GO BEARS!
BEARS SCORE THEIR 6TH STRAIGHT VICTORY
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 15 California Golden Bears (6-1-0) beat the Santa Clara Broncos (4-3-1) 4-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara this past weekend for their sixth consecutive victory. Sophomore forward Christian Thierjung scored an incredible goal in the 27th minute off of an assist from Pac-12 points leader Connor Hallisey. The goal was Thierjung’s fifth of the season, and he became the third Bear to hit the five goal mark thus far this season, along with Hallisey and senior forward Stefano Bonomo. Senior midfielder Max Oldham, etched his name onto the score sheet in the 52nd minute. Senior forward Omid Jalali opened his 2014 account in the 73rd minute of play and Hallisey scored for the third straight match, when he hit the back of the net in the 80thminute.
The Bears open their Pac-12 conference schedule Thursday night in Seattle, when they take on the No. 8 Washington Huskies. Cal then continues its tour of the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, Oct. 5 when the Bears square off against the No. 24 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter during the matches and can stay up to date on statistics and live updates during the games.

BEARS SCORE THEIR 6TH STRAIGHT VICTORY

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 15 California Golden Bears (6-1-0) beat the Santa Clara Broncos (4-3-1) 4-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara this past weekend for their sixth consecutive victory. Sophomore forward Christian Thierjung scored an incredible goal in the 27th minute off of an assist from Pac-12 points leader Connor Hallisey. The goal was Thierjung’s fifth of the season, and he became the third Bear to hit the five goal mark thus far this season, along with Hallisey and senior forward Stefano Bonomo. Senior midfielder Max Oldham, etched his name onto the score sheet in the 52nd minute. Senior forward Omid Jalali opened his 2014 account in the 73rd minute of play and Hallisey scored for the third straight match, when he hit the back of the net in the 80thminute.

The Bears open their Pac-12 conference schedule Thursday night in Seattle, when they take on the No. 8 Washington Huskies. Cal then continues its tour of the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, Oct. 5 when the Bears square off against the No. 24 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter during the matches and can stay up to date on statistics and live updates during the games.

Goff Earns National Offensive Player of the Week Honors


BERKELEY –Sophomore quarterback Jared Goff picked up a pair of National Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and College Sports Madness on Sunday following his performance in a 59-56 double overtime victory Saturday against Colorado. Goff, who was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, threw for a career-high seven touchdown passes against the Buffaloes with his six scoring tosses in regulation tying a school record. Goff completed 24-of-42 passes for a season-high 458 yards that were his third-highest total at Cal and the fourth-most in school history.

Cal is 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 and looking for its first 4-1 start since 2008. Goff’s performance Saturday followed a solid effort at Tucson the week before where the Bears lost a heartbreaker, with Arizona completing a Hail Mary pass on the last play to win, 49-45.  Goff was 18 for 30 and threw for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns in that game.
Goff has now completed 81-of-128 passes for 1,348 yards with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions on the season for an impressive 190.10 passer efficiency rating that is significantly better than the school’s single-season mark of 164.5 established by Dave Barr in 1993. Goff’s per-game averages of touchdown passes (4.25) and points responsible for (25.5) both lead the Pac-12 and rank second nationally, while his 16.85 yards per completion is first in the Pac-12 and eighth nationally. He also ranks tied for second in both the Pac-12 and NCAA in total touchdown passes and points responsible for (102), and among Pac-12 and NCAA leaders in passing efficiency (2nd Pac-12, 5th NCAA), passing yards per game (337.0 ypg, 3rd Pac-12, 9th NCAA), total passing yards (4th Pac-12, 14th NCAA) and total offense (331.0 ypg, 5th Pac-12, 16th NCAA).
During his career Goff has completed 400-of-659 passes (60.7%) for 4,856 yards with 35 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a 136.18 passer efficiency rating that would be fourth on Cal’s all-time list. His 35 scoring throws are already tied for 10th on the school’s career list, while his passing yardage is just outside the top 10. Goff’s seven career 300-yard passing games are second, while his 10 250-yard passing games tie for fifth.
Goff earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in his first collegiate season as a true freshman in 2013 when he set Cal single-season records for passing yards (3,508), passes completed (320), passes attempted (531), total offense (3,446) and total plays (590), while tying single-season school records with five 300-yard passing games and three consecutive 300-yard passing games in his first three contests of the season.
Cal continues its 2014 season at Washington State this Saturday, Oct. 4 (7:30 p.m. PT). The game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks. Audio broadcasts of all Cal football games are also available on KGO 810 AM, the Cal IMG Sports Network, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and online at CalBears.com via TuneIn.
Cal returns home to play back-to-back Pac-12 games against Washington (Oct. 11) and UCLA (Oct. 18) in Berkeley before hosting Oregon in the first-ever collegiate football game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Oct. 24 (7 p.m. PT).
Goff Earns National Offensive Player of the Week Honors
BERKELEY –Sophomore quarterback Jared Goff picked up a pair of National Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and College Sports Madness on Sunday following his performance in a 59-56 double overtime victory Saturday against Colorado. Goff, who was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, threw for a career-high seven touchdown passes against the Buffaloes with his six scoring tosses in regulation tying a school record. Goff completed 24-of-42 passes for a season-high 458 yards that were his third-highest total at Cal and the fourth-most in school history.
Cal is 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12 and looking for its first 4-1 start since 2008. Goff’s performance Saturday followed a solid effort at Tucson the week before where the Bears lost a heartbreaker, with Arizona completing a Hail Mary pass on the last play to win, 49-45.  Goff was 18 for 30 and threw for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns in that game.

Goff has now completed 81-of-128 passes for 1,348 yards with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions on the season for an impressive 190.10 passer efficiency rating that is significantly better than the school’s single-season mark of 164.5 established by Dave Barr in 1993. Goff’s per-game averages of touchdown passes (4.25) and points responsible for (25.5) both lead the Pac-12 and rank second nationally, while his 16.85 yards per completion is first in the Pac-12 and eighth nationally. He also ranks tied for second in both the Pac-12 and NCAA in total touchdown passes and points responsible for (102), and among Pac-12 and NCAA leaders in passing efficiency (2nd Pac-12, 5th NCAA), passing yards per game (337.0 ypg, 3rd Pac-12, 9th NCAA), total passing yards (4th Pac-12, 14th NCAA) and total offense (331.0 ypg, 5th Pac-12, 16th NCAA).

During his career Goff has completed 400-of-659 passes (60.7%) for 4,856 yards with 35 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a 136.18 passer efficiency rating that would be fourth on Cal’s all-time list. His 35 scoring throws are already tied for 10th on the school’s career list, while his passing yardage is just outside the top 10. Goff’s seven career 300-yard passing games are second, while his 10 250-yard passing games tie for fifth.

Goff earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in his first collegiate season as a true freshman in 2013 when he set Cal single-season records for passing yards (3,508), passes completed (320), passes attempted (531), total offense (3,446) and total plays (590), while tying single-season school records with five 300-yard passing games and three consecutive 300-yard passing games in his first three contests of the season.

