#34 California Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

California Golden Bears

Overall Rank: #34
#4 Pac-12
#34 California Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
California Team Page


Not often does California lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but it seems like it has been quite a while since they reached the third round as well. Last year it was a first round loss for the Golden Bears at the hands of Santa Clara. But overall Cal had a very strong season, going until October 13th before recording their first loss against eventual national champs UCLA. A brutal road stretch to the great northwest added three more losses shortly thereafter and suddenly this was a Cal team heading the wrong direction at the wrong time.

2013 Record: 11-5-5
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Neil McGuire

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Ifeoma Onumonu, Junior, F, 8
Assists: Samantha Witteman, Junior, M, 4
Shots: Ifeoma Onumonu, Junior, F, 8
Saves: Maddie Julian, Sophomore, GK 6

Other Key Returnees: F Celeste Boureille, M Taylor Comeau, M/F Kort Lamet

Key Losses: M Kaitlyn Fizpatrick, GK Emily Kruger, F Rachel Mercik, D Emi Lawson, M/D Genessee Daughetee, D Ariana Martinez

With a dozen seniors on last year’s roster, Coach Neil McGuire needed to bring in some young talent to help fill the gaps. He did just that, with a very strong class that includes defenders Indigo Gibson and Annia Mejia. Two of just five newcomers in the back, Gibson and Mejia are the likely options to immediately step in and make an impact on the defensive end. Mejia is very good in the air and that is a skill any team in the Pac-12 could use. Freshmen Emily Boyd and Staci Burland are two of the three goalies on the roster. Returnee Maddie Julian has some experience, but do not be surprised if Boyd impresses too much between the posts to leave out of the starting lineup. Tori Bolden is a speedster up top and she should team up nicely with returning striker Ifeomma Onumonu. Onumonu led the team with eight goals during her sophomore season.

It is nice to have a quality class coming in, but Coach McGuire has a lot of work to do to get all of the new pieces to work. Replacing the leadership of players like Emi Lawson and Genessee Daughetee is going to be tough and this is a team that could very quickly start feeling the effects of their youth and inexperience. The biggest questions are in the defense. Emily Kruger has been in Cal’s goal for nearly four years and has 20 shutouts to her name. No matter how talented, throwing a freshman or an inexperienced sophomore into the fire will cause some problems for a while.

Final Projection:
By necessity, this should be a higher scoring California squad in 2014. That is not really a good thing, but Cal has the talent on the field to get the job done and reach their 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament. Competing with the likes of UCLA and Stanford for a Pac-12 title is asking too much, but the Golden Bears will be right in the mix for third place in the conference with a host of others.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.57 (106th in nation, 5th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.857 (55, 6)
Shutout Percentage: 0.286 (168, 10)
Save Percentage: 0.838 (32, 6)

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#13 Indigo Gibson
#32 Annia Mejia
#35 Victoria Bolden
#52 Emily Boyd


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