Bears Bounce Back With 3-1 Win Over VCU

September 4, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. – The California Golden Bears (1-1-0) opened their 2015 home schedule with a 3-1 win on Friday night, over the visiting Virginia Commonwealth University Rams (0-3-0) at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. Junior defender Nick Lima tallied his first career goal in the 41st minute of play to break a scoreless deadlock. Cal continued to apply pressure in the second half, as they scored a pair of goals (sophomore forward Paul Salcedo and redshirt sophomore midfielder Jose Carrera-Garcia) to stretch the lead to 3-0. The Rams pulled a goal back in the 67th minute through junior midfielder Jason McGlothern, but Cal held on for the quality result, as the match finished 3-1 in favor of the home side.

“We were really pleased with how we played last week in San Diego,” Grimes said on Friday night. “We just had to clean up a few things that we were able to do today. We didn’t concentrate a whole lot on the result at San Diego; just focused more on ourselves and improving those few things. I think today it was a good win over a very good opponent. If you look at VCU’s results from last season, they had some great results against some outstanding competition. We knew they were going to be a formidable opponent; which they were today, so this was a good result for us.”

Both teams possessed well in the first half, getting into dangerous spots, but neither team threatened to find the scoresheet through the first 40 minutes of play. Lima and the Bears broke through in the 41st, when junior forward Christian Thierjung slid a pass to Lima from about 25-yards out on the wing. Lima cut in, beating his defender and rifled a shot from about 20-yards out towards the near post, that glanced off the woodwork and past the helpless VCU goalkeeper, Pierre Gardan.

“The feeling of scoring that goal was awesome,” Lima said after the match. “Once I struck it and it went in, it felt great, but then you realize you have to get right back into the play. The feeling of scoring my first is a feeling of elation, and kind of gets that monkey off of your back. That said, whether it’s an assist, or scoring yourself, it is all the same. If your team gets the win, you’re happy and that is all that matters. Getting this result today was huge for us and hopefully this jump starts some momentum going forward. It was very important to defend our home field today.”

The Bears started the second half very quickly, putting the Rams under a lot of early pressure. That paid off inside the first 15 minutes of the half when Salcedo received a square pass from an onrushing Thierjung on the counter. Salcedo took a couple of touches, and his strike from the top of the box found the far corner of the net, to double the Cal advantage. That marked the Inglewood, California, native’s fifth career goal for the Blue and Gold, as the Preseason All-Pac-12 selection opened his scoring account for the season.

Thierjung assisted on the first two goals of the game and was hungry to add his name to the scoresheet yet again, and almost did in the 56th minute. Carrera-Garcia played the junior through on goal with a wonderfully weighted pass, and though Thierjung beat the goalkeeper, his effort from inside the area went just over the bar, and things remained 2-0 for the time being.

Cal would not be denied of its third, however, when off of a throw-in from sophomore midfielder Aravind Sivakumar found Carrera-Garcia in space in the 62nd minute. The Ontario, California, native sent a vicious strike from a difficult angle over a stunned Gardan and into the net at the far post to push the Cal lead to 3-0.

VCU maintained its composure after falling behind, and pulled a goal back just four minutes later through McGlothern. Redshirt defender Isaac Owuso supplied the service, as his low cross from the wing picked out McGlothern at the edge of the six-yard box, who finished calmly past a diving Alex Mangels. The California goalkeeper finished the day with a pair of saves to pick up his first win of the season.

California now hosts Northeastern of the Colonial Athletic Association on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. back at Edwards Stadium. 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.

      1     2       F
 VCU      0         1    1
 California               1      2     3   


Scoring Summary

Cal –  40:54    Lima, Nick (Thierjung, Christian)

Cal –  53:38    Salcedo, Paul (Thierjung, Christian)

Cal –  61:54    Carrera-Garcia, Jose (Sivakumar, Aravind)

VCU –66:16    McGlothern, Jason (Owusu, Isaac)

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