All it took was a moment of space for Cal midfielder Jose Carrera-Garcia to spot the opportunity.
After receiving a successful dish from sophomore forward Paul Salcedo just outside the box, Carrera-Garcia sent an airborne pass looping over the heads of the Aggies’ men’s soccer team toward teammate Shinya Kadono. The ball would touch the ground just once more before Kadono sent it rattling into the back of the net.
“Paul laid off pretty nicely to Jose, and Jose found me on the far post,” Kadono said to Cal Athletics. “He chipped it pretty nicely over the defender, and I just kind of blasted it into the goal.”
The 81st-minute score against the Aggies (1-4-0) helped propel the Bears to a 2-1 victory Friday, advancing Cal’s record to 3-1-0 and marking its third consecutive victory at Edwards Stadium this year. Cal will attempt to stretch that run even further in its next batch of home games this weekend against Davidson and San Francisco.
During the first half, it was far from clear that the Bears’ run would even extend to three. The two squads played a fairly even frame, with each recording four shots and both Cal goalkeeper Alex Mangels and the Aggies’ Kris Schultz stopping impressive attempts from their opponents. In the 18th minute, Mangels made a particularly notable effort, diving for a barreling shot directed by midfielder Evan Barrett from outside the right side of the box to prevent Davis from having an early lead.
In the 30th minute, the Bears would experience a similar situation on the other end of the field. After a pass from Salcedo, Cal forward Matt Chasman pounced, driving a shot from close range toward the post. But Schultz was able to make the impressive save, and the match remained scoreless at the end of the half.
The score remained locked through the second frame until the 73rd minute, when Cal defender Ugo Rebecchini pushed forward from the right side of the field and dished a perfect cross to Chasman. The redshirt sophomore connected in the goal area, drilling a close-range shot past Schultz to finally end the scoring drought. Eight minutes later, Kadono’s shot would double the lead and give the Bears a 2-0 advantage heading in the final nine minutes of play.
While time was against their favor, the Aggies were not ready to leave Goldman Field scoreless. In the 88th minute, the ball deflected off a Cal defender straight toward Davis forward Matt Wiesenfarth. The senior capitalized, driving in a shot past Mangels to put the Aggies on the board. The squad desperately fought for another goal to tack on in the final two minutes but, to the relief of the home crowd, was ultimately unable to follow through.
“We did win, but we still had some lessons to learn at the end of the game,” Kadono said to Cal Athletics. “So next week, we’re just going to try and improve those parts and try to move on to the next game.”
Dani Jo Coony covers women’s soccer. Contact her at [email protected].