This Wednesday, the Pac-12 announced its men’s soccer 2021 season schedule. This announcement of a conference-only schedule comes after months of uncertainty about whether or not Pac-12 men’s soccer would be played at all this year given the COVID-19 pandemic and five months after the regular season kick-off time.
The Bears will play five home games and five away games, one at home and one away against Stanford, Washington, Oregon State, San Diego State and UCLA each.
In keeping with the abnormality of this past year, home games will not be played at Edwards Stadium as they normally would. Games in Berkeley will instead be played at Witter Rugby Field. Given current local health protocols, fans will not be allowed to attend.
Cal’s first game of the season, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, will see the blue and gold host rival Stanford, whom the Bears beat 1-0 in their most recent meeting at the end of the 2019 season. That same year, the Cardinal made it all the way to the NCAA championship tournament semifinals before falling to No. 2 Georgetown.
Cal will then host Washington on Saturday, Feb. 27. The Huskies finished the 2019 season ranked No. 8 in the country, two spots ahead of Stanford, after also losing to Georgetown in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
After what will probably be its two most difficult games of the season, Cal head coach Kevin Grimes will prepare his team for road trips to Oregon State and San Diego State before returning to Berkeley to play UCLA.
Cal will finish its season Saturday, April 17, against UCLA in what could be a game with major conference standings and playoff implications.
William Cooke covers men’s soccer and is a deputy sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]