Sept. 1, 2012
Weekly Release 3a - USF
Sunday, Sept. 2
Noon - No. 17 Cal (3-2) vs. San Francisco (2-1-2)
Edwards Stadium - Berkeley
All-Time Record vs. USF - 12-3-2
Last Meeting - W 6-1 on 9/18/11
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Twitter, GameTracker
Tickets: Adults $8, Senior $4, Youth/Students Free
BERKELEY - The No. 17 California women's soccer it set for a noon match-up with San Francisco on Sept. 2 at Edwards Stadium. The yearly match-up pitting the Bay Area schools will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. Both teams earned 4-1 wins on Friday with the Golden Bears (3-2) defeating Cal Poly 4-1 in San Luis Obispo and the Dons (2-1-2) dropped Sacramento State 4-1 in the City.
Cal Leads Pac-12 in Scoring
With 14 goals just five games into the season, Cal sits atop the conference leader board. The 14 goals are first in the Pac-12, with Stanford and Washington State close behind with 11 apiece. Cal leads the Pac-12 in shots with 99, averaging 19.80 per game. With the four goals scored against Cal Poly moved the Bears into sole position of first place in points with 38. Cal paces the Pac-12 in corners with 37 (7.40 per game), which is 12 more than second-place UCLA's 25.
Earlier This Weekend on the Pitch
After dropping two hard-fought, white-knuckle games last week, the No. 17 California women's soccer team returned to its top-notch form with a 4-1 win over Cal Poly on Friday evening. The Golden Bears (3-2-0) took a 1-0 advantage over the Mustangs (3-1-1) into the half at Cal Poly's Alex G. Spanos Stadium before exploding for three second-half goals to the Mustangs' one. Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick struck in the 11th minute. Fitzpatrick scored 10:58 into the game from five yards out after Ifeoma Onumonu dished off a quick pass. The Bears held the 1-0 lead until three minutes into the second half, when Taylor Comeau scored her first goal of the season with Kory Lamet on the assist. As it was for Fitzpatrick, there was dual-pronged elation for Comeau on the goal and the authoritative victory. The Bears didn't wait 10 minutes before scoring again, this time with Emi Lawson heading the ball in off a Thelma Einarsdottir corner at 55:51. The stalwart defender Lawson played a definite role yet again for the Cal defense, which allowed seven Mustang shots. It was déjà vu in the 65th minute when Einarsdottir stepped up to take another corner kick. Einarsdottir crossed the ball in, where it flicked off a couple of players before Nina Pederson got the final touch on the ball just in front of the goal. Down 4-0, the Mustang offense kicked into high gear to avoid the shutout. With 11:30 remaining in regulation, Cici Kobisnki put the ball in the back left corner from 15 yards out for unassisted goal.
Bears Limit Santa Clara to Three Shots
Even though Cal lost to Santa Clara 1-0 on Aug. 23, the Bears allowed the Broncos to fire off just three shots. The three shots allowed are the fewest allowed in the Pac-12. The last time the Bears had limited an opponent to such paltry shooting numbers was Oct. 23, 2011, when the Utes only took two shots in the ultimate 2-0 Cal victory.
Bears Make Waves on Conference Lists
Betsy Hassett - with three goals and one assist - is fourth in the Pac-12 with seven points and ninth in points per game (1.40). Thanks to her hat trick on Aug. 19, Grace Leer is tied with Hassett and four others for second in the conference with three goals. Leer and Hassett are tied for 10th with 0.75 goals per game. Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick is tied for second with three others amongst all Pac-12 players with 16 shots (3.20 per game), which is just four behind first-place holder Zakiya Bywaters, who has 20. Fitzpatrick's 3.25 shots per game rank her eight in the conference.
Last Week on the Pitch
Despite outshooting the opposition by double-digit figures, Cal fell 1-0 to Santa Clara on Aug. 23. Santa Clara got on the board in the 30th minute and the Bears, who pressed for the majority of the second half, could not equalize. In the 30th minute, Santa Clara's Sarah Jackson dribbled in the box before shooting it to the lower left corner. Though Santa Clara took the 1-0 lead into the halftime break, at that point, Cal was outshooting the Broncos 5-2 with four corner kicks to Santa Clara's one. Cal then doubled its offensive output in the second stanza, outshooting SCU 11-1. On Aug. 26 in Cal's first-ever Pac-12 Networks broadcast, the Bears lost 3-2 to No. 13 Missouri. After the Bears led 1-0 for over 40 minutes, the Tigers knotted things up with a goal in the 51st and then went ahead 2-1 when they scored in the 59th. Playing one-goal down for 15 minutes, Betsy Hassett equalized in the 74th, but a Mizzou goal two minutes later cost Cal dearly. The Bears looked to capitalize on chances brought about by two Tiger yellow cards in the final six minutes, but they could not find the back of the net.
