In the eighth minute of Friday’s match against Oregon, junior midfielder Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick drew a foul in the box and netted the ensuing penalty kick to give the Bears an early 1-0 lead.
The goal set the tone for the rest of the weekend as the Cal women’s soccer team romped to a pair of Pac-12 victories at Edwards Stadium, defeating Oregon 2-0 on Friday and No. 20 Oregon State 3-1 on Sunday.
No. 19 Cal (9-3, 2-1) quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Oregon (6-3-2, 0-1-1) in the first half, controlling the flow of the match for the majority of the first 45 minutes.
Freshman forward Celeste Boureille added a goal of her own in the 36th minute. At the corner of the box, Boureille faked a move to the right, created space for herself on the inside and put a left-footed shot just inside the near post.
“I think it was important that we got those goals in the first half,” said Boureille, considering Oregon’s aggressive play in the second half.
Oregon came out in the second half looking like a different team, pushing forward and applying pressure further up the field. Cal looked complacent early on.
But by the 60th minute, the team regained control of the ball and was not seriously challenged the rest of the match.
“There were a couple times we had to bend but not break, but we did a very nice job of sticking to the game plan,” said Associate Head Coach Patrick Baker. Head Coach Neil McGuire was absent this weekend for personal reasons.
Cal continued its strong play on Sunday with 3-1 victory over Oregon State (9-3, 1-2).
An impressive overall defensive effort separated the Bears from the Beavers and allowed the former’s offense to shine.
Cal’s forwards fought for the ball all match, making it a struggle for the Beavers to advance out of their own half of the field. The midfield consistently won the possession battle and dictated the flow of match. And the defensive line held strong whenever Oregon State managed to move the ball forward.
“We all did a collective effort of defending,” said redshirt junior defender Amanda Glass. “We thought always defend first, and the goals will come off of that.”
Opportunities indeed came aplenty for the Bears to the tune of 25 shots and 9 corner kicks against just 7 shots and 2 corners for the Beavers.
Freshman forward Ifeoma Onumonu easily scored in the 13th minute on an assist from freshman midfielder Samantha Witteman.
“Our defense allowed us to attack from pretty promising positions, and that started early and often,” said Coach Baker. “Ife getting a great first goal really put the pressure on them.”
Junior forward Rachel Mercik extended the lead in the 63rd minute, scoring on a rebound when Oregon State’s goalkeeper deflected a header by junior defender Emi Lawson.
Junior defender Ariana Martinez put the game out of reach with a goal in the 87th minute.
The only goal Cal allowed all weekend was a garbage time goal by Oregon State midfielder Brandi Dawson in the 89th minute.
“This is the best I’ve seen Cal look,” said Mercik. “It was a great win.”
Eric Riehl covers women’s soccer. Contact him at [email protected]