On Friday, the No. 17 Cal women’s soccer team squeezed past Arizona State, 1-0, winning its eighth consecutive match for the first time since the 2000 season.
After 73 minutes of little offensive opportunities for both sides, the lone goal came very easy for the Bears. When senior midfielder Katie Suits’s shot ricocheted off Sun Devils goalkeeper Alyssa Gilmore, the ball rolled slowly on the goal line. Forward Grace Leer — who scored her first goal for Cal in the San Francisco match — doubled her goal tally when she tapped the ball into the back of the net.
“I redshirted last year because I had a big injury last year,” Leer said. “This is basically my first conference game of my career, and I’m glad my work to stay healthy paid off.”
Cal (8-1, 1-0 in the Pac-12) was not surprised at the aggressive, physical play that Arizona State brought to the match. In the first half, the Sun Devils’ quick, physical start gave the upper edge over the Bears.
But as Cal has proved time and time again this season, it normally shines in the second half compared to the first half. The Bears came out from the locker room swinging, putting pressure on the Sun Devils until they finally cracked.
“Every time the ball into the forward line, the Arizona State defense made it difficult for us to hold onto the ball,” Leer said. “We got used to it as the game progressed.”
Cal will travel down to the South Bay to play No. 21 Santa Clara on Sunday at noon.