Bears Primed and Ready for Season Finales
Cal Travels to Arizona, Arizona State
ON TAP: The Cal women's soccer team (9-7-1) winners of four straight, will try to keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive when the visit Pac-10 foes Arizona and Arizona Sate this weekend. The Bears will meet Arizona (8-9-1, 2-5 Pac-10) on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. and Arizona State (11-6-0, 5-2 Pac-10) on Sunday at 12 noon.
THE SERIES: Friday's match versus Arizona will be the third meeting between the Bears and Wildcats with Cal holding a 2-0 advantage. The two teams first squared off in 1995 with Cal taking the series opener, 3-2. Last year, the Bears blanked the Wildcats, 3-0. Both matches were played in Berkeley. When Cal plays Arizona State on Sunday, it will be the first meeting ever between the two squads as this is only Arizona State's second year of Division I soccer.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS: Arizona is in only its fourth year of Division I soccer and to date has posted a 8-9-1 record (2-5, Pac-10). The eight wins is the most ever for the program as the 'Cats recorded their previous high in 1995 when they won six. Although Arizona did not win a Pac-10 match last season, finishing alone in the conference cellar, the Wildcats have already won two matches this season and could post their first-ever winning season with a pair of victories this weekend. Arizona enters Friday's match with Cal on a two-game losing streak, having dropped a pair to the Los Angeles schools last week. Arizona State (11-6-0, 5-2 Pac-10), on the other hand, has already clinched It's first winning season. In only their second year of soccer, the Sun Devils have already won 11 games after winning just four a year ago. ASU also boosted its post season chances last weekend with a big win (3-2) over 19th-ranked USC. The Sun Devils enter this weekend's play having won three of their last four. ASU is led by midfielder Antoinette Marjanovic (8 goals) and forward Jaelyn Clark (9 goals) who have both tallied 23 points on the season.
REWIND: Cal ran its winning streak to four matches last week as the Bears swept a pair of games from the Oregon Schools. Goalkeeper Jill Stephenson (San Diego) recorded her third consecutive shutout (fifth of the season) and Amy Bavalac (San Jose) netted her third goal of the year on an assist from Courtney Carroll (Fremont) in the game's 50th-minute for the 1-0 road victory. Cal registered nine shots on the afternoon and limited Oregon to six as the Bears outshot their opponent for the tenth time in 16 matches. On Sunday, Cal got its fourth consecutive win as the Bears rolled past Oregon State, 4-1. The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, but just five minutes it the second stanza Oregon State drew first blood. It didn't take Cal long to get the equalizer as Stacey Mallison (Los Gatos) found the net in the game's 54th minute on an assist from Gretchen Vanderlip (Clayton Valley). The Bears went up for good at the 72 minute mark when Carroll scored her fifth goal of the year, unassisted, to give Cal a 2-1 lead. Stacey Shearer (Arroyo Grande) continued Cal's second half barrage on the Oregon State goal when she netted her first goal of the year on an assist from Mallison in the 80th minute. Just five minutes later, Vanderlip had the Bears on the board once again off an assist from Ashlee Hunt (Bonita) scoring Cal's fourth and final goal of the match.
BEAR NOTES: The Cal offense continues to be balanced this season with 12 of the Bears 21 field players having tallied at least one goal and none more than five. In fact, four Bears have scored three goals each ... Cal outshot both Oregon, 9-6, and Oregon State, 18-9, and has now outshot 12-of-17 foes this year. Cal has outshot all opponents by a margin of 240 to 201 on the season ... the Bears have also taken more corner kicks than their opponents, 77 compared to 51 ... the Bears rank second in the Pac-10 in team goalkeeping allowing an average of only 1.12 goals per game and over the last four matches, Cal has only allowed one goal ... Goalkeeper Jill Stephenson ranks third in the Pac-10 in goals allowed at .92 a game. That figure also places her fifth in the western region ... Cal has held its opponents to one or fewer goals in 11-of-17 matches and has a 8-3 record in those games. On the other hand, Cal is 1-4-1 in games in which it has allowed two or more goals. Cal has only allowed more than two goals once (Stanford) ... six of Cal's seven losses have come by only one goal ... the Bears are 5-0-1 when they score more than one goal in a match and 7-3 when they score the game's first goal ... Cal's four goals versus OSU were the most by the Bears since the opening game of the season when the Bears defeated Utah 5-2.
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.