BERKELEY – Top-ranked California’s Stefano Bonomo claimed the first Pac-12 Player of the Week award of his career when the conference honored the Golden Bear on Tuesday for his golden goal that beat No. 5/6 UCLA on Oct. 13 in Los Angeles.
Cal trailed UCLA at 1-0 and then 2-1 in that match. But Christian Dean tied the score at 1-1 and Steve Birnbaum converted a penalty kick to send the match to overtime tied 2-2. Just 32 seconds into the first overtime, Luis Fuentes found Connor Hallisey on the flank, and the junior midfielder crossed to the onrushing Bonomo in UCLA’s box. The junior forward scored to end the match, give the Bears a 3-2 victory and keep Cal undefeated.
Bonomo, a San Francisco Bay Area product from Hillsborough, Calif., has started all 11 games so far this season and ranks second on the team in points (12), goals (5) and gamewinning goals (2). He scored his other gamewinner in a 3-1 win over the College of Charleston on Sept. 22 at home on Goldman Field. Bonomo is also tied for second on the squad with two assists. One of his assists set up Christian Thierjung for the winning goal just 19 seconds from the end of regulation in a 1-0 result at San Francisco on Sept. 5.
This marks Cal’s second Pac-12 Player of the Week award this season; Birnbaum also won the honor on Sept. 3.
Ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America, TopDrawerSoccer.com and CollegeSoccerNews.com polls this week, Cal (9-0-2, 3-0-1 in the Pac-12) hosts Stanford (6-3-2. 1-2-1 Pac-12) on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2:30 p.m. in a match to air on the Pac-12 Networks.