After a mediocre performance in the first two games of the season, the Bears performed extraordinarily well in their first home game against Fairleigh Dickinson by winning 3-0.
The coaches and players will also be thinking about the upcoming road trip down to Southern California to face California Baptist this Thursday.
Although not in the top 25 ranking, California Baptist is not a team to be underestimated. Last Saturday, the Lancers went toe to toe against the no. 24 ranked Loyola Marymount University, ending in a 2-2 draw.
California Baptist’s star striker and leading scorer Luis Mueller is also a force to be reckoned with. Standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 183 pounds, the German player has great header ability and execution inside the box.
Nevertheless, it seems like Cal has its momentum going at the moment. The Bears’ midfield is packed with talent such as the experienced senior Evan Davila from Sherman Oaks, California. Davila played a crucial role in securing the Bears’ victory against Fairleigh Dickinson this past Friday by scoring a goal and providing an assist.
Another talented midfielder playing alongside Davila is sophomore Rohan McEligot. Like Davila, McEligot also scored a goal against Fairleigh Dickinson and added to Davila’s efforts. McEligot is one of the few players who traveled to Germany for a year to play alongside top Bundesliga youngsters from various academies.
Cal’s matchup against California Baptist this Thursday will not be the first time that these two teams play against each other. Last season, it was the Bears who hosted the Lancers in Berkeley and won 1-0 in a close competition.
This time around, however, it will be California Baptist who has the home advantage. On the other hand, Cal will be looking to achieve its first away victory of the season after two draws against UNCG and Wake Forest in North Carolina. If the Bears want a successful season, they cannot just win in Berkeley.
“We’ll look to continue to improve in front of goals,” said Cal head coach Leonard Griffin. “Afterall, that’s what ultimately wins us the game.”
Griffin also continues to voice his support for his team as it progresses through the season.
“We’ve already played nationally ranked opponents this season and the results show a lot of strong character for the team,” Griffin said. “I’m so proud of these boys.”
Although California Baptist will certainly not be the hardest team Cal will face this season, it is vital for the team to win to seriously be considered in the NCAA Division I top 25 ranking alongside other great names such as Kentucky, Duke and big-time rival Stanford.
With so much on their plate, the Bears await this decisive game. Will Cal have a feast in Riverside or will they leave Southern California in despair? That question will be answered this Thursday as the Bears take the field at CBU Soccer Stadium.