Bears Outshoot Opponents
In classic California women's soccer fashion, the Bears are currently outshooting their opponents 61-17. With a shot differential of 14.6 per game, Cal averages 20.3 per game to its opponents' 5.7. Cal limited Santa Clara to just three shots, which pales in comparison to Cal's 16. In the game against San Jose State, the Bears outshot the Spartans 19-5. Cal outshot its first opponent - Pacific - 26-9.
In the Rankings
In the Top Drawer Soccer poll, Cal dropped two spots from No. 15 to No. 17 this week. The Bears are receiving votes in the Soccer Times poll. Neither Cal Poly or USF is ranked in any of the four polls.
Scouting San Francisco
In their last meeting, Cal downed USF 6-1 on Sept. 18, 2011 in the City with two of the goals coming off successful penalty kicks
In that game, five of the six goals were scored by current Bears - Grace Leer, Lauren Battung (ultimate gamewinner), Thelma Einarsdottir, Kory Lamet and Rachel Mercik
USF battled to a pair of 1-1 double-overtime ties at San Jose State (Aug. 17) and against Fresno State (Aug. 19) to start the 2012 season
USF's first victory came by way of a 1-0 decision against Pacific on Aug. 24
The Dons bring a one-game losing streak into this weekend, dropping their most recent match to CSU Bakersfield 2-1 on Aug. 26
USF takes on Sacramento State on Friday before making the trip to Berkeley
Mackenzie Krieser, Jaciara Mello, Lauren AbuAli and Rochelle Weerackoon have all scored goals this year
The Dons are under the guidance first-year head coach Jim Millinder, who had previously served at the helm of the USC program
Former Bear to Square Off Against Alma Mater
Sunday's match will bring four-year California letterwinner Maite Zabala back to Berkeley. Zabala, who is in her fourth year as an assistant coach at USF. After playing for the Bears for four years, Zabala was a volunteer assistant and assistant coach for five years. In nine years with Zabala as a player or coach, the Bears posted nine winning seasons and garnered eight NCAA Tournament bids, highlighted by a third-round appearance in 2005. Under Zabala's tutelage, the Bears ranked seventh among NCAA Division I leaders in team goals-against average at 0.475 in 2005 and matched a program high with 14 shutouts.
Next Week on the Pitch
Cal plays just one game next week - a Sept. 7 tilt at UC Davis. The last time the Bears and Aggies squared off was in Neil McGuire's first-ever game - Aug. 27, 2007 - in exhibition play that saw UCD emerge victoriously with a 1-0 win.
Leer Named Aug. 21 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
After singing the national opener for the home opener against San Jose State on Aug. 19, Grace Leer scored a hat strick to power the Bears to a 5-2 win, making her the first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. With the three goals, Leer ups her previous career goal count of two to five. After SJSU struck first, Leer equalized with her first goal of the game. With the teams tied 2-2, with just three minutes on the clock before halftime, Leer scored twice to give Cal a 4-2 first-half advantage. With her team down 1-0, and with fresh legs - subbing in just two minutes prior - Grace Leer scored her first goal of the year. Fitzpatrick crossed the ball in from the far side, and Leer collected the loose ball in the six-yard box and fired it in. In the 42nd minute, and flanked by multiple SJSU bodies and the SJSU keeper, Leer found her footing and waited for the perfect moment, when she flicked the ball in. Then, with the 10-second countdown well underway and audible, Leer fired off a shot from six yards out, sending the Bears into the half with a two-goal lead.
Five Goals Best in 15 Games
The five goals scored against San Jose State on Aug. 19 were the most Cal had scored in 15 games. Cal's most recent goal explosion of five goals or more occurred in a 6-1 win over San Francisco on Sept. 18, 2011.