Cal continues its 2014 season at Washington State this Saturday, Oct. 4 (7:30 p.m. PT). The game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks. Audio broadcasts of all Cal football games are also available on KGO 810 AM, the Cal IMG Sports Network, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and online at CalBears.com via TuneIn.

Cal returns home to play back-to-back Pac-12 games against Washington (Oct. 11) and UCLA (Oct. 18) in Berkeley before hosting Oregon in the first-ever collegiate football game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday, Oct. 24 (7 p.m. PT).

No. 12 Cal Opens Pac-12 Play at Colorado
COMEAU NAMED PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BERKELEY, Calif. — With the program’s best non-conference record since 2011 in the books, No. 12 Cal heads to the Centennial State tomorrow to open Pac-12 action against Colorado in Boulder. Like their football counterparts, the Golden Bears meet the Buffaloes Saturday in a match that kicks off at noon PT. Follow @CalWomensSoccer on Twitter for updates.
LAST TIME OUT
No. 10 Cal finished up a four-game homestand against Pacific and closed out non-conference play with a strong 3-0 victory over the TIgers. Samantha Witteman net the game-winning goal, while Cal’s leader in points and goals scored Taylor Comeau turned in a career-high two goals in the victory.
RANKINGS ROUNDUPIn this week’s polls, the Bears appear on: Soccer America (9), NSCAA (12), BennettRank (12) and TopDrawerSoccer (15).
In the first NCAA RPI ranking of the season, Cal checks in at No. 26.
COMEAU NAMED PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEKSenior captain Taylor Comeau received her first career conference honor this week after being named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Comeau scored two goals in Friday’s win over Pacific, upping her season goal total to six. The Los Gatos, Calif. product currently leads the Bears in goals, points (15), assists (3) and shots on goal (11).
PAC-12 DOMINANT IN NON-CONFERENCE SLATEAs teams around the Pac-12 head into conference play this weekend, five are ranked in the top 25 of this week’s NSCAA poll - UCLA (1), Stanford (4), Cal (12), USC (21) and Arizona State (24). Both Utah and Washington State are receiving votes in the poll.
MORE BEAR BITES:
• Cal has outscored opponents 23-4 (opponent goals include own goal vs. Cal Poly) through nine games this season.
• Cal’s 23 goals have come from 10 different players.
• The Bears have garnered five penalty kicks this season, successfully converting all but one (4-5). In 2013, Cal accrued just three penalty kicks throughout 21 games.
• Every healthy member of the Golden Bear roster has appeared in a game this season.
• Out for the season: Ifeoma Onumonu (leg injury vs. Santa Clara on 8/24); Elliott Gentile (torn ACL in preseason practice);Melissa Wood (surgery for lingering club injury before season)

No. 12 Cal Opens Pac-12 Play at Colorado

COMEAU NAMED PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

BERKELEY, Calif. — With the program’s best non-conference record since 2011 in the books, No. 12 Cal heads to the Centennial State tomorrow to open Pac-12 action against Colorado in Boulder. Like their football counterparts, the Golden Bears meet the Buffaloes Saturday in a match that kicks off at noon PT. Follow @CalWomensSoccer on Twitter for updates.

LAST TIME OUT

No. 10 Cal finished up a four-game homestand against Pacific and closed out non-conference play with a strong 3-0 victory over the TIgers. Samantha Witteman net the game-winning goal, while Cal’s leader in points and goals scored Taylor Comeau turned in a career-high two goals in the victory.

RANKINGS ROUNDUP
In this week’s polls, the Bears appear on: Soccer America (9), NSCAA (12), BennettRank (12) and TopDrawerSoccer (15).

In the first NCAA RPI ranking of the season, Cal checks in at No. 26.

COMEAU NAMED PAC-12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior captain Taylor Comeau received her first career conference honor this week after being named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Comeau scored two goals in Friday’s win over Pacific, upping her season goal total to six. The Los Gatos, Calif. product currently leads the Bears in goals, points (15), assists (3) and shots on goal (11).

PAC-12 DOMINANT IN NON-CONFERENCE SLATE
As teams around the Pac-12 head into conference play this weekend, five are ranked in the top 25 of this week’s NSCAA poll - UCLA (1), Stanford (4), Cal (12), USC (21) and Arizona State (24). Both Utah and Washington State are receiving votes in the poll.

MORE BEAR BITES:

• Cal has outscored opponents 23-4 (opponent goals include own goal vs. Cal Poly) through nine games this season.

• Cal’s 23 goals have come from 10 different players.

• The Bears have garnered five penalty kicks this season, successfully converting all but one (4-5). In 2013, Cal accrued just three penalty kicks throughout 21 games.

• Every healthy member of the Golden Bear roster has appeared in a game this season.

• Out for the season: Ifeoma Onumonu (leg injury vs. Santa Clara on 8/24); Elliott Gentile (torn ACL in preseason practice);Melissa Wood (surgery for lingering club injury before season)

#3 CAL DOMINATES NAVY, 19-5
12 Different Bears Score
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  Release: Friday 09/26/2014
BERKELEY – Junior Colin Mulcahy and sophomore Farrel South each scored three goals and sophomore goalie Lazar Andric produced 16 saves as No. 3 Cal dominated No. 18 Navy, 19-5, Friday in a Pac-12 Network televised match at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
With the win, the Golden Bears improved to 9-1 entering this weekend matches at the Aggie Shootout. Navy dropped to 9-4.
The contest was relatively close in the first quarter with Cal owning a 6-3 advantage behind a pair of Mulcahy scores and goals from senior Blake Kelly, Aleksa Saponjic and South.
After the first quarter, however, Kirk Everist’s squad went on to outscore the Midshipmen 13-2. Other top scorers for the Bears were junior Andrew Schnugg, sophomore Connor Reid and freshman Conor Neumann with two goals each. Twelve different Cal players scored in the contest.

#3 CAL DOMINATES NAVY, 19-5

12 Different Bears Score

Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release: Friday 09/26/2014

BERKELEY – Junior Colin Mulcahy and sophomore Farrel South each scored three goals and sophomore goalie Lazar Andric produced 16 saves as No. 3 Cal dominated No. 18 Navy, 19-5, Friday in a Pac-12 Network televised match at Spieker Aquatics Complex.

With the win, the Golden Bears improved to 9-1 entering this weekend matches at the Aggie Shootout. Navy dropped to 9-4.

The contest was relatively close in the first quarter with Cal owning a 6-3 advantage behind a pair of Mulcahy scores and goals from senior Blake KellyAleksa Saponjic and South.

After the first quarter, however, Kirk Everist’s squad went on to outscore the Midshipmen 13-2. Other top scorers for the Bears were junior Andrew Schnugg, sophomore Connor Reid and freshman Conor Neumann with two goals each. Twelve different Cal players scored in the contest.

BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 18 California Golden Bears (2-1-0) opened their 2014 home schedule with a bang on Friday, defeating the visiting Cleveland State Vikings  6-1 at Edwards Stadium. Senior forward Stefano Bonomo led the way with his first career hat-trick and an assist, while fellow senior Connor Hallisey added a pair of goals and assists as well. Redshirt freshman Matt Chasman tacked on the sixth for the Bears, scoring the first goal of his collegiate career. Six goals marks the most goals scored by the Bears in head coach Kevin Grimes’ 15-season tenure and the first time a Cal team has done so in exactly 17 years. The Bears, led at that time by Mark Mallon, beat then-No.15 Delaware 6-0, on Sept. 12, 1997.
“Today was a great start to the home schedule,” Grimes said on Friday afternoon. “Cleveland State is a very well-coached team and you can see that in their cohesion and togetherness. They’re a very difficult team to break down, so we had to be at our best today in order to get the result that we did.”
The Bears return to Goldman Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT when they host the Gonzaga Bulldogs live on the Pac-12 Networks, as part of a double-header with Cal women’s soccer, who are hosting Santa Clara at 3:30 p.m., also on Pac-12 Networks.

BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 18 California Golden Bears (2-1-0) opened their 2014 home schedule with a bang on Friday, defeating the visiting Cleveland State Vikings  6-1 at Edwards Stadium. Senior forward Stefano Bonomo led the way with his first career hat-trick and an assist, while fellow senior Connor Hallisey added a pair of goals and assists as well. Redshirt freshman Matt Chasman tacked on the sixth for the Bears, scoring the first goal of his collegiate career. Six goals marks the most goals scored by the Bears in head coach Kevin Grimes’ 15-season tenure and the first time a Cal team has done so in exactly 17 years. The Bears, led at that time by Mark Mallon, beat then-No.15 Delaware 6-0, on Sept. 12, 1997.

“Today was a great start to the home schedule,” Grimes said on Friday afternoon. “Cleveland State is a very well-coached team and you can see that in their cohesion and togetherness. They’re a very difficult team to break down, so we had to be at our best today in order to get the result that we did.”

The Bears return to Goldman Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT when they host the Gonzaga Bulldogs live on the Pac-12 Networks, as part of a double-header with Cal women’s soccer, who are hosting Santa Clara at 3:30 p.m., also on Pac-12 Networks.

GOLDEN BEARS NOW 4-0
RANKED #10 BY SOCCER AMERICA, #12 BY NSCAA
BERKELEY — By the looks of their 4-0 record, the No.10/12 Golden Bears haven’t showed any signs of growing pains despite a youthful roster. Instead, Cal has looked to its depth the past two weekends and outscored opponents 13-2. The Bears hope to continue the streak this weekend as the team wraps up a four-game Bay Area road trip at St. Mary’s on Friday at 4 p.m. before returning home to Berkeley. Cal hosts Cal Poly at Goldman Field on Sunday Sept. 7 beginning at 4 p.m. in a match televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
Scoring updates will be provided for both games on the @CalWomensSoccer Twitter account.

GOLDEN BEARS NOW 4-0

RANKED #10 BY SOCCER AMERICA, #12 BY NSCAA

BERKELEY — By the looks of their 4-0 record, the No.10/12 Golden Bears haven’t showed any signs of growing pains despite a youthful roster. Instead, Cal has looked to its depth the past two weekends and outscored opponents 13-2. The Bears hope to continue the streak this weekend as the team wraps up a four-game Bay Area road trip at St. Mary’s on Friday at 4 p.m. before returning home to Berkeley. Cal hosts Cal Poly at Goldman Field on Sunday Sept. 7 beginning at 4 p.m. in a match televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Scoring updates will be provided for both games on the @CalWomensSoccer Twitter account.

Photo: Jalen Jefferson of the California Golden Bears intercepts a pass intended for Pierre Youngblood-Ary of the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half on August 30, 2014 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. (David Banks/Getty Images)
GOFF, JEFFERSON LEAD CAL TO SEASON-OPENING WIN
EVANSTON, Ill. — The California football team chalked up a victory in their first game of the season, defeating heavily favored Northwestern 31-24 on the Wildcats’ home field. Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three touchdown passes, one of which was a 76-yarder to Trevor Davis.  Northwestern, two touchdown favorites at kickoff, had not lost a season opener in 10 years.  But they were stunned by the Bears’ ferocious attack, falling behind 17-0 to begin the 2nd quarter and 24-7 at the half.
Cal asserted itself right from the start, going 79 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.  Goff, who threw for 450 yards and two scores in last year’s loss to the Wildcats, hit Bryce Treggs on fourth down at the 1 to make it 7-0. And things just mounted from there.
Northwestern was then threatening to score when Warren Long got stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Cal 22, and the Golden Bears responded with another touchdown.  This time, Goff hit a leaping Kenny Lawler in the end zone for a 7-yarder that made it a 14-point game, and the Golden Bears continued to pour it on.
Cal started its next possession early in the second quarter on the Northwestern 29 after a short punt out of the end zone by Chris Gradone off a bounced snap. That led to a 20-yard field goal by James Langford to bump the lead to 17-0.
Northwestern finally broke through when Siemian connected with Dickerson on a short slant for a 54-yard touchdown with 6:26 left in the half. But any thoughts of a rally got squashed on the next play from scrimmage, when Goff found an open Davis for a 76-yard touchdown, making it 24-7.
Yes, it was revenge for Cal’s tough loss to then-#22 ranked Northwestern a year ago; yes, it was the first FBS win of the Sonny Dykes era; yes, the Cal offense looked balanced and explosive as it roared out to a 31-7 lead.  But according to Dykes, it was the fact that the Bears had that huge lead, but then saw Northwestern pull out all the stops with desperation plays, a ravenous home crowd behind them, to claim the momentum in the 4th quarter while scoring 17 unanswered points; and yet Cal still won. Dykes liked the idea that his team had to run through fire to pick up the win. He watched his team evolve from soft to salty. "I never got the feeling from one player or one coach of ‘here we go again,’" Dykes said after the game. "The guys really believed in each other. And the reason they did is because they have worked so hard. They were prepared. And they knew someone would make a play to give us a chance to win the ball game." As it turned out, someone made two. On Northwestern’s final drive, Cal’s Jalen Jefferson notched a critical sack on second-and-6 for a loss of 11 yards. On the next play, he snagged the interception that essentially closed out the game. "It’s been a long few months for us, but we’re a tighter team than we were last year," said Jefferson. "A lot of those breaks we weren’t getting last year, we got them. We can feel things changing for the better."Added quarterback Goff: ”I think we learned about resiliency. We knew they would fight back and we didn’t give up … we learned how to finish a game.” 

Photo: Jalen Jefferson of the California Golden Bears intercepts a pass intended for Pierre Youngblood-Ary of the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half on August 30, 2014 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. (David Banks/Getty Images)

GOFF, JEFFERSON LEAD CAL TO SEASON-OPENING WIN

EVANSTON, Ill. — The California football team chalked up a victory in their first game of the season, defeating heavily favored Northwestern 31-24 on the Wildcats’ home field. Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three touchdown passes, one of which was a 76-yarder to Trevor Davis.  Northwestern, two touchdown favorites at kickoff, had not lost a season opener in 10 years.  But they were stunned by the Bears’ ferocious attack, falling behind 17-0 to begin the 2nd quarter and 24-7 at the half.

