No. 23 Cal Women's Soccer vs. University of San Francisco Dons - Season Opener
When: 5 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Bay Area/Los Angeles
All Time Series: Cal leads14-3-2 including a 3-0 victory over USF last year
This is it! The official start of the Cal Athletics Fall season is today with Cal Women's Soccer Golden Bears hosting the regional rival in USF Dons. I previewed the Women's Soccer squad in the article this morning.
The Golden Bears will open their 2014 campaign with the hope to return yet again to the NCAA postseason. Although the Bears lost quite a few players to graduation, a top 5 ranked freshman class (see above) is here to ensure that the program will again challenge UCLA and Stanfurd for the Pac-12 supremacy this year. My biggest question heading into the first game is about the Golden Bear keeper this season, after the graduation of the always reliable Emily Kruger.
After facing the unranked USF today, the Bears will travel to Santa Clara on Sunday against the 10th/20th ranked Santa Clara Broncos who ended the Golden Bears' season in the NCAA tournament (after the Bears won the regular season contest between the two squads).
Since I'm returning to campus this weekend for the first time in several years, the plan is for me to go check out this game in person. Check back early next week for a photo-essay of this game (unless I do something silly like accidentally leaving the camera on and drain the battery).
About USF Dons:
The Dons are coming off a 6-10-4 season. They are picked to finish 6th in the WCC this year (out of 10 teams, in case you're wondering). The best player on the Dons may be their goalie Madalyn Schiffel who got all-WCC honorable mention honor last year as well as participated in Team USA U-20 training camp in April.
Associate Head Coach for the Dons is former Golden Bears great Maite Zabala (1997-2000) - a former goalkeeper that holds the Cal record for shutouts (26.5) and saves (277). She was inducted into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. No doubt she is partially responsible for the Dons' solid goalkeeper.