Nov. 2, 2011
Saturday, Nov. 5
7 p.m. (PST) - No. 23 Cal (12-5-2, 5-3-2) at No. 1 Stanford (18-0-1, 10-0)
Laird Q. Cagan Stadium - Palo Alto, Calif.
Series Record with the Cardinal: 11-15-4
Last Meeting: L, 3-0 in Berkeley (Oct. 30, 2010)
BERKELEY - The No. 23 California women's soccer team closes its regular season at top-ranked and rival Stanford in the Bay Area Derby on Saturday. The 7 p.m. contest will take place at a sold-out Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in nearby Palo Alto.
Cal enters its final regular-season match with a 12-5-2 overall record and a 5-3-2 mark in Pac-12 play. The Golden Bears are fifth in the conference with 17 total points as they look to leap-frog Washington State (19 points) and finish fourth in the league with a win on Saturday and a loss by the Cougars. Stanford captured its third-straight Pac-12 title last weekend and comes into its last match of the regular season with an unblemished 18-0-1 record and perfect 10-0 mark in the conference. The Cardinal has been ranked No. 1 in all four major polls for the majority of the season.
Cal in the National Rankings
California is ranked No. 23 in the latest TopDrawerSoccer.com national poll and is receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) and Soccer Times polls. The Bears climbed as high as No. 11 in the national rankings (TopDrawerSoccer.com) during the week of Sept. 19-25.
Bears Getting Offensive
California has scored 41 goals in its 19 matches and is out-scoring its opponent 41-17 overall. The Bears have scored four or more goals in five matches this season and have produced six or more goals in a game twice in 2011 (7-0 vs. North Dakota State and 6-1 at San Francisco). Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 in points (6.00), goals (2.16) and third in assists (1.68). The Bears' 296 shots this season rank third in the conference.
Kruger Solid Between the Posts
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kruger has started all 19 matches for the Bears with a 0.92 goals-against average and six shutouts on the year. The sophomore net minder played all 90 minutes between the posts to record the shutout against Hawaii, Long Beach State, USC and Utah and played all 91 minutes in the shutout at Arizona and all 110 minutes in the shutout performance against No. 2 UCLA. She played the first 45 minutes of Cal's 7-0 victory over North Dakota State, 75 minutes in the Bears' 4-0 rout of Oregon, and all but 42 seconds due to injury in the 1-0 win against Arizona State, but NCAA rules require goalkeepers to play the full match to receive credit for a shutout. Kruger was the first to hold UCLA scoreless through the Bruins' first 12 matches of the season.
Several Golden Bears are among the Pac-12 Conference leaders in many categories. As a team, Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 in points (6.00), goals (2.16) and third in assists (1.68). The Bears' 296 shots this season rank third in the conference. Sophomore Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick
ranks fourth in the conference with seven assists and a 0.39 assists per-game-average on the year. Junior Lauren Battung
is tied for eighth in the conference with seven goals and ranks ninth with a 0.39 goals-per-game average. Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kruger's
0.92 goals-against average is fifth-best in the league and her .754 save percentage is sixth-best in the conference. Kruger's six shutouts are the fourth-most in the Pac-12 this season. Despite having missed the last nine matches, injured senior forward Katie Benz
remains third in the Pac-12 in goals and sixth in the league in overall points.
Shutting Out the Competition
Cal has posted nine shutouts this season with sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kruger credited with six of them. The Bears have held their opponent scoreless in five of their last seven matches. Cal did not allow a goal from the second half of the Washington State match on Oct. 2 to the second half of the Colorado contest on Oct. 21, a span of 382 minutes and 43 seconds. The nine shutouts is the most since an 11-shutout season in 2007.
Fitzpatrick Named Cal Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week
Sophomore forward Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick was honored as the California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week on Monday following her performance against Oregon. The forward recorded her first career hat trick with three goals and an assist to lead the Golden Bears to a 4-0 victory on the road against the Ducks last Friday night. Fitzpatrick, who netted her first career goal against Oregon as a freshman last season, scored goals in the eighth, 52nd and 70th minute, while assisting on Lauren Battung's score in the 58th minute. It was the first three goals of the season for the sophomore. All four shots she attempted in Friday's match were on-goal with three landing in the back of the net. Five of her seven shots during the weekend's two matches were on-goal.
Leading Scorer Lost for Season
Cal senior forward Katie Benz suffered a season-ending injury in the Santa Clara match on Sept. 25. The Sonoma, Calif. native led the Pac-12 Conference and was in the top-five nationally in scoring at the time of her injury. She recorded 10 goals and three assists in the 10 matches she played in this season. Benz played a scoring role in each of the first eight matches on the year with a goal in seven-straight contests prior to her injury. Despite having missed the last nine matches, the forward remains third in the Pac-12 in goals and sixth in the league in overall points.
Cal Dominant at Edwards
Cal completed its regular-season home schedule with a 6-2-1 record. The Bears have lost just four of 23 matches in Berkeley over the last two seasons.
Cal has reached the double-digit mark in victories for the 23rd time in program history with a 12-5-2 record this season. The 2011 Golden Bears became the fastest to reach the 12-win mark since Cal's 2007 squad captured its 12th win after 17 matches with a 12-5 record.
McGuire Climbs Victory Chart
With 12 victories this season, head coach Neil McGuire now has 57 career wins in his fifth season with the Golden Bears. McGuire's victory against USC on Oct. 9 moved him past Andy Bonchonsky (1991-96) and into third place on the school's all-time coaching victories list. He owns a 57-34-10 career record at Cal. McGuire enters Saturday's match just four wins shy of second-place Bill Merrell, who posted a 61-20-8 record from 1983-85.
