No. 15 Bears Blank Broncos 4-0
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 15 California Golden Bears (6-1-0) beat the Santa Clara Broncos (4-3-1) 2-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara on Friday night for their sixth consecutive victory. Sophomore forward Christian Thierjungscored an incredible goal in the 27th minute off of an assist from Pac-12 points leader Connor Hallisey. The goal was Thierjung’s fifth of the season, and he became the third Bear to hit the five goal mark thus far this season, along with Hallisey and senior forward Stefano Bonomo. Senior midfielder Max Oldham, etched his name onto the score sheet in the 52nd minute. Senior forward Omid Jalali opened his 2014 account in the 73rd minute of play and Hallisey scored for the third straight match, when he hit the back of the net in the 80thminute.
"Each week we try to make improvements to our team's performance," head coach Kevin Grimes said on Friday night after the win. "Tonight I think we definitely made steps going forward and we were pushed to our limits by Santa Clara this evening. In order for us to get a result like this tonight against such a good quality team, we had to be really sharp on the day."
Cal applied a lot of early pressure and nearly broke through in just the third minute of play. Hallisey’s long-distance pass took a deflection on the way to his intended target, Thierjung. The sophomore’s shot from just inside the area seemed destined for the far corner, but junior goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh was able to push it wide for a corner.
The Broncos threatened for the first time just three minutes later when a cross played in by sophomore defender Matt Steurer found redshirt freshman forward Steve Eneme with space. His header was on target, but a spectacular reaction save from Cal redshirt senior goalkeeper Justin Taillole kept things scoreless early on.
The Bears continued to pressure the Broncos and finally broke through in the 27th minute with a moment of brilliance from Thierjung. Hallisey took on a defender and slid the ball square to the Dove Canyon, Calif. native on the edge of the area. Thierjung deftly flicked the ball over the defender and took his chance on the half volley, blasting it into the near post past a helpless McIntosh to give the Bears a 1-0 advantage. The assist for Hallisey, the back-to-back Pac-12 Player of the Week, marked the sixth consecutive match in which he has registered at least one point.
Cal opened the second half flying, creating plenty of early chances. In the 52nd minute, the Bears broke through again, doubling their lead. Redshirt freshman Jose Carrera-Garcia played the ball through into space for senior midfielder Max Oldham. The Oakland native sidestepped the oncoming McIntosh and finished low into the far post to push the lead to 2-0.
Cal was clicking on all cylinders in the second half. In the 73rd minute, it was three, as senior co-captain Omid Jalali’s header beat McIntosh after a tremendous, whipped cross from Oldham. Just seven minutes later, Hallisey got his goal. A ball played through by freshman midfielder Eloi Vasquez set Hallisey up for the shot low into the far post to stretch the lead to 4-0. With that goal, Hallisey’s point total swelled to 20 on the young season, in just seven matches.
Taillole improved to 6-0-0 on the season for the Bears in goal, recording his second shutout of the year, posting four saves in the win.
The Bears open their Pac-12 conference schedule next Thursday night in Seattle, when they take on the No. 8 Washington Huskies. Cal then continues its tour of the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, Oct. 5 when the Bears square off against the No. 24 Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. 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
No. 15 Cal 1 3 4
Santa Clara 0 0 0
Cal – 26:36 Thierjung, Christian (Hallisey, Connor)
Cal – 51:05 Oldham, Max (Carrera-Garcia, Jose)
Cal – 72:08 Jalali, Omid (Oldham, Max)
Cal – 79:12 Hallisey, Connor (Vasquez, Eloi)
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