SAN DIEGO – Ten games into his young career, California freshman Christian Thierjung has already scored two memorable goals, with the latest giving the top-ranked Golden Bears a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over San Diego State. The reserve forward scored at 79:17 at the SDSU Sports Deck to keep Cal unbeaten. The Bears’ record now stands at 8-0-2 and 2-0-1 in the Pac-12 Conference. The Aztecs dropped to 3-6-0 (0-2-0 Pac-12).
Junior midfielder Omid Jalali set up the gamewinner when he won a tackle, laid the ball off to Thierjung and Thierjung scored.
Earlier this season, Thierjung scored on the road against San Francisco with 19 seconds left of what had been a 0-0 game, and Cal won, 1-0.
Against San Diego State, Cal trailed for the first time this season when the Aztecs’ Jordan Ongaro, assisted by Abraham Villon, scored on a header at 59:31 to make the score 1-0.
Almost 10 anxiety-filled minutes later, Cal scored the equalizer when senior midfielder Ryan Neil played a ball in behind the defense, junior midfielder Max Oldham beat goalkeeper Blake Hylen to the ball and Oldham scored on an empty net at 68:16.
After Thierjung’s heroics, neither team recorded another shot, and Cal held on for the 2-1 win.
Cal redshirt junior goalkeeper Justin Taillole and SDSU goalie Blake Hylen each notched two saves. The Bears outshot the Aztecs, 16-9, and edged SDSU on corner kicks, 4-2.
“Being down a goal and on the road against a very good team is always going to be a tremendous challenge,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “The players certainly stepped up with a great performance throughout the game. Even when we were down 1-0, we felt confident in the game we were playing and in the amount of chances we were creating. A couple of outstanding finishes by Max and Christian ultimately pulled us ahead.”
The Bears next play No. 5/6 UCLA at 1 p.m. on Sunday.