Cal’s 4-0-1 start is the program’s best start through five games since 2006, and the best start since Neil McGuire became head coach in 2007.
Friday’s match marked the first-ever meeting between Cal and Harvard.
Ifeoma Onumonu leads the Golden Bears with four goals and nine points this season.
Celeste Boureille scored her first goal of the 2013 season.
SAN FRANCISCO – Two was the lucky number of the day as a pair of second-year soccer starters shined in No. 18/19 California’s (4-0-1) 2-1 win over Harvard (0-1-0) Friday at Negoesco Stadium in the University of San Francisco Tournament.
“Credit must go to Harvard as they were very good today. It felt like a NCAA playoff game with the speed of play being a very high level. We are pleased as it was a good team performance. We had a lot of quality moments and possessed the ball well,” said Golden Bear head coach Neil McGuire. “This is a very good win for us.”
Sophomores Ifeoma Onumonu (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Celeste Boureille (San Francisco, Calif.) led the attack with a goal apiece, and senior Emily Kruger (Woodside, Calif.) allowed just one goal with four saves. The Golden Bears shot lights out with seven solid shots at goal out of 10 as Harvard’s Bethany Kanten saved five.
Onumonu wasted no time in putting a point on the board, scoring at 2:43 on the play clock with a solo strike from the top of the box. Cal got four more shots within the frame in the first period, all of which were saved by Kanten, while allowing The Crimson just one chance at the goal, resulting in a save by Kruger.
The Bears got back on track in the 68th minute as Boureille, assisted by senior Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.) net the gamewinner. Fitzpatrick sent a ball soaring through the air down the middle of the field, splitting two Harvard defenders and allowing Boureille time to chip the ball over the goalie.
Down 2-0, Harvard upped the intensity, forcing Kruger to make two saves within three minutes, finally robbing Cal of the shutout at 77:15 with an unassisted goal by Lauren Varela.
The Golden Bears continue play at the USF Tournament Sunday when they face UC Davis at 1:30 p.m. in Negoesco Stadium.
2:43 Cal -- Onumonu, Ifeoma (unassisted) 67:51 Cal -- Boureille, Celeste (Fitzpatrick, Kaitlyn) 77:15 Harvard -- Varela, Lauren (unassisted)
Harvard 5 (Kanten, Bethany 5), California 4 (Kruger, Emily 4)