That road has reached the 2012 season, and McGuire and the Bears are starting to reap the benefits.
That freshman class has turned into a core of experienced juniors, and they are a big reason why Cal takes a five-match winning streak into Friday afternoon's Pac-12 Conference game at Arizona State at 1 p.m.
"When you have a seed and you pour water on it, it's eventually going to flourish," McGuire said. "They've definitely grown in maturity and stature, and they also have tremendous leadership qualities."
Several of those freshmen from 2010 are making an impact for this year's Bears, who not only have won five in a row, but have taken nine of 10 and are smack-dab in the middle of the Pac-12 race at 11-3 overall, 4-1 in conference play. Junior Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick leads the team with 34 shots and ranks third with 11 points. Emi Lawson, who has five points, is a top defender who was a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection along with Fitzpatrick two years ago.
Junior Emily Kruger has been the team's starting goaltender since midway through her freshman season. Fellow juniors Rachel Mercik and Genessee Daughetee are also entrenched in the starting lineup.
Throw in another productive freshman class, led by explosive forward Ifeoma Onumonu's team-best eight goals and 19 points, as well as senior and New Zealand Olympian Betsy Hassett, and it's easy to see why Cal is in the thick of the Pac-12 race.
"This team is playing well together," McGuire said. "The team is fit, for the most part it's healthy, and we're playing good soccer. When you have those three components working in your favor, it's a benefit."
While the Bears are talented and experienced, McGuire says just as important is the chemistry he's observed between teammates.
"They are a very caring group for each other," McGuire said. "We don't have any divide by class. They are incredibly close -- the most I've ever experienced in my coaching career."