Cal asserted itself right from the start, going 79 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.  Goff, who threw for 450 yards and two scores in last year’s loss to the Wildcats, hit Bryce Treggs on fourth down at the 1 to make it 7-0. And things just mounted from there.

Northwestern was then threatening to score when Warren Long got stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Cal 22, and the Golden Bears responded with another touchdown.  This time, Goff hit a leaping Kenny Lawler in the end zone for a 7-yarder that made it a 14-point game, and the Golden Bears continued to pour it on.

Cal started its next possession early in the second quarter on the Northwestern 29 after a short punt out of the end zone by Chris Gradone off a bounced snap. That led to a 20-yard field goal by James Langford to bump the lead to 17-0.

Northwestern finally broke through when Siemian connected with Dickerson on a short slant for a 54-yard touchdown with 6:26 left in the half. But any thoughts of a rally got squashed on the next play from scrimmage, when Goff found an open Davis for a 76-yard touchdown, making it 24-7.

Yes, it was revenge for Cal’s tough loss to then-#22 ranked Northwestern a year ago; yes, it was the first FBS win of the Sonny Dykes era; yes, the Cal offense looked balanced and explosive as it roared out to a 31-7 lead.  But according to Dykes, it was the fact that the Bears had that huge lead, but then saw Northwestern pull out all the stops with desperation plays, a ravenous home crowd behind them, to claim the momentum in the 4th quarter while scoring 17 unanswered points; and yet Cal still won. Dykes liked the idea that his team had to run through fire to pick up the win. He watched his team evolve from soft to salty. 

"I never got the feeling from one player or one coach of ‘here we go again,’" Dykes said after the game. "The guys really believed in each other. And the reason they did is because they have worked so hard. They were prepared. And they knew someone would make a play to give us a chance to win the ball game." 

As it turned out, someone made two. On Northwestern’s final drive, Cal’s Jalen Jefferson notched a critical sack on second-and-6 for a loss of 11 yards. On the next play, he snagged the interception that essentially closed out the game. 

"It’s been a long few months for us, but we’re a tighter team than we were last year," said Jefferson. "A lot of those breaks we weren’t getting last year, we got them. We can feel things changing for the better."

Added quarterback Goff: ”I think we learned about resiliency. We knew they would fight back and we didn’t give up … we learned how to finish a game.” 

EIGHT BEARS RECEIVE ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Boulder, Colo. – Four Golden Bears were named first-team All-Americans, with graduated captain Seamus Kelly getting the nod for 7s and 15s, and four others earned honorable mentions when USA Rugby released its list of the top players in the collegiate ranks for 2013-14 on Friday.
Kelly was joined by California’s Alec Gletzer, Tiaan De Nysschen and Josh Tucker on the first team of All-Americans, while James Kondrat and Jake Anderson earned honorable mention for 15s, and Paul Bosco and Brad Harrington received honorable mention for 7s.
“Our University is proud of these young men and their selections,” said head coach Jack Clark. “This is notable recognition for truly outstanding seasons. Most importantly, these students are equally impressive off the field as they are on. Again, we are all really proud of them.”
Cal’s newest member of its full All-America ranks is De Nysschen, bringing to 127 the all-time number of Rugby Bears named in the 15-a-side game, with a growing body of 7s All-Americans in the nascent Olympic code.
De Nysschen received the recognition for the first time to cap off his Bears career, which ended with an injury in the Varsity Cup National Championship final against BYU, while teammate Tucker also got the nod for a body of work that was ample enough to warrant his second selection although his final spring campaign ended in April also due to injury.
Gletzer was named an All-American for the third time in his collegiate career after a stalwart spring was followed by a successful selection with the Bears’ championship 7s run at the CRC, while Kelly made it a clean sweep of consecutive All-America selections in his Cal career, which he ended with an unprecedented third year as captain of the Blue and Gold while managing to play for the U.S. National Team as it qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Anderson battled through an injury throughout the second half of the season and made vital contributions to Cal’s second straight CRC 7s title, while Bosco and Harrington had strong returns to the lineup after missing significant time away from the pitch the year before. Kondrat was recognized for his impact after becoming a starter in the second row as a sophomore.

EIGHT BEARS RECEIVE ALL-AMERICA HONORS

Boulder, Colo. – Four Golden Bears were named first-team All-Americans, with graduated captain Seamus Kelly getting the nod for 7s and 15s, and four others earned honorable mentions when USA Rugby released its list of the top players in the collegiate ranks for 2013-14 on Friday.

Kelly was joined by California’s Alec GletzerTiaan De Nysschen and Josh Tucker on the first team of All-Americans, while James Kondrat and Jake Anderson earned honorable mention for 15s, and Paul Bosco and Brad Harrington received honorable mention for 7s.

“Our University is proud of these young men and their selections,” said head coach Jack Clark. “This is notable recognition for truly outstanding seasons. Most importantly, these students are equally impressive off the field as they are on. Again, we are all really proud of them.”

Cal’s newest member of its full All-America ranks is De Nysschen, bringing to 127 the all-time number of Rugby Bears named in the 15-a-side game, with a growing body of 7s All-Americans in the nascent Olympic code.

De Nysschen received the recognition for the first time to cap off his Bears career, which ended with an injury in the Varsity Cup National Championship final against BYU, while teammate Tucker also got the nod for a body of work that was ample enough to warrant his second selection although his final spring campaign ended in April also due to injury.

Gletzer was named an All-American for the third time in his collegiate career after a stalwart spring was followed by a successful selection with the Bears’ championship 7s run at the CRC, while Kelly made it a clean sweep of consecutive All-America selections in his Cal career, which he ended with an unprecedented third year as captain of the Blue and Gold while managing to play for the U.S. National Team as it qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Anderson battled through an injury throughout the second half of the season and made vital contributions to Cal’s second straight CRC 7s title, while Bosco and Harrington had strong returns to the lineup after missing significant time away from the pitch the year before. Kondrat was recognized for his impact after becoming a starter in the second row as a sophomore.

