An early conference season men's soccer showdown highlights a busy weekend coming up for Cal Athletics.
The Bears' men's soccer team opens Pac-12 play Friday at home against San Diego State, and then welcomes conference favorite UCLA to Edwards Stadium on Sunday. The match against the Bruins will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
UCLA is ranked No. 9 in the country and is the defending Pac-12 champion, but the Bears are off to a hot start at 5-2-1 and could challenge the Bruins in the conference race.
The football team returns home after a two-game road trip and looks to get on the board in Pac-12 play when it hosts Arizona State at 1 p.m. The Bears have won four in a row over the Sun Devils and eight of the last nine.
The women's volleyball team goes on the road for the second straight week to begin Pac-12 play when it visits Arizona State on Friday night at 6 p.m. and Arizona on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. At the end of the week, the Bears will have played 10 of their first 14 matches on the road.
After dropping its conference opener to Arizona, the No. 19 women's soccer team welcomes Oregon and Oregon State to town for matches on Friday and Sunday. Sunday's game against the No. 20 Beavers airs on the Pac-12 Networks at 1:30 p.m.
The fourth-ranked men's water polo team takes part in the SoCal Invitational in Santa Barbara, kicking things off with a match against Air Force on Saturday.
The field hockey team hosts rival Stanford on Friday at 12:30 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks, then goes on the road for a game at UC Davis on Sunday.
Cal's women's tennis team begins its fall schedule by hosting the Cal Nike Invitational. More than 80 players from 13 schools will be in action in both singles and doubles. The tourney runs Friday through Sunday at the Hellman Tennis Complex and Channing Tennis Courts.
The men's and women's cross country teams compete in the Stanford Invitational on Saturday morning. The men go first with their 8000-meter race, followed by the 6000-meter race for the women.
Tough 27-9 loss for the football team at No. 13 USC on Saturday. The game was competitive until late in the third quarter, with the Bears driving for a potential tying touchdown. But Cal didn't have enough and the Trojans went on to the victory. The Bears, now 1-3, are home for the next two weeks against Arizona State and UCLA.
The women's volleyball team split its first two Pac-12 matches, falling at No. 6 Stanford and then beating Colorado on the road. Middle hitter Shannon Hawari continued her strong season with a career-high 17 kills in the win over the Buffs. Cal is 7-5 overall and travels to the Arizona schools this weekend.
The No. 15 women's soccer team lost its Pac-12 opener to Arizona 2-1 and then beat Nevada 3-0 in nonconference action. Cal had to play most of the second half against the Wildcats undermanned after goalkeeper Emily Kruger exited the game with a red card. All three of the game's goals were scored after that. Ifeoma Onumonu and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick scored goals against the Wolf Pack, which also helped the Bears cause with an own goal.
The men's soccer team won both of its games in the Cal-Stanford Tournament, defeating Duquesne 4-1 and Loyola Marymount 1-0. Sophomore forward Stefano Bonomo tallied three goals in the two games and now has eight points on the season, tied for the second-most on the team. The Bears are now 5-2-1 heading into their Pac-12 opener Friday against San Diego State.
The cross country team competed in the Panorama Farms Invitational in Earlysville, Virginia and the women placed fourth while the men took sixth. Kelsey Santisteban finished third individually among the women, completing the 5,000-meter race in 17:37.4. Sophomore Chris Walden was the top Cal finisher among the men, placing 23rd in the 8,000-meter race in a time of 24:52.9.
In the season-opener for swimming, Cal featured both the King and Queen of the Pool at the annual pentathlon at Cal Poly. Marcin Tarczynski took the honor for the third consecutive year on the men's side, while freshman Rachel Bootsma dethroned teammate Caitlin Leverenz to win for the women. Leverenz had taken the honor in each of the three previous years. The award goes to the swimmer with the lowest combined time among five events.
The men's golf team began the PING/Golfweek Preview on Sunday and was tied for eighth place in the 15-team field after the first round. Max Homa and Michael Weaver each shot 1-over par 71 and were four stroked behind the leader. The tourney continues through Tuesday.
The Bears had three players reach the quarterfinals of the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic before exiting. Senior and 124th-ranked Christoffer Konigsfeldt, senior Riki McLachlan and freshman Mads Engstad all won their groups to reach the quarters.
The No. 4 men's water polo team dropped a heartbreaker to No. 1 USC, 7-6. The Trojans scored the game-winner with 1:38 remaining. Aleksa Saponjic and Collin Mulcahy led the Bears with two goals apiece.
