Cal Tops Santa Clara 2-1 in Opener

by Dean Caparaz
August 25, 2012

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – California scored a goal in each half and held on for a 2-1 victory in the season opener on Friday night at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium. Alec Sundly and Tony Salciccia scored for the Golden Bears, and goalkeeper Kevin Peach made three saves to clinch the shutout for Cal (1-0).


“Getting a ‘W’ starts us off on the right foot,” Salciccia said. “Everyone’s very excited to get that win.”


Santa Clara opened at 0-1 after the nonconference match.


Sundly, a junior midfielder, scored Cal’s first goal of the season in the 18th minute. Sophomore midfielder Seth Casiple began the play with a free kick, and then senior forward Kyle Lunt headed the ball across the goal for Sundly to stick past SCU goalie Larry Jackson. This marked the first assist of the year for Casiple, who won the 2011 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award after pacing the conference for most of last season in assists.


The Bears put the clamps on the Bronco attack in the first half, allowing just one shot and no shots on goal through 45 minutes. Cal outshot SCU, 4-1, in the first half.


“In the majority of the first half, from Peach to the forwards, our defensive shape and communication were very good,” said Salciccia, a Cal midfielder and senior co-captain.


The teams tied with seven shots for the game, with Santa Clara posting six of those and Peach making all three of his saves in the second stanza.


After a Bronco fouled a Bear in the penalty area, Salciccia calmly put away the ensuing penalty kick in the 72nd minute.


Santa Clara quickly responded, as Glenn Vass scored the Broncos’ first goal of the year later in the 72nd minute.


But SCU took just two more shots, with forward Erik Hurtado missing high in the 81st minute and then wide in the 83rd minute.


“Santa Clara is an excellent team with some outstanding players,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “We were pushed to the limits and our team did a great job tonight.”


The Bears next play a pair of ACC powers in Virginia and No. 9 Maryland. They battle the Cavaliers on Aug. 31 in Charlottesville, Va., and then tackle the Terrapins on Sept. 2 in College Park, Md.

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