Cal Tops Omaha In Opener 1-0
BERKELEY - An eventful season opener resulted in the Cal men's soccer team defeating visiting Omaha, 1-0, on Friday evening at Edwards Stadium. Freshman midfielder Paolo Carrillo-Weisenburger scored the first goal of his career for the Golden Bears, while senior goalkeeper Drake Callender saved a late penalty kick to preserve the victory.
"This was a great opening game because we saw everything you could possibly see in a match," Cal head coach Kevin Grimessaid. "That's a great thing to get under your belt. All in all, when you play a good quality team to start your season, you're always going to be pushed to the limit, and Omaha's a good quality team. They have very good players and are well coached. We were pushed to our limit, and that's what we want especially early in the season. We beat a good team today."
In a tight game that produced six shots on goal, Cal had a 7-2 first-half advantage. Both those shots for the Mavericks came early, as Diego Gutierrez hit the crossbar in the 13th minute and Miguel Gomez shot wide in the 23rd. Just seconds later, Carrillo-Weisenburger took a pass from Alonzo Del Mundo in the box and finished past Omaha goalie Ugo Tritz at the near post to give Cal the lead.
"It's honestly pretty indescribable," Carrillo-Weisenburger said. "I'm super happy right now and happy for the team, too."
The Bears took a flurry of shots over the 33rd and 34th minutes, as Simon Lekressner and Jonathan Estrada had shots blocked and then Tritz saved Estrada's follow-up effort.
The second 45 minutes produced a slightly more even half, as Cal outshot the Mavs 5-3 and Omaha had its share of possession. In the 78th minute, a Cal foul resulted in the Mavericks' PK, with Martin Veys taking the spot kick. But the veteran Callender dove to stop Veys' shot and ultimately preserve the victory.
"I tried to get a strong hand out there; he hit it pretty well," Callender said. "And then just getting up after the shot, finishing the play and holding onto (the ball) was a big factor, too. I had a gut feeling he was going to go to my left, so I just trusted myself."
Cal (1-0) next plays 21st-ranked UC Irvine in another nonconference home game on Sunday at 12 p.m.
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