Freshman Pair Score First Goals
In their very first weekend of play, freshmen Celeste Boureille and Ifeoma Onumonu both scored their inaugural career goals. Boureille got her Cal career off on the absolute best foot, scoring the Bears' first goal of the season and her first in the Blue & Gold with a strike in the 44th minute. Her goal was the ultimate gamewinner in the eventual 3-0 victory over Pacific on Aug. 17. In the 55th minute of the Aug. 19 game against San Jose State, Onumonu scored in front of the goal with Kory Lamet assisting.
McGuire Climbs Victory Chart
With 12 victories last season and two this year, head coach Neil McGuire now has 59 career wins in his sixth season with the Golden Bears. Last year, McGuire's victory against USC on Oct. 9, 2011 moved him past Andy Bonchonsky (1991-96) and into third place on the school's all-time coaching victories list. He owns a 59-36-12 career record at Cal. McGuire enters this weekend just two wins shy of second-place Bill Merrell, who posted a 61-20-8 record from 1983-85.
Cal Opens Season With Two Wins
The Bears began 2012 on a serious high note - defeating Pacific 3-0 on Aug. 17 in Stockton, Calif., and then besting San Jose State 5-2 in the home opener on Aug. 19. Cal is now 25-5-1 in the program's history of season openers. Additionally, the Bears have won 15 of their past 17 lid lifters.
International Golden Bears
Returning to Berkeley freshly off the international pitch are senior midfielder Betsy Hassett and junior defender Ariana Martinez. After playing in last summer's FIFA World Cup, Hassett rejoined the New Zealand National Team for the London Olympics. Last season in Berkeley, Hassett played in all 22 matches with 18 starts in the midfield and was a second-Team All-Pac-12 selection. Martinez - who is also a member of the Mexican Senior National Team - is currently playing in this summer's U-20 World Cup in Japan as part of the Mexican squad. Martinez transferred to Cal from UCLA and will have two years of eligibility left in Berkeley.
Join the Bears in the Social Media Realm
This season, fans of the prestigious California women's soccer team can get even closer to the Golden Bears - through Facebook, Twitter and the Cal Athletics YouTube channel. By following the California women's soccer team on its social media, fans can get even closer to the team, get breaking-news alerts, see photos and get other inside information. The Cal women's soccer Facebook page features links to CalBears.com stories, polls, insider photos as well as YouTube videos highlighting the Bears. Cal women's soccer Twitter is the best place to find game results, links to stories as well as photos and other insider information. Additionally, Cal women's soccer videos will be posted on the Cal Athletics YouTube channel and then linked on social media.
Remembering Last Season
In 2011, Cal won 12 matches - its most since 2007 - and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship. The Bears, who climbed as high as No. 11 in the national rankings during the year, knocked off Santa Clara on the road in the opening round of NCAAs and nearly advanced to the third round of the tournament, falling to No. 16 Boston College in penalty kicks. Four Bears earned All-Pac-12 honors - Danielle Brunache, Betsy Hassett, Lauren Battung and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick - and a record 13 individuals were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, with Hassett also gaining NSCAA Scholar All-American recognition.
A Look at Cal's Schedule
All but two of Cal's home matches (Santa Clara and Washington State) this fall will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The 2012 slate features 10 home contests at Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field, with eight set to be televised by the conference's new networks. The demanding fall slate includes five teams - Oregon State, Santa Clara, Stanford, UCLA and Washington State - that earned a berth in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including the defending NCAA champion Cardinal.
Pac-12 Coaches Predict Cal to Finish Third
The Conference coaches foresee the California women's soccer team taking third place in the Pac-12, according to the preseason poll released Monday. The third-place slating equals the 2007 predication, which was the highest forecast in the past six years. The 12 coaches selected defending national champion Stanford as the preseason favorite.
Cal's Morgan, U.S. Win Gold by Beating Japan
Former Golden Bear Alex Morgan and the U.S. Women's National Team defeated Japan 2-1 to win gold on Aug. 9 at the London Olympics. Morgan - a four-year letterwinner with the California women's soccer team - assisted on the Americans' first goal. Morgan scored thrice - including one gamewinner - over the course of the London Games, which were the Diamond Bar, Calif., native's first Olympic outing. She had played in the 2011 FIFA World Cup, taking silver with the Americans.
A Golden Olympics for the Golden Bears
A total of 46 Golden Bear athletes, coaches and staff members represented Cal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and together, they brought home a school-record-tying 17 medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Bears have won 50 medals over the past three Olympics (16 in 2004, 17 in 2008, 17 in 2012), and they have captured 178 medals all-time (99 gold).
Cal No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including nine current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.