A year ago, freshman midfielder Mia Corbin made a name for herself at Tahoma High School, located in the city of Covington, Washington. She finished her senior year with 10 goals and nine assists.
On Friday, Corbin proved that she still had the ability to be a force on the field. She led the No. 20 Cal women’s soccer team to victory against Oregon State by scoring the first two goals of her collegiate career. Cal made a statement in the Pac-12 by beating the Beavers 3-0, securing its sixth straight home win of the season. This was also Cal’s fifth home season shutout win of the year, once again proving that it’s a team that shouldn’t be underestimated for any opponent entering Edwards Stadium.
“The players have a rhythm at home, they get to sleep in their own beds and stay in their own locker rooms, so there’s a big advantage playing here,” said Cal head coach Neil McGuire. “When we go on the road we feel like we can still play our same brand, but ultimately it’s much more calm and relaxing playing at home.”
Senior Arielle Ship also had a great performance, constantly putting her teammates in positions to succeed and ending the day with three assists.
The Bears came out with tons of energy but were unable to score in the early minutes of the match. Junior Haley Lukas came just a few feet away from scoring the first goal during the sixth minute but kicked too hard over the top-right of the net.
This was just the beginning of what ended up being a dominate game for Cal’s offense, which finished the game with an astonishing 22 shots.
Redshirt senior Ifeoma Onumonu eventually broke through the Beavers defense in the 32nd minute. She was able to score off a precise pass from Ship, getting the ball through multiple defenders to give her a clear shot.
The story of the day, however, would be all about the skill displayed by Corbin. And it didn’t take long for her to make an impact, scoring her first ever collegiate goal just a minute later. She showed tremendous footwork, faking a right-footed shot and kicking it in with her left. This once again came off a brilliant pass from Ship, who made her team better by playing unselfishly.
And that was far from the end of what Corbin had that day, striking again in the 68th minute. Ship completed her third assist of the day by drawing multiple defenders to her in the box and dishing the ball right to Corbin. She took advantage of the opportunity by barely hitting it inside of the goal post.
“It felt really amazing, and it was all thanks to Arielle giving me both assists,” Corbin said. “It was our first Pac-12 game so we wanted to come out very strong, but we’re taking it one game at a time.”
Being dominant on both offense and defense the entire day set up the Bears for a significant win over the Beavers. The Bears made a statement Friday in their Pac-12 opener, and they’ll be a force to reckon with if they can continue this energy through conference play.
Alex Quintana covers women’s soccer. Contact him at [email protected].