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Cal women's soccer beats Oregon, Oregon State

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OCTOBER 12, 2015

With its ranking and confidence on the line, the Cal women’s soccer team (9-3-2) returned from a five-game road trip to take on conference rivals Oregon and Oregon State. Just as quickly as their record took a turn for the worse after going 2-2-1, the Bears are trying to turn it around by beating both teams and are now riding a three-game win streak.

Shortly after kicking off Friday’s contest, history seemed to be repeating itself as Cal’s offense could not seem to get anything past the Ducks (4-8-0). While the Bears were held to just one shot on goal and three shots overall in the first half, Oregon had no problems bypassing Cal’s defense, notching six shots and scoring one goal.

The Ducks’ goal came courtesy of redshirt junior midfielder Maryn Beutler, who sailed her goal from just outside the box and into the top, right-hand corner of Cal’s goal.

Though the scoring opportunities seemed non-existent during the game’s first 90 minutes, Cal’s offense took a turn for the better in the second half. Junior forward Arielle Ship scored for the Bears in the 57th minute after being fed from junior midfielder Kelly Fitzgerald who took the free kick, ending her four-game scoring drought and tying up the game at one apiece.

Once the game was tied, Cal’s offense added on another goal 19 minutes later for the lead. This time it was senior forward Celeste Boureille scoring, while Ship and sophomore defender Indigo Gibson had the assists. Ship delivered one more goal to cushion the lead three minutes later, marking her third multi-goal game of the season.

“Our team came out hard and played really well,” Ship said. “The team set me up really well and we were playing together really well. It’s always great to score.”

Oregon freshman midfielder Marissa Everett shortened Cal’s lead with a goal in the 85th minute, but the damage was already done by the Bears who clinched their eighth victory of the year.

As was the case with Friday’s game, defense highlighted the early going of the matchup between the Bears and the Beavers (5-5-3) on Sunday. Cal held possession for the majority of the first half, with Oregon State rarely breaking through the Bears’ defense. Neither team, however, could make their opportunities count to take the lead.

The first half highlighted some exciting moments, as Ship nearly stole the ball away from  Oregon State goalkeeper Bella Geist after she took too long setting up her kick downfield to nearly score a goal. The Beavers also had some close opportunities to score, as Allison Pantuso headed a shot wide in the 55th minute and a shot from Annie Govig in the 67th minute was blocked.

The second half began right where the first half left off: with both defenses dominating the show. Although Cal once again maintained possession for most of the half, Oregon State’s defense would not budge. With the game scoreless and only five more minutes in regulation, it looked like Cal would once again have to battle it out in overtime.

The tempo of the match was speeding up, with both teams looking to try to score the game-winning goal to prevent spending any more time underneath the hot Berkeley sun. Then, with only four minutes left on the clock and Cal’s offense deep into Beaver territory, Cal senior forward Samantha Witteman broke the stalemate by making the ever-elusive first goal of the game.

“To make it so it doesn’t go into overtime is awesome because those extra minutes always put some fatigue on our legs,” Witteman said. “Golden goals are never fun when you’re on the other end of them.”

With only a few minutes left on the clock and with the score finally in the Bears’ favor, all there was to do was run out the clock to secure the 1-0 win. The last-minute goal not only secured Cal its ninth win of the year, but also completed the sweep against two of the Bears’ Pac-12 rivals.

Chris Tril covers women’s soccer. Contact him at [email protected].

OCTOBER 12, 2015

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