Thierjung Leads Bears Past Northeastern, 3-0

September 6, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. – The California Golden Bears (2-1-0) defeated the Northeastern Huskies (0-2-1) 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. Cal won its second consecutive game on the back of goals by freshman midfielder Samuel Ebstein, junior forward Christian Thierjung, who each tallied in the first half for the Bears, and sophomore forward Paul Salcedo. Cal jumped out to an early advantage, scoring twice within the first half hour and then added a third in the second half to hold off the Huskies. Thierjung finished the weekend with a goal and three assists, while Salcedo notched a pair of goals and an assist over the same time span. Ebstein’s goal was his first for the Bears, making his first career start.

“We played a team that had some attacking elements that we don’t see all that often,” head coach Kevin Grimes said on Sunday afternoon. “They have tremendous size and speed in their attack, so they kept our defenders and our defensive effort very aware the entire match because at any moment that team can score. We were really happy with the defensive performance and we had to scrap for our goals and put together three really excellent goals today.”

The Golden Bears applied a lot of early pressure and nearly broke through in the 10th minute of play, when sophomore midfielder Aravind Sivakumar slid a ball through to Thierjung. The Dove Canyon, California, native was in on goal, but his quick shot towards the far post was saved well by Northeastern goalkeeper, Dylan Faber.

Seven minutes later, Cal opened the scoring through Ebstein. The midfielder from San Francisco had many friends and family in the crowd, and Ebstein did not disappoint. Some nice combination play from the Cal attackers set Ebstein up, as a quick pass from Thierjung to Sivakumar was then played quickly through to the streaking Ebstein. His first-time finish past the onrushing Faber was the first of his career, and gave the home side the early one goal advantage.

“I was just trying to work hard and make runs in behind and luckily Aravind had a great pass,” an elated Ebstein said of his first collegiate goal. “I just kept working and was able to slot it in. (Having friends and family here) is the best thing; it has been my dream my whole life to play for Cal and for them to see this was great.”

Just before the half hour mark in the 28th minute, Cal doubled its lead. More fantastic combination play from the Bears led to the goal. Freshman defender Sam Junqua registered his first career point, playing a cross from the wing into Salcedo. His deft layoff found Thierjung in on goal, and the junior coolly slotted it underneath the helpless Faber.  

Sam Junqua played a great ball in, for his first career assist,” Thierjung said following the win. “He played a great cross to Paul, and Paul knows where to find me. He had a great layoff and I was at the right place, right time to put it away. Our hard work as a team during training has been the most important thing for us in playing well this weekend. After a tough defeat in San Diego and not finishing our chances, we knew we had to focus this week on our finishing and tactics. We came out strong on Friday, but that wasn’t enough; we needed two wins this weekend and I am very proud of our effort and the work we put in.”

Defensively the Golden Bears were able to post their first shutout of the season, as redshirt senior goalkeeper Alex Mangels recorded five saves. Northeastern sophomore and leading scorer, Frantzdy Pierrot was held in check for the most part and the Bears were pleased with their defensive performance.

Cal tacked on a third goal in the 82nd minute to put the match away through some incredible individual effort from redshirt sophomore Jose Carrera-Garcia. The Ontario, California, native fought through several physical challenges in midfield and played a well-weighted ball through to Salcedo, who finished well low into the far post off of the woodwork to push the lead to 3-0, which is how Sunday’s match concluded. That marked the second straight game in which the Bears scored three goals; a feat they accomplished seven times in 2014.

“I’m going to have to give a lot of the credit on this one to Jose,” Salcedo said postgame. “He was getting kicked and just wouldn’t give up. His ball through was the perfect ball to me and I had to hit it hard and low to the back post. I have to give a lot of credit to Jose and our coaches on that one.”

California returns to action on Friday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. when it hosts UC Davis in the second half of a doubleheader on Pac-12 Networks at Edwards Stadium. The Cal women take on UC Riverside at 2 p.m., also at Edwards. 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
 Northeastern    0     0     0  
 California   2     1    3 


Scoring Summary

Cal –  16:37    Ebstein, Samuel (Sivakumar, Aravind and Thierjung, Christian)
Cal –  27:59    Thierjung, Christian (Salcedo, Paul and Junqua, Sam)
Cal –  81:49    Salcedo, Paul (Carrera-Garcia, Jose)

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