March 30, 2011

Bay Brawl: Cal to Tangle with No. 9 Stanford

from press release

– California travels to Stanford, Calif., to renew its rivalry with the ninth-ranked Cardinal at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 1, at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The Golden Bears bring an 8-4 overall record and a three-game winning streak into the match with the defending Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion. After playing two early MPSF games, Cal has led the conference with a 2-0 record for much of the season. Stanford, which recently lost its first game of the year, has an 9-1 record (1-0 in the MPSF).

Cal has a 6-21 record in the all-time series with Stanford. The last time the Bears beat the Cardinal was on Feb. 23, 2008, in Theresa Sherry's second game as head coach; Cal won, 11-9, in Memorial Stadium. Stanford ended Cal's 2010 season, edging the Bears, 9-7, in an MPSF Tournament semifinal.

Tara Arolla Earns MPSF Player of the Week Award
Tara Arolla led Cal to wins in its last three games to earn the MPSF Player of the Week award, the conference announced on March 28. The weekly award is the Golden Bears' first of the season.

A junior attacker and co-captain, Arolla posted seven goals and three assists as the Bears edged Drexel, 10-9, on March 23 and La Salle, 9-8, on March 25 in Philadelphia and then routed Villanova, 11-2, on March 27 in Villanova, Pa. The wins gave Cal a 3-1 record on its spring break road trip, after the Bears opened with a 16-4 loss at Ohio State on March 20.

Arolla collected two goals – including the gamewinner – and one assist in the win over Drexel. She added four goals, including the winner, in the victory over La Salle and tallied one goal and two assists in Cal's triumph at Villanova. Arolla also collected eight ground balls and five draw controls over the three-game span.

She leads the MPSF with four game-winning goals and ranks second in the league with 11 free-position goals. Arolla paces the Bears in goals (29), points (36) and draw controls (24) and also has seven assists and 17 ground balls.

Scouting the Golden Bears
The three-game winning streak is Cal's longest of the year and longest since the Bears won four straight near the end of the 2010 season.

Besides Tara Arolla, Cal's other statistical leaders include sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs (10 assists), junior defender Tori Harrison (29 ground balls, 10 caused turnovers), junior midfielder Vail Horn (10 caused turnovers) and senior goalkeeper Allie Shropshire (10.21 goals-against average in 12 starts). Harrison ranks second in the MPSF in ground balls and ground balls per game (2.64).

Theresa Sherry is in her fourth year as head coach and fifth year overall at Cal, at which she served as an assistant coach in 2007. She collected the 2008 MPSF Coach of the Year accolade in her first year as head coach.

Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford, which won its first four games at home before playing its next five on the road, returned to Cagan Stadium to beat Brown, 12-8, on March 29. The Cardinal had been unbeaten and ranked No. 7 in the nation before losing to then-No. 15 Vanderbilt, 15-10 loss, in Nashville, Tenn. Senior midfielder Lauren Schmidt, a two-time MPSF Player of the Year, scored two goals against the Commodores, while senior midfielder Karen Nesbitt led the Cardinal with a hat trick.

Senior midfielder Leslie Foard leads Stanford in goals (24, tied with Sarah Flynn), points (33) and draw controls (27). Other stat leaders include junior midfielder Emilie Boeri (19 ground balls, 18 turnovers), Anna Boeri (11 assists), Nesbitt (12 caused turnovers) and senior goalie Annie Read (9.71 GAA in 10 games). Read started against Vandy, but freshman Lyndsey Munoz played the last 43:06 of the game and made seven saves in the loss. Head coach Amy Bokker is in her third season at Stanford.

Last Game
Cal scored the first 11 goals of the game en route to an 11-2 thrashing of Villanova on March 27 at Villanova Stadium. Megan Takacs (2 goals, 1 assist), sophomore attacker Alexa Rozelle (2 goals, 1 assist) and Tara Arolla (1 goal, 2 assist) led the Golden Bears with three points each. The Bears now have a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series with Villanova (4-4).

Next Time
Cal hosts Oregon on April 8 at a site to be determined. The artificial turf at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley is being replaced due to unanticipated structural issues, necessitating the move from Cal's home. The Bears will honor midfielder Emily Abbood, midfielder Chapin Jackson and goalkeeper Allie Shropshire prior to the match as part of Senior Day.

T Time With Tara and Tori
Fans can find more insight into the Golden Bears through the team's blog – T Time With Tara and Tori – written by Tara Arolla and Tori Harrison.

Follow the Bears on Twitter; Laxin' It Up With Gina on Facebook
Looking for even more Cal lacrosse news? Join the Bears in their new territory - Facebook and Twitter. By liking Cal Lacrosse on Facebook, you can see photos, discuss the latest happenings with fellow fans and much more on the social networking site. Following @CalWLacrosse on Twitter means similar inside information, status updates of the Bears as well as up-to-date scoring information. One of the coolest features of the Cal Lacrosse Facebook page is the newest one – a weekly video filmed by sophomore attacker Gina Holslag.

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