There is still a lot of Cal action on tap for the rest of the weekend. Here's a quick recap of what has transpired so far in Bear-land:
The men's tennis team won all four of its singles matches on the first day of the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic on Friday. Junior Ben McLachlan, ranked No. 16, senior Riki McLachlan and freshman Mads Engsted all beat members of the USTA juniors, while senior Christoffer Konigsfeldt beat Stanford's John Morrisey. The Bears split their two doubles matches.
Freshman Rachel Bootsma, in her first event as a collegian, was named Queen of the Pool in the annual Cal Poly season-opener Friday. Bootsma had the lowest combined time after swimming five 100-yard events. Fellow Bear Caitlin Leverenz was named Queen of the Pool in each of the three previous years.
On the men's side, Marcin Tarczynski was crowned the King of the Pool for the third year in succession. Tarczynski had the overall fastest time in the 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free and 100 individual medley.
Stefano Bonomo netted two goals as the men's soccer team routed Duquesne 4-1 on Friday. Kyle Lunt and Tony Salciccia also scored for the Bears, who are now 4-2-1. Cal has outscored its opponents 13-1 over the past four games.
The women's soccer team dropped its Pac-12 opener 2-1. All of the scoring took place after Bears goalkeeper Emily Kruger got a red card in the 51st minute. Arizona's Jazmin Ponce scored a minute later to make it 1-0. Cal tied it up on a goal by Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, but Ponce scored again for the game-winner.
Two other Cal student-athletes have been named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award - Offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin from the football team and defender Steve Birnbaum from the men's soccer team. Check out their accomplishments here:
Cal will be featured on the Pac-12 Network four times during the rest of this week.
Tonight's women's volleyball Pac-12 opener at No. 6 Stanford at 7 p.m. kicks it off, followed by the No. 15 women's soccer team's conference opener against Arizona on Friday at 2 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. Saturday, the football team's Pac-12 opener at No. 13 USC airs on the network at 3 p.m. Then on Sunday, it's the men's soccer contest against Loyola Marymount at Noon at Edwards Stadium.
Also on Sunday, the No. 3 men's water polo team's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener at No. 1 USC airs on ESPNU at 1 p.m.
Cal would have obviously preferred a victory Saturday at No. 12 Ohio State, but if nothing else the Bears proved they can play with a top team on the road during their 35-28 loss in Columbus, Ohio.
In many ways, Cal outplayed Ohio State. But the Buckeyes were able to break a 28-28 tie with just over three minutes left to pull out the victory.
It was an electrifying game for sophomore tailback Brendan Bigelow, who had touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards. His incredible 81-yarder was one of the top plays on ESPN's SportsCenter on Saturday night.
Also around the athletic department last week:
The women's soccer team keeps on rolling. The Bears beat Penn at home, 1-0, to improve to 6-2. After splitting their first four matches, Cal has now won four in a row. Betsy Hassett, who played on New Zealand's Olympic team last month in London, scored the goal for the Bears. Hassett has four goals and 12 points to lead Cal this season.
The men's soccer squad registered a win and a tie during the week. The Bears hammered Houston Baptist 5-0, with five different players scoring goals. Then Cal played USF to a 0-0 tie in double overtime. The Bears are now 3-2-1.
The women's volleyball team split a pair of matches against Bay Area rivals. The Bears beat Saint Mary's on four sets on Friday night, with Adrienne Gehan getting 18 kills and Mary McKennon registering a career-high 24 digs. Cal then lost at USF in three sets, the second time the Bears have lost to the Dons this season.
The rugby team opened the fall 7s season with a dominant run to the championship of the Buckeye Sevens Invitational. Cal went 4-0 during the tournament, outscoring Notre Dame, Navy (twice) and Ohio State by a combined score of 113-15.
The men's water polo team went 2-2 at the prestigious NorCal Invitational at Stanford. The Bears beat Air Force 19-2 and No. 6 UC Irvine 14-7 on Saturday. Then Cal lost a pair of heartbreakers to highly ranked teams on Sunday - 11-10 in overtime to No. 2 UCLA and 9-8 to No. 4 Stanford.
The field hockey team went on the road for the first time this season and split a pair of games in the midwest. The Bears lost to Indiana 2-1 in overtime then came back to defeat Missouri State 5-2. Jordan O'Reilly scored two goals in the win.
Christopher Lee has joined Cal's women's water polo coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Lee is the former head coach of both the men's and women's water polo programs at Penn and has been heavily involved with the U.S. National Team program the past couple years. Lee has coached in the Olympic Development program and was the videographer for the U.S. Women's Water Polo Team that won the gold medal last month in London.