Cal Wins Second Straight Rugby Championship
Philadelphia – California culminated its second straight undefeated run through the Collegiate Rugby Championship with a 24-21 victory over Kutztown University to become back-to-back 7s national champion Sunday at PPL Park.
The U.C. Berkeley Golden Bears overcame a 7-0 deficit early in the first half with three unanswered tries, adding a fourth try during the responding run from the Golden Bears from Pennsylvania, and held on to preserve their victory as the final whistle signaled the program’s second consecutive national championship in the Olympic code of the game.
Cal exited the tournament with the most tries scored (31) and best points differential (+127) in the 20-team field, and sealed its title with the type of hard-nosed play that pundits expected from the opposition and a national TV audience witnessed from both teams. Captain Seamus Kelly was lifted aloft on the shoulders of his teammates after leading his team to the title in his final match for the Rugby Bears, and the graduated senior left the pitch for the final time having contributed a team-high six tries to the team’s three-day, six-match effort.
“It’s really special to win this championship alongside the guys and the coaches, and it’s definitely something I’ll take with me forever,” said Kelly.
Against a bruising Kutztown team that had made its own unbeaten run to the final and dispatched last year’s runner-up along the way, Cal combined a confident attack with stingy defense to accentuate its skills while meeting the strengths of the opposition head on.
Brad Harrington, the only other graduating senior on Cal’s CRC squad, typified the team’s grit by absorbing some serious contact throughout the tournament and bouncing back to make a difference in every match he played.
“It was about playing with these guys one last time and finishing on a high note,” Harrington said. “I have to thank the trainers and doctors for keeping me healthy so I could be in these last few games and play for a championship. It’s been incredible, the bond we’ve built.”
Cal started its championship Sunday with a 33-5 quarterfinal win over Penn State that saw the Bears fall behind early on a Ross Morris try before the Blue and Gold exploded for five unanswered tries.
The semifinals saw Pac-12 peers Cal and UCLA square off for seventh time in their 7s history and second straight time in the CRC semis. Sunday’s chapter in this great rivalry was a squeaker that the Bears could claim only after coming back to win 20-17 on a last-minute try by Andrew Battaglia, who ended the tournament with five tries scored and a full account of chase-downs and tackles.
Taking the field against Kutztown in the final, Cal made it plain its intent to meet Kutztown’s might with ample power of its own, poaching its opening kickoff and driving the Pa. Bears into touch when they wrenched back possession. They lead 12-7 at the break.
In the second half, Kutztown laid down its challenge by stealing its kickoff out of the air before Gletzer poached the ball back. The two teams traded penalties before Harrington darted through a gap at minute 9 and Webb converted (2-for-4) for a 19-7 Cal lead.
“We played to our strengths pretty well and we neutralized a lot of theirs,” Kelly explained postgame. “I thought we were very good at the breakdown and were very physical in defense. We knew that was the hallmark of their game, and we came with a physicality and an intensity that matched them. When you neutralize their best threats and you accentuate your own abilities, you’re going to do well, and I think we did that.”
Kelly will depart immediately for Houston to join the U.S. National Team in its preparations for a match against Scotland on June 7, when head coach Jack Clark will also be inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame after winning his 24th overall national championship, the 28th in the history of the program.

Cal Wins Second Straight Rugby Championship

Philadelphia – California culminated its second straight undefeated run through the Collegiate Rugby Championship with a 24-21 victory over Kutztown University to become back-to-back 7s national champion Sunday at PPL Park.

The U.C. Berkeley Golden Bears overcame a 7-0 deficit early in the first half with three unanswered tries, adding a fourth try during the responding run from the Golden Bears from Pennsylvania, and held on to preserve their victory as the final whistle signaled the program’s second consecutive national championship in the Olympic code of the game.

Cal exited the tournament with the most tries scored (31) and best points differential (+127) in the 20-team field, and sealed its title with the type of hard-nosed play that pundits expected from the opposition and a national TV audience witnessed from both teams. Captain Seamus Kelly was lifted aloft on the shoulders of his teammates after leading his team to the title in his final match for the Rugby Bears, and the graduated senior left the pitch for the final time having contributed a team-high six tries to the team’s three-day, six-match effort.

“It’s really special to win this championship alongside the guys and the coaches, and it’s definitely something I’ll take with me forever,” said Kelly.

Against a bruising Kutztown team that had made its own unbeaten run to the final and dispatched last year’s runner-up along the way, Cal combined a confident attack with stingy defense to accentuate its skills while meeting the strengths of the opposition head on.

Brad Harrington, the only other graduating senior on Cal’s CRC squad, typified the team’s grit by absorbing some serious contact throughout the tournament and bouncing back to make a difference in every match he played.

“It was about playing with these guys one last time and finishing on a high note,” Harrington said. “I have to thank the trainers and doctors for keeping me healthy so I could be in these last few games and play for a championship. It’s been incredible, the bond we’ve built.”

Cal started its championship Sunday with a 33-5 quarterfinal win over Penn State that saw the Bears fall behind early on a Ross Morris try before the Blue and Gold exploded for five unanswered tries.

The semifinals saw Pac-12 peers Cal and UCLA square off for seventh time in their 7s history and second straight time in the CRC semis. Sunday’s chapter in this great rivalry was a squeaker that the Bears could claim only after coming back to win 20-17 on a last-minute try by Andrew Battaglia, who ended the tournament with five tries scored and a full account of chase-downs and tackles.

Taking the field against Kutztown in the final, Cal made it plain its intent to meet Kutztown’s might with ample power of its own, poaching its opening kickoff and driving the Pa. Bears into touch when they wrenched back possession. They lead 12-7 at the break.

In the second half, Kutztown laid down its challenge by stealing its kickoff out of the air before Gletzer poached the ball back. The two teams traded penalties before Harrington darted through a gap at minute 9 and Webb converted (2-for-4) for a 19-7 Cal lead.

“We played to our strengths pretty well and we neutralized a lot of theirs,” Kelly explained postgame. “I thought we were very good at the breakdown and were very physical in defense. We knew that was the hallmark of their game, and we came with a physicality and an intensity that matched them. When you neutralize their best threats and you accentuate your own abilities, you’re going to do well, and I think we did that.”

Kelly will depart immediately for Houston to join the U.S. National Team in its preparations for a match against Scotland on June 7, when head coach Jack Clark will also be inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame after winning his 24th overall national championship, the 28th in the history of the program.

nataliecoughlin:

Cal Hall of Fame, Class of 2014! 

Natalie Coughlin (women’s swimming, 2001-04) – A three-time Olympian and winner of 12 medals – a total unsurpassed by any woman in U.S. Olympic history – Coughlin remains one of the premier swimmers in the world 10 years after her graduation from Cal. As a Golden Bear, she was an 11-time NCAA individual champion, winning the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly four times and the 200 back three times. A three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year (2001-03), Coughlin was a four-time team MVP. She was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team on three occasions, was a second-team Academic All-American as a junior and a CSAA Scholar All-American as a senior. At the Olympic level, she won five medals in 2004 (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), six in 2008 (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze) and one in 2012 (bronze). Coughlin was the first woman ever to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke (2004, 2008). She also owns 20 medals from the World Championships (8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze). Among her numerous awards are the 2002 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and the 2003 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.

nataliecoughlin:

Cal Hall of Fame, Class of 2014! 

Natalie Coughlin (women’s swimming, 2001-04) – A three-time Olympian and winner of 12 medals – a total unsurpassed by any woman in U.S. Olympic history – Coughlin remains one of the premier swimmers in the world 10 years after her graduation from Cal. As a Golden Bear, she was an 11-time NCAA individual champion, winning the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly four times and the 200 back three times. A three-time NCAA Swimmer of the Year and Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year (2001-03), Coughlin was a four-time team MVP. She was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team on three occasions, was a second-team Academic All-American as a junior and a CSAA Scholar All-American as a senior. At the Olympic level, she won five medals in 2004 (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze), six in 2008 (1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze) and one in 2012 (bronze). Coughlin was the first woman ever to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke (2004, 2008). She also owns 20 medals from the World Championships (8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze). Among her numerous awards are the 2002 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year and the 2003 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.

