No. 20 Bears Fall 2-1 at Santa Clara
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – No. 20 California (5-2-0) dropped a hard-fought match, 2-1 to the Santa Clara Broncos (4-5-0) on Friday night at Stevens Stadium in Santa Clara. The Bears jumped out in front in the early going in the seventh minute when sophomore midfielder Aravind Sivakumaropened the scoring. Cal fell victim to a set piece goal finished well in the 25th minute by Santa Clara junior midfielder Dylan Autran, and then surrendered an 84th minute winner to sophomore forward Carlos Delgadillo to drop their first match in six tries.
“It was an exciting game,” head coach Kevin Grimes said on Friday night. “Both teams had some good chances to score at the end and it looked like it was going to be a nail-biter to the end, which it was. Give them credit for scoring their chance; we certainly had a couple of good looks in the second half as well, so we take some good lessons from it and move along.”
After a couple of early chances, Cal cashed in to take the early lead on the first goal of the season for Sivakumar in the seventh minute of play. Junior defender Nick Lima picked up a loose ball and beat a pair of Broncos defenders into the area, and his low, driven cross found Sivakumar unmarked at the back post for the finish.
“Nick Lima had some great play down the right side,” Sivakumar said of his first half goal. “I was able to get on the end of a great, low ball and was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to finish it. With this result tonight, we are going to come out with renewed energy; we have several training sessions this week. It’s going to be competitive and tense and we are going to be a new team come Oct. 4 against Stanford.”
Though Cal controlled most of the first half hour of play, Santa Clara levelled the match by virtue of an indirect free kick from inside the area after a foul was called on Cal goalkeeperAlex Mangels. Santa Clara sophomore defender Brennan Castro tapped to Autran, who finished well through traffic to tie things at 1-1.
The Bears nearly took the lead back in the 37th minute of play when sophomore forward Paul Salcedo pounced on a misplayed ball by a Santa Clara defender. He was a one-man counter attack and his effort from the top of the box forced a tremendous save from Santa Clara senior goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, who pushed it just wide for a corner kick.
The second half saw chances for both sides, as Cal had a flurry of chances just two minutes apart. In the 66th minute, the Bears had some good buildup as junior forward Christian Thierjung found Pac-12 Player of the Week Jose Carrera-Garcia outside the area. He sidestepped one defender and let a shot fly from roughly 22-yards out, but McIntosh was up to the task, making the difficult save.
Just two minutes later, Carrera-Garcia was involved again, as Cal executed a clever set piece on a corner kick, though the finish went begging. Carrera-Garcia linked up with Sivakumar, who played a low cross into the six-yard box, and sophomore defender Joshua Morton’s close-range shot went just high.
Unfortunately for the Bears, it was Santa Clara who conjured some late magic, as a fortuitous bounce found Delgadillo in space in the box, and he finished well past a diving Jonathan Klinsmann, who came on as a substitute in the 53rd minute. Cal was unable to find a late equalizer and dropped its second match of the campaign.
California returns home and opens the Pac-12 schedule on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. 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.
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