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Three Cal players make All-Pac-10 teams

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Thursday November 09, 2000



Three Cal players were named to the Pac-10 All-Conference women’s soccer teams, the conference office announced Tuesday. 

Sophomore striker Laura Schott was Cal’s lone representative on the first team, and sweeper Tami Pivnik and left midfielder Natalie Stuhmueller were named to the second team. 

Despite the Bears finishing second in the conference with a 7-2 league record, two teams that finished behind them in the standings, UCLA and Stanford, had more players selected. The Bruins and Cardinal had four players each on the All-Conference teams. 

Schott, who is second in the nation in goals per game, was beaten out for Pac-10 Player of the Year by UCLA senior forward Tracey Milburn. Milburn ranked sixth in the conference in scoring with 29 points and tied for fourth with 12 goals. 

Schott finished the regular season as the league’s leader for points (47), goals (23) and game-winning goals (9). Schott seemed surprised to have been beaten by Milburn. 

“We have the same number of points (in our careers), and she’s played for four years and I’ve played for two,” Schott said Wednesday. “I hope it’s because she’s a senior and she’s leaving and she’s had a good year. I don’t know what the other reasons could be.” 

Stuhlmueller, a senior, was a first-team selection the last two years, while this is Pivnik’s first selection. Stuhlmueller scored four goals, including two game-winners, and has five assists. She is now tied for second all-time at Cal with 20 assists. 

“It’s nice to be recognized for your effort, but it’s not why you play the game,” said Pivnik, a converted midfielder who has anchored a Bear defense that has allowed just 0.58 goals per game. “It’s not something that’s in the back of my mind when I’m on the field.” 

Cal head coach Kevin Boyd agreed that the individual honors are a sidelight to the Bears’ outstanding season. 

“It’s nice for the players who win, but it’s not the most important thing,” Boyd said. “Besides, the selection process is so random, it’s hard to take it too seriously.” 

One surprise omission was Cal goalkeeper Maite Zabala, who was a first-team selection the last two years. Zabala ranks ninth in the nation in goals-against average with 0.57 and has 9.5 shutouts this season, making her all-time school leader with 26.5 in her career. 

The Pac-10 coaches picked Washington’s Hope Solo as the first-team goalie, and Washington State’s Lindsey Jorgensen and Stanford’s Carly Smolak tied for second-team honors. 

“I honestly didn’t expect to make first team,” the senior said. “There’s no shame in coming in behind Hope Solo. She’s a great ’keeper, and she’s come up big in some of their games.” 

Cal goalkeeper coach Henry Foulk said the selection process for selecting the teams may have contributed to Zabala’s snub, as well as several other players who deserved recognition. 

“A lot of political stuff goes on in those meetings,” Foulk said. “Maite’s one of the best, if not the best, ’keeper in the country, and she should have been first team.” 

“Those decisions are made a lot of times by people who don’t have all the information.” 

Pivnik was more blunt in her assessment of the selections. 

“I think it’s crap. We dominated so many of those teams, in the conference and across the nation, our team and our players deserve better than that. We just have to be more satisfied with our work as a team and not as individuals.” 

Seven Cal players got honorable mention honors: Zabala, defenders Amy White and Ashley Mueller, midfielders Brittany Kirk, Kim Yokers and Ashley Valenzuela and forward Kyla Sabo.