Cal Softball

Cal Softball

RUGBY BEARS EDGED IN VARSITY CUP
PREPARING FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Rugby Bears are preparing for end-of-year exams while also transitioning to the Olympic 7s code of the game, in which they will compete at the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship May 31-June 1 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. Having won Cal’s first-ever national 7s championship at the 2013 CRC, the Bears went on to win the PAC 7s Conference crown in the autumn of 2013-14 and the PAC crown in 15s in March before finishing their spring 15s season with an 18-3 overall record (5-0 PAC) and a trip to the Varsity Cup National Championships final.
One week after the Bears compete at the upcoming CRC,  Cal head coach Jack Clark will be inducted in the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame in Houston.
The Golden Bears scored five tries and fought for 80 minutes Saturday in the Varsity Cup  final, battling back from a 15-point deficit to within three points before BYU (18-1) pulled away to repeat as VC champions with a 43-33 win.
Cal winger Andrew Battaglia scored two tries and sophomore flyhalf Russell Webb added another for the Bears (18-3, 5-0 PAC), while two replacements, sophomore Miles Honens and senior Alex Bowman, found the try zone to end each half. Fullback Jake Anderson added eight points on his 4-of-5 conversion kicking.
The Bears remained in the match despite many self-imposed woes that came in the form of sprayed passes and dropped balls, an accomplishment coach Clark credited to the play of his forwards.
“Our forwards were magnificent today – how much possession they won for us, how good their defense was – I thought they bettered the BYU forwards, and that’s a big statement,” Clark said. “I’m really proud of the platform we had but, Seamus Kelly aside, we just couldn’t hold our nerves in the backs. We had a lot of turnovers there.”
The first three-time captain in Cal’s 132-year history, Kelly competed in his final collegiate 15s match Saturday, as did starters Tanner Mohr at hooker, Patrick Coleman at lock, Jack O’Beirne in the back row and Tiaan De Nysschen at No. 8.

RUGBY BEARS EDGED IN VARSITY CUP

PREPARING FOR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The Rugby Bears are preparing for end-of-year exams while also transitioning to the Olympic 7s code of the game, in which they will compete at the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship May 31-June 1 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. Having won Cal’s first-ever national 7s championship at the 2013 CRC, the Bears went on to win the PAC 7s Conference crown in the autumn of 2013-14 and the PAC crown in 15s in March before finishing their spring 15s season with an 18-3 overall record (5-0 PAC) and a trip to the Varsity Cup National Championships final.

One week after the Bears compete at the upcoming CRC,  Cal head coach Jack Clark will be inducted in the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame in Houston.

The Golden Bears scored five tries and fought for 80 minutes Saturday in the Varsity Cup  final, battling back from a 15-point deficit to within three points before BYU (18-1) pulled away to repeat as VC champions with a 43-33 win.

Cal winger Andrew Battaglia scored two tries and sophomore flyhalf Russell Webb added another for the Bears (18-3, 5-0 PAC), while two replacements, sophomore Miles Honens and senior Alex Bowman, found the try zone to end each half. Fullback Jake Anderson added eight points on his 4-of-5 conversion kicking.

The Bears remained in the match despite many self-imposed woes that came in the form of sprayed passes and dropped balls, an accomplishment coach Clark credited to the play of his forwards.

“Our forwards were magnificent today – how much possession they won for us, how good their defense was – I thought they bettered the BYU forwards, and that’s a big statement,” Clark said. “I’m really proud of the platform we had but, Seamus Kelly aside, we just couldn’t hold our nerves in the backs. We had a lot of turnovers there.”

The first three-time captain in Cal’s 132-year history, Kelly competed in his final collegiate 15s match Saturday, as did starters Tanner Mohr at hooker, Patrick Coleman at lock, Jack O’Beirne in the back row and Tiaan De Nysschen at No. 8.

No. 2 Cal Sweeps No. 11 Stanford To Capture Big Row
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Second-ranked California men’s crew swept No. 11 Stanford, winning the varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight races to capture the Big Row Saturday at Redwood Shores, Calif.
With the varsity eight win, the Golden Bears have captured the Schwabacher Cup five of the last six years and 22 of the last 24 years overall. Cal’s varsity eight raced down the course in 5:43.2 to win by open water of Stanford (5:53.0).
“All these races are big,” said California head men’s crew coach Mike Teti. “We had a tight race with Washington last week and you are looking to improve week-by-week. You want to be ascending heading into the championships and this is a big step. The significance of this race is about Jill Costello. We dedicate this race to her and we want to make sure we have a good performance and I think all our boats did today.”
In the second varsity eight, the Bears raced out to the early lead and finished with the open-water victory in 5:55.4 to Stanford’s 6:26.1.
In the men’s first race of the day, Cal defeated Stanford in the freshman eight, with a time of 5:54.6 to Stanford’s 6:03.7.
“We want all our boats to row a solid race from start to finish,” Teti continued. “We are looking for them to row a complete piece. I think all three boats executed pretty well today.
Cal’s varsity eight has recorded wins in six of its seven races so far this season, winning a pair of races to capture the Copley Cup at the season-opening San Diego Crew Classic against Stanford, Northeastern, Syracuse, George Washington and British Columbia, earning dual wins against No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 16 Oregon State in the Stanford Invitational two weeks ago, and posting the victory over Stanford this weekend.
Cal returns to action on Sunday, May 18, at the Pac-12 Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.

No. 2 Cal Sweeps No. 11 Stanford To Capture Big Row

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – Second-ranked California men’s crew swept No. 11 Stanford, winning the varsity eight, second varsity eight and freshman eight races to capture the Big Row Saturday at Redwood Shores, Calif.

With the varsity eight win, the Golden Bears have captured the Schwabacher Cup five of the last six years and 22 of the last 24 years overall. Cal’s varsity eight raced down the course in 5:43.2 to win by open water of Stanford (5:53.0).

“All these races are big,” said California head men’s crew coach Mike Teti. “We had a tight race with Washington last week and you are looking to improve week-by-week. You want to be ascending heading into the championships and this is a big step. The significance of this race is about Jill Costello. We dedicate this race to her and we want to make sure we have a good performance and I think all our boats did today.”

In the second varsity eight, the Bears raced out to the early lead and finished with the open-water victory in 5:55.4 to Stanford’s 6:26.1.

In the men’s first race of the day, Cal defeated Stanford in the freshman eight, with a time of 5:54.6 to Stanford’s 6:03.7.

“We want all our boats to row a solid race from start to finish,” Teti continued. “We are looking for them to row a complete piece. I think all three boats executed pretty well today.

Cal’s varsity eight has recorded wins in six of its seven races so far this season, winning a pair of races to capture the Copley Cup at the season-opening San Diego Crew Classic against Stanford, Northeastern, Syracuse, George Washington and British Columbia, earning dual wins against No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 16 Oregon State in the Stanford Invitational two weeks ago, and posting the victory over Stanford this weekend.