Winning Streak Ends at Eight
The Golden Bears had their eight-match winning streak come to an end with a 3-0 setback at No. 21 Santa Clara on Sept. 25. The eight consecutive victories was the longest winning streak since 2000 when Cal opened the season with eight-straight wins. The Bears defeated San Diego State (2-1 in OT), North Dakota State (7-0), Hawaii (3-0), Kent State (5-1), Denver (4-2), Long Beach State (2-0), San Francisco (6-1) and Arizona State (1-0) during the streak. The lost to Santa Clara was Cal's first defeat since Aug. 19.
Last Week on the Pitch
Cal earned a split in its two matches last week on the road against Oregon and Oregon State. The Bears easily handled the Ducks, 4-0, on Friday evening, before falling to the Beavers, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick recorded her first career hat trick with three goals and an assist to lead California to the 4-0 rout of Oregon Friday night at Pape Field in Eugene, Ore. Junior Lauren Battung also added a score for the Golden Bears.
Fitzpatrick scored goals in the eighth, 52nd and 70th minute, while assisting on Battung's score in the 58th minute.
The sophomore got a clear look and fired Cal's first shot 7:32 into the contest. Oregon goal keeper Abby Steele was there but the ball slipped right through her hands, coming to rest in the back of the net for the score.
The remainder of the first half was quiet for both squads, but Fitzpatrick opened the second half in similar fashion as the first. Just under seven minutes into the second period, Fitzpatrick took a feed from junior Betsy Hassett and drew Steele out from the goal mouth a little bit before firing a shot from 10 yards for her second score of the contest at the 51:50 mark.
The sophomore was on the giving end of Cal's next score. She dribbled down the right side and passed to Battung at the top of the box and the junior buried the shot to put the Bears up 3-0 at 57:40.
Fitzpatrick completed her first career hat trick at the 69:57 mark to extend Cal's lead to four goals. It was the first three scores for the sophomore this season.
Sophomore goal keeper Emily Kruger, who had a pair of saves, worked the first 75 minutes of the contest before handing the reins over to Kathleen Messinger, who completed the final 14:42 of scoreless soccer. Cal posted its ninth shutout of the season, holding its opponent scoreless for the second-straight match.
In the Bears' 3-0 setback to the Beavers on Sunday, OSU out-shot Cal 14-10. Fitzpatrick led the Bears with three shots, while Battung fired off two of her own.
Playing the full 90 minutes between the posts, Kruger made four saves. Cal forced OSU keeper Colleen Boyd to make four stops.
Chelsea Buckland notched her ninth goal of the season to give her Beavers a 1-0 first-half lead. The ball deflected off of Kruger and Buckland put it into the net from six yards out. That score in the 27th minute was the sole goal of the first 45 minutes.
Less than three minutes into the second half, the Beavers were awarded a penalty kick. Melinda Ingalls converted to distance OSU by two.
With her Beavers leading 2-0 with just over three minutes remaining in regulation, Buckland struck again with another unassisted goal - this one coming from 20 yards out.
A Look at Stanford
Stanford enters Saturday's match on a 19-game unbeaten streak. The Cardinal's last loss came to Notre Dame (1-0) on Dec. 5, 2010. They have won their last 16 matches since earning a scoreless tie at Maryland on Aug. 26. Altogether, Stanford owns a 61-match regular-season unbeaten streak and a 45-match home winning streak. The Cardinal has captured victories in each of their last 30 Pac-12 Conference matches. Saturday's contest marks Senior Day for Stanford, which will honor its four-member senior class. Included in that class is forward Lindsay Taylor, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring with 16 goals and four assists for 36 points. She is tied for eighth in the nation in total goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Oliver owns a 0.27 goals-against average with a .918 save percentage. She has allowed just four goals in 1,326 minutes of action the entire season. As a team, Stanford has out-scored its opponent, 58-8 this season.
Last season vs. the Cardinal
No. 1-ranked and undefeated Stanford earned a 3-0 win over California on Oct. 30 of last season. Forward Christen Press tallied two of the three scores to push her Cardinal to the Pac-10 Conference victory in front of 664 fans at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley.
Stanford's 23 shots were a season high for a Cal opponent with Press accounting for 10. The Bears took five shots with Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick firing off a squad-leading two near misses.
Goalkeeper Emily Kruger performed admirably, making nine saves in 90 minutes of work. Oliver got the win in goal for Stanford with two saves and no goals allowed before Aly Gleason relieved her with 3:46 to play in the match.
In the 19th minute, Courtney Verloo took a corner from the far side, crossing it into the box. Sophomore Sam Walker cleared the ball, but Teresa Noyola got possession and passed to Lindsay Taylor. Taylor shot it to the back right corner for the ultimate gamewinner, giving Stanford the 1-0 lead at 18:54.
In the 25th minute, Annie Case threw the ball into Press on the near side, who shot it across the box for her 20th goal of the season.
With 17:44 to play, Kruger stopped a shot from Press by punching it out at the cross bar and then perfectly played a shot from Allison McCann from the top of the box.
In the 90th minute, the Cardinal continued its relentless attack. Press dribbled the ball up the field, drawing out Kruger. With the empty goal, Press fired it in, upping Stanford's lead to 3-0.