Stanford Only Road Block Between Bears, Conference Championship
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Category: Sports > Fall > Soccer (Men's)
There are three games left in Pac-10 play before the NCAA tournament, beginning November 18th.
Currently ranked tenth in the nation, the Cal men's soccer team has a much better shot at chasing down the championship title this season compared to where the squad was at this point last year. The health of the team thus far has been a significant factor separating this year's performance from last year's.
The Bears lead the Pac-10 with a record of 7-1-1 against conference opponents and an 11-2-3 record overall.
With two weeks worth of practice before the last game left on Cal's slate, the team has time to polish up on areas the players need to work on.
According to head coach Kevin Grimes, there is still more to be done with this team before its potential fully manifests.
Should the Bears beat Stanford on November 11, they will earn the conference title and an entrance into the first round of the tournament.
No. 15 UCLA has been close on Cal's heels for most of the season, fighting for the top spot on the conference throne.
Heading into their home game against the Bears, the Bruins (11-4-1, 5-2 in the Pac-10) shared the position with Cal's team.
The score knotted at 0-0 for regulation time, the game went into overtime. Davis Paul put away the game winner in the 99th minute.
At this point in the season, UCLA has three more road matches left to go on the team's schedule.
The team's most recent victory came with a 2-1 finish over Cal State Northridge last Wednesday.
Freshman forward Victor Chavez collected the pair of goals for his team within 14 minutes of play in the first half.
If the Bruins are able to secure the three wins in their final stretch of the season, they should be big contenders again in the college cup this year.
The players' progression through the tournament was ended after Wake Forest blanked them 2-0 to land UCLA at sixth overall.
Unranked Stanford has had a roller coaster season.
The Card's 8-9 record has seen patterns of winning streaks and losing streaks. The season started with four straight losses, followed by four straight wins.
Its win on Sunday on senior day against Oregon State brought them out of a three-game dip of losses.
The seven seniors honored at the game all started.
Dominique Yahyavi wasted no time in kicking the game into gear. His goal in the first five minutes of play allowed Stanford the opportunity to take the lead early.
All three of the goals tallied were unanswered by the Beavers, even after red-shirt freshman Galen Perkins replaced Jason Dodson in the net.
The Card's final Pac-10 contest is against Cal.
Kelly Suckow covers men's soccer. Contact her at [email protected]
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