Cal returns to action on Sunday, May 18, at the Pac-12 Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.

Loving every minute of it
Embracing the moment, California’s Missy Franklin delivers
Chrös McDougall | NCAA.com
MINNEAPOLIS — If there was anybody left on the pool dock who Missy Franklin had not hugged, consider them the exception.
The perpetually bubbly Cal freshman shared a moment with just about anyone with a pulse during the three very full days at her first NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships
And we’re not talking about the butt-out, shoulders-in, tap-on-the-back courtesy hugs that teenage girls are known to give out. These hugs are full out embraces: eyes shut, squeezed tight and followed by a playful laugh and earnest compliment.
If there is one thing for sure about Missy Franklin, it’s that she appreciates life.

And that’s why she was in Minneapolis for the Championships.
Since winning five medals, four of them gold, as a 17-year-old at the 2012 Olympics in London, Franklin has been one of the brightest stars in her sport.
"I still can’t believe that I am here," she said before the event while discussing the opportunities she’s had since the Olympics.
Franklin, a Centennial, Colo. native, plans to compete for California through her sophomore season before turning pro and focusing on the 2016 Olympics. Hoping to maximize her short time as a Golden Bear, the swimmer got a full plate of experiences at her first NCAA championships.
Her competition included dominance in setting an American record, drama in orchestrating a come-from-behind relay win, humility in settling for second and third place in two individual events, and adversity in dealing with a disappointing team performance.
And through it all, she maintained the big smile, the enthusiasm — with Franklin there is always enthusiasm — and an unwavering commitment to college swimming and, particularly, her college team.
"I’m so proud of my Bears and how far we’ve come in one season," she said Saturday, after her team finished a close third behind Georgia and Stanford. "And even though we get knocked down, we get right back up and we keep fighting, and that’s why I’m a Golden Bear, and that’s why I’m so proud to be a part of this team."
To see evidence of Franklin’s commitment, look no further than her program at the NCAA championships. The swimmer is an Olympic and world champion in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, plus she holds the world record in the 200 back. Yet in Minneapolis, she swam in three freestyle races: the 100 yards, 200 yards and, notably, the grueling 500 yards.
"Honestly, I was going to swim wherever my team needed me to swim, and that was the 500," she said after finishing second in the event on Thursday, when Georgia sophomore Brittany MacLean barely snuck past her with a blazing final lap. "So I was up for the challenge."
Franklin had more success the next day in the tried and true 200 free, another event in which she won Olympic gold in 2012. She took the lead off her dive and finished with several feet of open water between her toes and the second-place finisher’s hands. Franklin’s time of 1 minute, 40.31 seconds set a new American record.
Franklin closed out her individual schedule with a third-place finish in the 100 free.
Perhaps her most memorable race in Minneapolis might actually have been the 800 relay, one of four relays in which she swam. Swimming the anchor leg in Friday night’s final event, Franklin dove into the water in third place, behind Stanford and more than two seconds behind Georgia.
"There’s honestly no better feeling than going in behind as an anchor and knowing that you just have to do whatever it takes to catch up," she said.
And that’s indeed what she did. The Olympian finished her leg in 1:40.08 to give Cal the win at 6:54.94. Georgia finished second in 6:55.09 and Stanford third in 6:55.62.
"There’s nothing better than an awesome 800 free relay," Cal coach Teri McKeever said.
Of course, after seven events in three days (and don’t forget prelims), Franklin also got to experience another staple of the NCAA championships: exhaustion. Although big programs at championship meets are nothing new for Franklin, the Olympics and world championships spread the events over more than twice as many days as the college championships.
So there it was on the last night, minutes after Franklin’s final race of the event, the 400 free relay, that the energy finally waned a bit. As Franklin waited with her teammates for the awards ceremony to start, she was smiling as usual, but for once it appeared she actually had to summon the effort to do so.
Before you knew it, though, the energy was back, the smile was effortless and Franklin was giving more hugs and earnest, enthusiastic congratulations.
"Hey, you feel a little tired after one of these things don’t you?" Georgia senior associate head coach Harvey Humphries called out as she walked away from their post-meet hug.
"No, I’ve got all the energy in the world," she shot back, seemingly sarcastically, but with her enthusiasm one can never be sure.

Loving every minute of it

Embracing the moment, California’s Missy Franklin delivers

Chrös McDougall | NCAA.com

MINNEAPOLIS — If there was anybody left on the pool dock who Missy Franklin had not hugged, consider them the exception.

The perpetually bubbly Cal freshman shared a moment with just about anyone with a pulse during the three very full days at her first NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

And we’re not talking about the butt-out, shoulders-in, tap-on-the-back courtesy hugs that teenage girls are known to give out. These hugs are full out embraces: eyes shut, squeezed tight and followed by a playful laugh and earnest compliment.

If there is one thing for sure about Missy Franklin, it’s that she appreciates life.

And that’s why she was in Minneapolis for the Championships.

Since winning five medals, four of them gold, as a 17-year-old at the 2012 Olympics in London, Franklin has been one of the brightest stars in her sport.

"I still can’t believe that I am here," she said before the event while discussing the opportunities she’s had since the Olympics.

Franklin, a Centennial, Colo. native, plans to compete for California through her sophomore season before turning pro and focusing on the 2016 Olympics. Hoping to maximize her short time as a Golden Bear, the swimmer got a full plate of experiences at her first NCAA championships.

Her competition included dominance in setting an American record, drama in orchestrating a come-from-behind relay win, humility in settling for second and third place in two individual events, and adversity in dealing with a disappointing team performance.

And through it all, she maintained the big smile, the enthusiasm — with Franklin there is always enthusiasm — and an unwavering commitment to college swimming and, particularly, her college team.

"I’m so proud of my Bears and how far we’ve come in one season," she said Saturday, after her team finished a close third behind Georgia and Stanford. "And even though we get knocked down, we get right back up and we keep fighting, and that’s why I’m a Golden Bear, and that’s why I’m so proud to be a part of this team."

To see evidence of Franklin’s commitment, look no further than her program at the NCAA championships. The swimmer is an Olympic and world champion in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, plus she holds the world record in the 200 back. Yet in Minneapolis, she swam in three freestyle races: the 100 yards, 200 yards and, notably, the grueling 500 yards.

"Honestly, I was going to swim wherever my team needed me to swim, and that was the 500," she said after finishing second in the event on Thursday, when Georgia sophomore Brittany MacLean barely snuck past her with a blazing final lap. "So I was up for the challenge."

Franklin had more success the next day in the tried and true 200 free, another event in which she won Olympic gold in 2012. She took the lead off her dive and finished with several feet of open water between her toes and the second-place finisher’s hands. Franklin’s time of 1 minute, 40.31 seconds set a new American record.

Franklin closed out her individual schedule with a third-place finish in the 100 free.

