Sept. 15, 1997
Cal Set to Face No. 5 Santa Clara
Sun. Sept. 21 SANTA CLARA, Witter Field, Berkeley 1:00 p.m.
Sports Channel Delay (4:00 p.m.)
The Cal women's soccer team (3-2-1), coming off back-to-back shutout victories over UC Santa Barbara and Saint Mary's last week, returns to Witter Field on Sunday, Sept. 21, to face fifth-ranked and 1996 final four participant Santa Clara. The match, which is scheduled to kickoff at 1 p.m., is also set for same-day television broadcast by SportsChannel at 4 p.m.
ABOUT THE OPPONENT
Santa Clara, 5-0 on the season and ranked No. 5 in the nation, return's seven starters from last year's Final Four squad that finished the season with an 18-4-2 overall mark (5-2 West Coast Conference, second place). This season, Santa Clara's victories have come over San Jose State, Cal Poly SLO, Washington, Washington State and Gonzaga.
The match will be the 18th meeting between the Bears and Broncos in a series that dates back to 1982. Cal leads the all-time series between the two schools, 11-6-1. Last year, neither team could penetrate the other's defense as Cal and Santa Clara played two overtime sessions for a 0-0 draw. The tie was the first ever in the series.
Last week, Cal opened its home season with consecutive shutout victories over UC Santa Barbara and Saint Mary's. Cal began the week with a 1-0 win over UCSB, Friday afternoon at Witter Field. Natalie Stuhlmueller (Los Gatos) scored the game's lone goal on an assist from Tami Pivnick (West Hills) at the 78-minute mark of the match. Stuhlmueller was hit in stride by Pivnick's pass and was able to get behind the Gaucho defense, beating the UCSB goalkeeper from 12 yards out for her second goal of the season. The Bears kept UCSB under pressure all afternoon, registering at season-high 30 shots. Cal goalkeepers Jill Stephenson (San Diego) and Maite Zabala (Boise, Idaho) combined to hold Saint Mary's scoreless, and Cal improved its record to 3-2-1, defeating the Gaels, 1-0, Sunday afternoon. Kim Brown (Berkeley) scored the only goal of the match on an assist from Gretchen Vanderlip (Clayton Valley) in the game's 74th minute. Brown, a sophomore, one-timed the Vanderlip pass from the right edge of the goal box, sneaking the ball between the Saint Mary's goalkeeper and the right post, for the game-winner. For the match, the Bears out shot the Gaels, 14-6.
YOUTH BEING SERVED
IN '97 With only six upper-classmen -- two seniors and four juniors -- listed among its 25 players, Cal is fielding its youngest team since the 1991 season. The '91 Bears, who also had just six upperclassmen, posted a 9-8 overall record. Against Saint Mary's on Sunday, five sophomores and two freshmen were among Cal's starting 11 with four freshmen and two sophomores comprising six of the eight subs used in the match. Additionally, Cal's leading scorers, each with two goals apiece, are also underclassmen: sophomores Brown and Amy Balavac (San Jose) and freshman Stuhlmueller.
BROWN STEPPING UP
Moved from outside-mid to center-mid last week for the first time this season, sophomore Kim Brown responded in a big way. In Friday's home opener versus UCSB, Brown registered a game-high five shots and set up numerous others as she keyed the Cal attack. Sunday, the Berkeley product narrowly missed scoring the game's first goal on a header in the first half but found the net in the second for the game-winner. Selected as one of the team's co-captain for 1997, Brown is looking to improve on what was a stellar freshman campaign. In 1996, she appeared in 15 matches and was one of the Bears co-leading scorers, recording a total of 14 points on six goals and two assists. She also earned All-Pac-10 second team as well as SoccerBuzz All-Freshman West first team honors. Brown appears to be well on her way to eclipsing last year's scoring totals as she already leads the team with six points on two goals and two assists.
The Cal offense continues to be balanced this season with seven Bears having tallied at least one goal apiece ... the Bears continue to out shoot opponents at a torrid pace. Cal has out shot 4-of-5 foes, taking 80 percent more shots on the season, 95 compared to 53 ... more evidence that the Bears are pushing the attack: Cal has also taken more than twice the number of corner kicks of its opponents, 35 compared to 14.
HEAD COACH KEVIN BOYD
The 1997 season is head coach Kevin Boyd's first at the controls of the Cal women's soccer program. Named Cal's seventh head coach on May 20, Boyd spent last season as the Bears assistant coach. He helped guide the Bears to their best record of the '90s in terms of wins --13-3-2 overall (5-2 Pac-10, second place). He is aided by two former Golden Bears: assistant coach Katharin Roth (Cal '86) and goalkeeper coach Duncan Lyons (Cal '89), who played for the men's soccer program during the 1988 and '89 seasons.