Lee has a major in computer science from Penn, where he also minored in architecture. He also has a Master of Architecture degree from the Penn School of Design. Lee is also pursuing a Master of Science degree at Cal.
Catch football coach Jeff Tedford, fullback Eric Stephens, men's soccer coach Kevin Grimes and cross country coach Tony Sandoval on Cal Coaches Corner tonight. The one-hour radio show devoted to Cal athletics airs from 6-7 p.m. on KNEW 910-AM.
We're in the middle of another action-packed weekend of Cal sports. There is still more to come, but here's what's happened so far:
The football team lost a tough one at No. 12 Ohio State, falling 35-28 in a hostile environment in Columbus, Ohio. The Bears fell behind 20-7 but came back to take a 21-20 lead early in the fourth quarter. The score was tied at 28-28 before the Buckeyes scored a touchdown with 3:26 left to pull it out. Quarterback Zach Maynard was 26-for-37 for 280 yards and a touchdown and interception in the loss. Sophomore running back Brendan Bigelow had an explosive day with touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards.
The No. 3 men's water polo team continued its explosive start to the season by routing No. 16 Air Force, 19-2, at the NorCal Invitational at Stanford. Collin Smith, Aleksa Saponjic and Colin Mulcahy each scored three goals apiece for the Bears. Cal meets No. 6 UC Irvine later this evening.
The rugby team kicked off the fall 7s season by winning the Buckeye Sevens Invitational in dominant fashion. Cal won three matches on Friday, beating Notre Dame, Navy and Ohio State by a combined score of 68-15. The Bears then came back to hammer Navy, 45-0 this morning to win the championship.
The field hockey team lost in overtime to Indiana today, 2-1. Caroline Struijk scored for the Bears. Cal ended up losing in a shootout.
The women's soccer team beat visiting Penn on Friday afternoon, 1-0. Betsy Hassett scored for the Bears in the first half.
The Cal Athletic Department is setting up shop in Columbus, Ohio this week, and it's not just because of the football team's visit to Ohio State.
While the Bears are taking on the 12th-ranked Buckeyes, Cal's rugby team also begins its fall 7s season at the Buckeye Sevens Invitational, also on Ohio State's campus.
Those are two of a slew of events Cal sports will be taking part in the rest of this week.
The Bears have already gone international this week, with the women's golf team taking part in the Topy Cup in Tangura, Japan. Cal and Oregon are the only women's teams competing in the event, along with a handful of men's teams. The Bears were in first place after the first day Tuesday with a combined score of 280. Junior Nicola Rossler and freshman Hannah Suh each carded 70 for Cal. The tournament runs three days (54 holes).
The men's soccer team also has already been in action this week, and they did so in fine fashion with a 5-0 rout of Houston Baptist on Tuesday. Five different Bears scored, including Tony Calciccia's team-leading third goal of the season. Cal hosts USF on Sunday.
Around the athletic department this week:
The football team faces a big challenge at Ohio State, which is 59-7 at home since 2002. The Bears will have to contend with dynamic Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller, who has emerged as a Heisman Trophy candidate early on. This is the seventh all-time meeting between the schools, and the first since 1972.
The women's volleyball team is staying in the Bay Area this week, hosting Saint Mary's on Friday night and visiting USF on Saturday. The Bears have won four in a row and are 5-3. One of those losses came to USF at the Wahine Volleyball Classic in Hawaii.
The No. 15 women's soccer team will play its eighth match of the season and third on the Pac-12 Networks when it hosts Penn on Friday. The Bears (5-2) bring a three-match win streak into the game. Cal will look to continue its potent ways on offense - the Bears lead the Pac-12 in scoring with 19 goals.
At the Buckeye Seven Invitational, the Bears play three matches Friday night -- against Notre Dame, Navy and the host Buckeyes. Play continues Saturday morning.
After six straight home games to start the season, the Cal field hockey team finally hits the road this weekend. The Bears play Indiana on Saturday and Missouri State on Sunday.
The No. 3 men's water polo team, fresh off its dominant performance at the Princeton Invitational last weekend in which it went 5-0 and knocked off a pair of ranked teams, plays at the NorCal Invitational Saturday and Sunday at Stanford.
Cal junior Collin Smith has been named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week. Smith scored 19 goals in five matches last weekend at the Princeton Invitational. The No. 3 Bears won all five matches, including two against ranked teams.