutive weeks. This group is focused from the outset to earn results and looks to return to the postseason with an eye on reaching more hallowed ground. In 2013, Cal reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Maryland Terrapins 2-1 in Berkeley after an 86th minute goal. That marked the third time in the 107 years of program history that the Bears had advanced that far. The 2014 team will be looking to pen yet another new chapter in the record books.
Though there are nine new faces on campus, the 2014 Bears still have a strong veteran presence in tow. With 10 upperclassmen and a total of nine seniors on board, the Bears are anything but short on leadership. Co-captains Seth Casiple, Dylan Serrano and Omid Jalali are at the forefront from a leadership perspective, but there is much more to go around. Factor in the stability in the coaching ranks, as Kevin Grimes enters his 15th season at the helm, as does goalkeeper coach Henry Foulk, and there is a lot of experience in Blue and Gold this upcoming season.
GRIMES AMONG COUNTRY’S ELITE
Head coach Kevin Grimes begins his 15th season with the Golden Bears and has cemented himself as one of the nation’s best. The 2013 NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) All Far West Region Coach of the Year has compiled a record of 153-92-35 record in Berkeley over the course of 14 seasons and trails only Cal Athletics Hall of Famer Bob DiGrazia in total wins (202 from 1952-1980).
2013 IN REVIEW
In 2013, when the Bears compiled a 14-5-2 overall record (6-3-1 in the Pac-12), as well as their third round NCAA Tournament win over Coastal Carolina. The Bears are coming off of a record-setting season that saw them ranked number one in the country for a six-week period for the first time in school history. They advanced to the school’s third ever quarterfinal appearance and earned the NCAA tournament’s fourth overall seed, the highest ever for the program.
BEARS IN THE PROS
Currently 16 former Bears are playing professionally, including 12 who are currenly on MLS rosters. Rookie Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United) was just named to the MLS Best XI, fellow rookies Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and Alec Sundly (New England Revolution) were all part of the 2013 Bears during their Quarterfinal run. Additionally, Anthony Avalos (SK Vard Haugesund), David Bingham (Strommen IF), Servando Carrasco (Houston Dynamo), Chris Cortez (Orange County Blues), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Andrew Jacobson (New York City FC), Hector Jimenez (Columbus Crew), Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City), Leo Krupnik (Maccabi Um El Fahm), Josh Saunders (New York City FC), A.J. Soares (New England Revolution), Tyson Wahl (Columbus Crew) and Andrew Wiedeman (Toronto FC) are all currently on professional rosters.