April 27, 2013
BERKELEY - Goalkeeper Megan McGinnis tied her career high with 16 saves, but No. 14 Stanford scored the game-winning goal with seven seconds remaining to edge California, 14-13, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
"It was certainly a hard-fought game against two really evenly-matched teams and it came down to the wire," head coach Ginger Miles said. "Stanford was able to capitalize on that last possession and we didn't capitalize on enough of our possessions. That's what it came down to."
The Bears have now lost their last two games to fall to 9-6 overall and 6-2 in the MPSF. They will be the three seed in next week's MPSF Tournament and will get a rematch against the No. 2 seed Stanford.
Stanford took control of the game at the outset, scoring five of the first seven goals. Cal's Paige Gasparino was handed two yellow cards early in the first half and the Bears were forced to go the rest of the way without one of their big scoring threats.
But Cal came roaring back, scoring seven of the last nine goals of the first half to take a 9-7 lead at the break. Sparking the Bears' turnaround was Melissa Humphrey's first half hat trick. Humphrey later added two assists. She is 10 helpers away from becoming Cal's all-time career leader in that category.
One of Humphrey's goals got an extra special cheer from the Cal bench as fellow Ana Cyr recorded an assist on the score. Cyr made a remarkable return to the team this year after sitting out all of last season with a serious back injury.
Also a big contributor in the first half was Gaby Christman, who notched three of her four goals on the day in the first half.
The Cardinal regained control in the second half, scoring four of the first six goals of the half. Cal matched Stanford, though, as Megan Takacs tallied two of her three goals on the day in the second half to keep the Bears in it. Takacs' next goal will tie her for first on Cal's all-time career list in goals.
With six minutes left in regulation, Cal and Stanford were tied 13. Although the Bears weren't able to regain the lead, McGinnis was strong in net making critical saves.
"Megan has been playing as great as she has been all season long," Miles said. "She really came up big for us down the stretch. I told her that she's going to get another crack at them on Thursday."
With seven seconds left on the clock, Stanford finally got one past McGinnis to score the eventual game-winning goal.
Today marked the final appearance at Memorial Stadium for Cal's seniors - Takacs, Humphrey, Cyr, Sarah Milik and Alexa Rozelle. Those five seniors, as well as Cal's inactive seniors - Molly Crawford and Kelly McCarthy - were honored in a pregame ceremony.
"It's a really incredible group of seniors," Miles said. "They've done a lot to bring this team to the point that it's at today. Our change of mindset this year has been pretty remarkable and they're really the drivers behind that. They've had a great four years here and I'm just sorry we couldn't pull off this last W for them."
Cal will get a chance to get even with Stanford when they meet in the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. from Eugene, Ore.