Bears Drop 2-1 Tilt with No. 3 Stanford

October 4, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. – The California Golden Bears (5-3-0, 0-1-0 Pac-12) fought back from an early two goal deficit, but eventually fell 2-1 to No. 3 Stanford (8-1-0, 1-0-0 Pac-12) on Sunday evening in front of a raucous crowd of 1,690 at Edwards Stadium. The Cardinal tallied a pair of goals in a three-minute span and held on for the 2-1 victory, their eighth in a row. Senior defender Brandon Vincent converted a penalty in the 15th minute, while freshman forward Foster Langsdorf added another in the 18th to propel the visitors to an early 2-0 advantage. The Bears continued to battle back and cut the lead in half in the 31st minute through a Jose Carrera-Garcia penalty. Cal was able to create many quality second half chances, but was unable to conjure up an equalizer.

“You have to look at two things at the end of a game,” head coach Kevin Grimes said on Sunday night. “You have to look at the result and the performance. The result may not have been what we wanted, but the performance was great and we just have to build off of that moving into Friday’s game. We had plenty of chances to get a good result today and it was close, which is a good sign moving forward.”

Both sides opened the match with fast-paced action, each creating early chances. Cal nearly opened the scoring in the third minute when sophomore forward Paul Salcedo’s initial shot was blocked, and fell to Carrera-Garcia at the edge of the six-yard box. His effort seemed destined for the back of the net, but junior goalkeeper Andrew Epstein made a terrific save to keep it out.

Just four minutes later, the Cardinal nearly broke through. Langsdorf played sophomore Corey Baird, who slid the ball square to senior midfielder Eric Verso, who rang his shot off the near post. Cal had some wonderful combination play in the 14th minute that sent Salcedo through on goal, but his shot went inches wide.

Stanford took the early advantage in the 15th minute through a Vincent penalty. A hand ball in the box set up the senior for the spot kick. He finished well into the top corner for his second goal of the season to push the visitors in front 1-0.

The Cardinal struck again just three minutes later on the counter attack. After taking over possession in midfield, Stanford jettisoned forward into attack. Sophomore midfielder Corey Baird played a through ball to Langsdorf, who was able to slot it past a diving Alex Mangels to double the Stanford lead inside of the first 20 minutes.

California responded, as Salcedo drew a foul in the box after a well-placed cross by Carrera-Garcia sought him out. That set up the penalty for Carrera-Garcia, who coolly finished to draw the Bears within a goal at 2-1 in the 31st minute of play.

“Obviously we hate losing, but the team played fantastic from zero to 90,” Carrera-Garcia said following the tough defeat. “We were unfortunate to not finish a couple of early chances we had inside the six, but overall we played great and outshot the other team. We focused in training on picking things up and maintaining focus in ourselves and that work paid off today, but we were unfortunate with today’s result. Now all we can do is move forward and focus on Oregon State next Friday.”

The Bears seemed reenergized from that moment on and appeared to have a slight edge in the play, and outshot the Cardinal 15-13 on the day. California nearly equalized on two separate occasions, both off of set pieces. In the 58th minute, a short corner allowed sophomore midfielder Aravind Sivakumar to find junior forward Christian Thierjung with room. His cross played in to Salcedo, but his flick towards goal went just over the bar. 10 minutes later, sophomore defender Ugo Rebecchini provided great service to find fellow sophomore, forward Matt Chasman, and his glancing header towards the top corner at the near post was snatched by Epstein, who finished with a season-high five saves.

Though Cal applied a lot of pressure in the late stages, Stanford was resolute defensively, turning away countless Cal advances and held on for the 2-1 win. Dating back to 2005 (21 meetings), the Bears still lead the Bay Area Derby 11-8-2, and now 15 of the last 21 meetings have seen the match decided by one goal, or ended in a draw (two draws).

California remains home next week with a pair of Pac-12 foes in Oregon State, who heads to Berkeley on Friday, Oct. 9 at 3:30 p.m. and No. 15 Washington on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m., both at Edwards Stadium. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter during the match and can stay up to date on statistics and live updates during the games.

       1          2          F    
 No. 3 Stanford        2     0     2
 California     1     0     1

Scoring Summary
Stan - 14:40      Vincent, Brandon (penalty)
Stan - 17:50      Langsdorf, Foster (Baird, Corey)
Cal   - 30:59      Carrera-Garcia, Jose (penalty) 

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