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Kruger's red card the focal point of the weekend matches

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SEPTEMBER 23, 2012

When a costly red card by goalkeeper Emily Kruger in the 53rd minute forced Cal to play a woman down against Arizona on Friday, they could have shied away from the challenge.

Instead, a spirited comeback that saw the Bears dominate in the second half fell just short in a 2-1 loss to the Wildcats. The Cal women’s soccer team then turned around to defeat Nevada 3-0 on Sunday in Reno, Nev.

After a scoreless first half, the Bears (7-3, 0-1) were down to 10 women after Kruger was given a red card for making a save outside the penalty box against an Arizona breakaway. The Wildcats (5-3-1, 0-1) missed the ensuing free kick, but scored less than two minutes later.

Cal lost possession of the ball in their half of the field, leading to an open shot for Arizona junior Jazmin Ponce from 25 yards out.

“The first thing we thought about doing was making sure we had solidarity behind the ball. And obviously, that didn’t work because they scored fairly quickly,” said head coach Neil McGuire.

The goal forced the Bears to immediately shift to a more aggressive style. They saw the results in the 62nd minute when junior midfielder Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick evened the score.

Fitzpatrick received a quick pass from sophomore Kaitlin Dickmann near the corner of the box and took a shot that went off the fingertips of the Wildcat goalkeeper and into the net.

“I just saw a lane and got off a quick shot and I saw it go past the goalie,” said Fitzpatrick.

The score remained knotted at 1-1 until the 71st minute when Jazmin Ponce scored her second goal of the match for the Wildcats, an open shot from the top of the box that was just out of reach of the Bears’ goalkeeper.

The Bears pressed forward in the hopes of netting another equalizing goal, dominating possession of the ball for the remainder of the match. But by that time, Arizona was content to drop all their players back on defense and crowd the box, making it tough to score.

“I think we had a lot of opportunities to tie it up, if not win,” said senior Lauren Battung.

Cal didn’t let the loss affect their morale when they traveled to Nevada (4-5-1) and defeated the Wolfpack 3-0 to conclude non-conference play.

An even first half in which both teams had a number of scoring opportunities ended when sophomore midfielder Kory Lamet took a shot that bounced off a Wolfpack defender and into the goal, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Cal dominated possession of the ball in the second half, just as they did in the Arizona match. This time, however, they were able to capitalize on their opportunities.

Freshman forward Ifeoma Onumonu scored a header off a cross from Lamet in the 57th minute, and Fitzpatrick finished off the scoring in the 59th minute.

“This is a great group of girls. They will never go down without a fight,” said McGuire.

Contact Eric Riehl at 

LAST UPDATED

SEPTEMBER 23, 2012


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