California Cougars Weekly Report
The Cougars head east for a two game trip against the New Jersey Ironmen and the Philadelphia KiXX. Their east coast trip features two of four straight games away from Stockton Arena. California is coming off a 9-8 edging of the visiting Chicago Storm at Stockton Arena. The game was featured live on Fox Soccer Channel and was played in front of 7,445 loud fans in Stockton. The Cougars improved to 2-0 in games played on FSC. Their match with the Ironmen is third of five total matches, featuring the Cougars, scheduled to air on the MISL's television network. The game will air tape delayed the next night on FSC starting at 5:00 p.m. PST. The game is also available by visiting via webcast at californiacougars.net. New Jersey owns the season series at 2-0, but narrowly defeated the Cougars on January 19 (17-14) at the Prudential Center. Midfielder Craig Scheer scored seven points against the Ironmen in the loss. He won the MISL Offensive player of the week award for his performances against both Orlando and New Jersey that weekend. The Ironmen have lost five straight matches since the Cougars visited Newark for the first time.
The Cougars have split the season series with the defending MISL Champion KiXX, 1-1. The Cougars won their last match in "Philly" by a final of 8-6 in overtime. Forward Chris Handsor had the game winning goal, assisted by Brian Farber, in the extra time. The win was the first of four straight for the Cougars. Since then the California has caught the injury bug and recently lost seven straight games. Friday's match will air live on 1420 KSTN in Stockton and online at californiacougars.net.
Upcoming Cougars Milestones
Through games of 2/20/08
Matt Caution: 187 Games Played
Matt Caution: 46 Career Points
Matt Caution: 242 Career Blocks
Brian Farber: 85 Career Points
Ryan Hall: 95 Games Played
Ryan Hall: 132 Career Blocks
Chris Handsor: 575 Career Points
Semir Mesanovic: 89 Career Points
Semir Mesanovic: 44 Career Goals
Semir Mesanovic: 95 Games Played
Craig Scheer: 44 Career Goals
Craig Scheer: 96 Career Points
Antonio Sutton: 147 Career Points
Cougars snap losing streak, weather Storm 9-8
Stockton, CA - Feb. 15, 2008 - "These guys are young kids that will bring a lot of speed and enthusiasm to the team," said California Cougars head coach Bernie Lilavois about his two newest players Majell Aterado and Aaron Bonser. Both rookies did exactly what coach Lilavois wanted, they added a spark to a Cougars team that had lost seven straight games since starting their season at 7-4. Aterado had a three point goal in his debut against the Chicago Storm in a Friday night match seen on Fox Soccer Channel. The Cougars (8-11) defeated the Storm (13-8) 9-8 in front of 7,445 fans at Stockton Arena.
Enrique "Qeeks" Tovar had the first goal of the game for the Cougars. His team leading total now climbs to 42 points this season. Cougars' midfielder Nelson Santana matched Aterado with three points, including a two-point goal and an assist. Santana's score was a brilliant breakaway that saw him weave around three defenders for an unassisted score in the second quarter. Franck M'Bemba had his first goal in a Cougars uniform during the third quarter. His goal was assisted by Chris Handsor and served as the game winning goal.
Sanaldo had perhaps his most dominating game yet in a Cougars uniform. The Brazilian keeper known to some as "Super" lived up to the billing by saving 20 of 24 shots faced in the game. The Storm offense out shot the Cougars 34 to 31 in the match. Sanaldo had 10 saves in the fourth quarter alone.
The Cougars defense made stops where it counted the most, including a crucial penalty kill in the fourth quarter that preserved the lead through the exciting end. The defense played an all out balanced game as the 10 team blocks were scattered between seven different players. Evan McNeley led the club with four blocks on the night. The Cougars killed two of three power plays in the match.
Bonser, Pedro Lupercio, Lee Williams and Aterado served as the primary defenders in most restart and power play situations. They were spelled by Ryan Hall, Matt Caution and McNeley later in the game. Both Bonser and Aterado made solid contributions to the team in their debuts after playing in the Premiere Arena Soccer League.
California will not play at home in Stockton again until March 8th against the expansion New Jersey Ironmen. They embark on a four game road trip through February that starts against the Ironmen on Thursday morning. The Cougars then face Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee after their morning date with New Jersey. All four teams are in the heart of the playoff hunt, the Cougars are now tied with the Philadelphia KiXX for the final playoff spot with 11 games remaining for California and just seven left for Philadelphia.
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Major Indoor Soccer League 2 Stories from February 20, 2008
- Cougars at Ironmen Preview - California Cougars
- Ignition Weekly - Detroit Ignition
- Wave Weekly - Milwaukee Wave
- Online registration now available for 2008 KiXX Summer Kamps - Philadelphia KiXX
- California Cougars Weekly Report - California Cougars
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