No. 19 Bears Upset No. 12 Beaver Den 3-1
Cal Defeats Oregon State in Authoritative Fashion
Score: No. 19 Cal 3, No. 12 Oregon State 1
Site: Edwards Stadium – Berkeley, Calif.
Records: Cal 9-3-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12, Oregon State 9-3-0, 1-2-0 Pac-12
Top Cal Performers: Rachel Mercik (1 GWG), Ifemona Onumonu (1 G), Ariana Martinez (1 G)
Next Cal Game: Friday at Colorado
BERKELEY – The No. 19 California women’s soccer team tallied its first upending of the year – knocking off No. 12 Oregon State 3-1 on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in Berkeley. The Golden Bears dominated the game, clearly evidenced by the 25-7 shot ratio over the Beavers.
Ifeoma Onumonu scored her team-leading fifth goal of the year in the 13th minute. Cal upped it advantage to 3-0 thanks to scores from Rachel Mercik and Ariana Martinez. The Beavers avoided the shutout by scoring with 1:59 remaining in regulation.
The Bears pressured for much of the first half, posting an aggressive yet characteristic 12-4 shot advantage over the Beavers. Cal one-upped the shot count in the second 45 with a 13 shots to OSU’s three.
“I said halftime that I hope the Bears are not surprised,” associate head coach Patrick Baker said. “They trained unbelievably well this week. I really thought that Friday’s performance was just the tip of the iceberg. I think we saw true character and the identity of the team today.”
The Beavers brought a five-game winning streak to California – along with a No. 12 ranking in the Soccer America poll – and dropped only their second and third games of the year.
“OSU isn’t off to its best start in program history for nothing,” Baker said. “They came into this weekend 9-1, and that speaks volumes about what they have done and what they’re capable of doing the rest of the way. We knew it would be a tough challenge.”
Cal treated the 661 fans in attendance – a home season high – to 90 minutes of offensive Golden Bear soccer. Thanks to the 2-0 win over Oregon on Friday and Sunday’s sweet victory, the Bears notch their first conference series sweep since 2010, which was also over the schools to the north.
“With Oregon a 4-3-3 and Oregon State playing in a 4-4-2, there were some different elements in how we needed to play,” Baker said. “We told the team that we didn’t want to sit back and see what type of Oregon State team we were going to see because they are very potent. We wanted to high press and get after it. I think our back line did a tremendous job on some of the best forwards in the country.”
The Cal offense pummeled Sammy Prudhomme (4-1-0) for the three allowed goals but the OSU keeper performed admirable with an incredible 12 saves. Emily Kruger (8-2-0) made two stops in 90 minutes of play.
Cal moves to 9-3-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the Pac-12 thanks to two key conference victories this weekend while OSU dropped to 9-3-0 and 1-2-0 in the Pac-12.
12:13 – Cal 1, OSU 0:
Ifeoma Onumonu received the ball from Samantha Witteman and shot on an empty goal after the OSU keeper came out.
“Sam passed it into me and I just tried to keep composure and put it into the net,” Onumonu said of her fifth goal of the year. “We’ve been working really hard at practice and it really meant a lot to come out to get back-to-back wins.
62:09 – Cal 2, OSU 0:
Emi Lawson headed the ball in a thing of beauty, but the OSU keeper was right there. Mercik seized on the chance and put the ball to the left corner.
“My goal was a team effort, which is the best kind of goal,” Mercik said. “Emi – our powerhouse – headed it into the mix off a corner kick. The goalie got glove, and it really just hit off me, and I just placed it in.”
86:30 – Cal 3, OSU 0:
Again, it was a rebound shot for the Bears after Prudhomme stopped a Hassett shot. Ariana Martinez recovered for her first goal in the Blue & Gold of Cal.
Betsy was taking it down the right side, trying to get it into the box. I saw her looking for someone so I was just running to the back post – just like we do in practice – to try and make sure that I got there. The goalie blocked it and I just tapped it in.”
88:01 – Cal 3, OSU 1:
Brandi Dawson put the ball to the right side in the waning moments of the game.
Next Week on the Pitch:
The Pac-12 schedule continues – but on the road – next week. Cal takes on Colorado in Boulder on Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. The Bears then travel to Salt Lake City for an Oct. 7 match at Utah.