February 15, 2011

Cal Battles St. Mary's in MPSF Clash

from press release

BERKELEY – California concludes its early home stand when it hosts Saint Mary's in an important conference clash at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Witter Rugby Field. The Golden Bears bring a 1-1 record (1-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) into the match, which is the season opener for the Gaels.

The Bears, who dispatched MPSF opponent UC Davis, 15-11, on Feb. 13, hope to finish among the top four in the regular-season conference standings in order to qualify for MPSF Tournament, whose winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The conference tourney will be held April 28-May 1 at Saint Mary's Stadium in Moraga.

Last season, Cal defeated the Gaels twice, topping them, 12-4, in Moraga, Calif., and later besting them, 20-11, in the MPSF Tournament in Stanford, Calif. In the latter match, current junior Vail Horn tied a school record by scoring seven goals.

Scouting the Golden Bears

Cal split its first two games of the season, both at Witter Rugby Field. The Bears fell to No. 10 Notre Dame, 20-6, in their season opener on Feb. 11 before evening their record with the victory over the Aggies two days later.

Sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs leads Cal with six goals and is tied with junior attacker Tara Arolla (5 goals, 1 assist) for the team lead in points with six. Freshman midfielder Amelia Burke paces the Bears with six draw controls, all of which she nabbed against Davis in her first start of her career.

Witter Rugby Field is Cal's current home due to the renovation of Memorial Stadium. The Bears will host just three more home games this season after playing the Gaels.

Scouting the Gaels

Saint Mary's ended the 2010 season with a 4-12 record (1-5 MPSF) after its MPSF Tournament loss to Cal. Sophomore midfielder Mariah Walk led the Gaels in goals (29), points (38) and draw controls (36) as a freshman. Sophomore midfielder Caroline Mahony paced Saint Mary's in assists (13) and ranked second in points (35) and tied for second in goals (22). Lauren Uhr is in her fifth year as head coach of Saint Mary's.

Last Time Out

Cal won a key conference game by beating UC Davis, 15-11, on Feb. 13 at Witter Rugby Field. Sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs scored four goals to lead the Bears, who improved their record to 1-1 and opened MPSF play with a 1-0 mark. The Aggies, playing in their season opener, opened with a 0-1 record (0-1 in the MPSF).

Cal outshot the Aggies, 27-25, and senior goalkeeper Allie Shropshire made 12 saves for the Bears. The two Davis goalies – Kjersten Nordmeyer and Jordan Majka – combined to make just three saves. The Bears finished with a 15-13 edge in draw controls.

Next Time

Cal hits the road for nonconference games at Longwood, Davidson and No. 2 Northwestern. The Bears battle Longwood on Feb. 25 in Farmville, Va., take on Davidson on Feb. 27 in Davidson, N.C., and play the NCAA runner-up Wildcats on March 11 in Evanston, Ill.

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