Cal women’s soccer extends shutout streak to 5 with wins over Oregon, Oregon State

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Erin Haar/Staff

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Two more wins? Check. Five-game shutout streak (and 10 shutouts overall)? Check. No. 20 team in the nation and No. 4 team in the conference? Check and check. The Cal women’s soccer team (13-2-1, 6-1-1) has most definitely found its rhythm as it extends its winning streak to five, triumphing over Oregon State (4-9-3, 1-6-1) and Oregon (7-9, 1-7), winning 1-0 and 3-0, respectively, this weekend.

The weekend started off slow for the Bears. Thursday’s game against the Beavers saw only 1 total goal, despite a combined 23 shots from both teams. It came in the 34th minute as freshman Daisy Cleverley got her head on a free kick served into the box by redshirt senior Kelly Fitzgerald, securing her first career goal.

Sunday’s game against Oregon brought a lively and inspiring atmosphere to Edwards Stadium. The stands were packed with families and nearby youth teams who showed up to cheer on the Bears for their senior day. Guro Bergsvand, Emily Boyd, Indigo Gibson, Haley Lukas and Heather Walleigh were honored before the team’s last home game of the season.

“So many of these seniors have been starters since their freshman year, so they’ve got great, invaluable experience,” said Cal head coach Neil McGuire. “I think they’ve led the team very well this year because we have a lot of young players. Outside of their tremendous soccer talent, they are just amazing people, and we are glad the season is not over and we are looking forward to good things ahead.”

The first half, despite a few exciting moments, was overall eventless. The defense on both teams held strong and didn’t allow many opportunities for the opponent. In the second half, however, the Bears came out of the locker room with a new mindset. Their energy and aggressiveness increased, and the Ducks were left struggling as Cal fired 10 shots at them throughout the half.

All three goals were scored in an impressive 11-minute period. The first came in the 53rd minute as a breakaway by sophomore Abi Kim. Working her way past defenders, she shot the ball between Oregon redshirt junior goalkeeper Halla Hinriksdottir’s legs for her 7th goal of the season.

The second goal game shortly after. Off of a corner kick, the first shot was taken by freshman Luca Deza and was deflected by Hinriksdottir. Junior Miranda Nild, well-placed for the rebound, easily hammered the ball into the back of the net for her 6th goal of the season. Only minutes later, sophomore Mia Corbin sealed Cal’s lead in the 63rd minute with a well-placed shot from the top of the box.

“I thought the overall performance was very good,” McGuire said. “We knew that we had to match Oregon’s intensity because they are a very well-coached team. … I thought our team intensity was good, and once the game settled, our possession was good, which allowed us goal-scoring opportunities.”

These two wins put the Bears in a good position as they head into the last three games of the regular season. Their performance in these upcoming games, against the only teams ranked above them in the conference, will set the tone for their run in the NCAA tournament. They will challenge Cal and push the team to its limits, but if the Bears can play like they have all season, three wins isn’t out of the question.

Sophie Durham covers women’s soccer. Contact her at [email protected].

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