Perhaps her most memorable race in Minneapolis might actually have been the 800 relay, one of four relays in which she swam. Swimming the anchor leg in Friday night’s final event, Franklin dove into the water in third place, behind Stanford and more than two seconds behind Georgia.

"There’s honestly no better feeling than going in behind as an anchor and knowing that you just have to do whatever it takes to catch up," she said.

And that’s indeed what she did. The Olympian finished her leg in 1:40.08 to give Cal the win at 6:54.94. Georgia finished second in 6:55.09 and Stanford third in 6:55.62.

"There’s nothing better than an awesome 800 free relay," Cal coach Teri McKeever said.

Of course, after seven events in three days (and don’t forget prelims), Franklin also got to experience another staple of the NCAA championships: exhaustion. Although big programs at championship meets are nothing new for Franklin, the Olympics and world championships spread the events over more than twice as many days as the college championships.

So there it was on the last night, minutes after Franklin’s final race of the event, the 400 free relay, that the energy finally waned a bit. As Franklin waited with her teammates for the awards ceremony to start, she was smiling as usual, but for once it appeared she actually had to summon the effort to do so.

Before you knew it, though, the energy was back, the smile was effortless and Franklin was giving more hugs and earnest, enthusiastic congratulations.

"Hey, you feel a little tired after one of these things don’t you?" Georgia senior associate head coach Harvey Humphries called out as she walked away from their post-meet hug.

"No, I’ve got all the energy in the world," she shot back, seemingly sarcastically, but with her enthusiasm one can never be sure.

Sandy Barbour, UC Berkeley Athletic Director, laughs with Cuonzo Martin, second from right, after Martin was introduced as the new Cal mens’ basketball coach.  (Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle)
CUONZO MARTIN IS CAL’S NEW MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
BERKELEY, Calif. — A more relaxed fan base, milder weather and a chance to coach at the top-rated public university in the country added up to Cuonzo Martin making the decision to leave Tennessee for California.
Cal hired Martin as the 16th men’s basketball coach in school history Tuesday, a decision that stunned Volunteers administrators and players after he had reaffirmed his commitment to Tennessee just two weeks ago. Martin said it was a difficult move but the opportunity at Cal was too much to pass up.
"It’s a beautiful place. I got off the plane and I just said, ‘Ahhh,’ " Martin said during his introductory news conference in Berkeley. "I think it has a chance to be special here. I think that’s the most intriguing thing to me. It’s a place I could spend the rest of my life."
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said Martin’s contract, which is still being finalized, is for five years. Financial details will be released at a later date.
Martin also said he will bring “quite a few” of his assistant coaches from Tennessee to Cal once his contract is complete.
Martin replaces Mike Montgomery, who retired last month after six seasons in Berkeley. Martin went 63-41 in three seasons at Tennessee, including a 24-13 mark and an appearance in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament this season. He also was previously the coach at Missouri State.
Martin succeeds one of the most successful college coaches in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area. Montgomery finished his career with a 677-317 record.
Cal hasn’t hired a head coach that spent the previous season as the head coach at another major conference school since 1954 when it brought in Pete Newell of Michigan State, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Newell went on to win the school’s only national championship in 1959.
Replacing a revered coach is nothing new for Martin.
Martin, a 42-year-old native of East Saint Louis, Illinois, took over a Tennessee program under NCAA investigation in 2011 and has averaged 21 wins per year. But, at times, he struggled to escape the shadow of former coach Bruce Pearl, who led the Volunteers to NCAA tournament appearances in each of his six years on the job.
"For me, as a coach, your style is your style," Martin said. "I don’t mind following guys. I like learning from guys."
Martin previously served as coach at Missouri State, going 61-41 in three seasons, including win totals of 24 and 26 in his final two seasons. In 2010-11, Martin guided Missouri State to the regular-season Missouri Valley championship and was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.
As a player, Martin earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1995 at Purdue when he averaged 18.4 points per game and made 91 3-pointers. After playing two seasons in the NBA, he served on the staff at his alma mater from 2000-08 — first as an assistant coach under Gene Keady and in his final year as associate head coach.
The Golden Bears also found out about another prize from Tennessee later in the day.
Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-foot-1 center originally from England who played this season for Westwind Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, announced on Twitter that he has switched his verbal commitment from Tennessee to California. Okoroh had verbally committed to Tennessee on Monday.

Sandy Barbour, UC Berkeley Athletic Director, laughs with Cuonzo Martin, second from right, after Martin was introduced as the new Cal mens’ basketball coach.  (Carlos Avila Gonzalez/San Francisco Chronicle)

CUONZO MARTIN IS CAL’S NEW MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH

BERKELEY, Calif. — A more relaxed fan base, milder weather and a chance to coach at the top-rated public university in the country added up to Cuonzo Martin making the decision to leave Tennessee for California.

Cal hired Martin as the 16th men’s basketball coach in school history Tuesday, a decision that stunned Volunteers administrators and players after he had reaffirmed his commitment to Tennessee just two weeks ago. Martin said it was a difficult move but the opportunity at Cal was too much to pass up.

"It’s a beautiful place. I got off the plane and I just said, ‘Ahhh,’ " Martin said during his introductory news conference in Berkeley. "I think it has a chance to be special here. I think that’s the most intriguing thing to me. It’s a place I could spend the rest of my life."

Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said Martin’s contract, which is still being finalized, is for five years. Financial details will be released at a later date.

Martin also said he will bring “quite a few” of his assistant coaches from Tennessee to Cal once his contract is complete.

Martin replaces Mike Montgomery, who retired last month after six seasons in Berkeley. Martin went 63-41 in three seasons at Tennessee, including a 24-13 mark and an appearance in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament this season. He also was previously the coach at Missouri State.

Martin succeeds one of the most successful college coaches in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area. Montgomery finished his career with a 677-317 record.

Cal hasn’t hired a head coach that spent the previous season as the head coach at another major conference school since 1954 when it brought in Pete Newell of Michigan State, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Newell went on to win the school’s only national championship in 1959.

Replacing a revered coach is nothing new for Martin.

Martin, a 42-year-old native of East Saint Louis, Illinois, took over a Tennessee program under NCAA investigation in 2011 and has averaged 21 wins per year. But, at times, he struggled to escape the shadow of former coach Bruce Pearl, who led the Volunteers to NCAA tournament appearances in each of his six years on the job.

"For me, as a coach, your style is your style," Martin said. "I don’t mind following guys. I like learning from guys."

Martin previously served as coach at Missouri State, going 61-41 in three seasons, including win totals of 24 and 26 in his final two seasons. In 2010-11, Martin guided Missouri State to the regular-season Missouri Valley championship and was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

As a player, Martin earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 1995 at Purdue when he averaged 18.4 points per game and made 91 3-pointers. After playing two seasons in the NBA, he served on the staff at his alma mater from 2000-08 — first as an assistant coach under Gene Keady and in his final year as associate head coach.

The Golden Bears also found out about another prize from Tennessee later in the day.

Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-foot-1 center originally from England who played this season for Westwind Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, announced on Twitter that he has switched his verbal commitment from Tennessee to California. Okoroh had verbally committed to Tennessee on Monday.