BERKELEY - True freshman Bella Huther scored seven goals, but California fell to USC, 20-15, on Sunday afternoon at Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium. The seven goals tied the school record for most goals in a game by an individual. The Golden Bears celebrated their 15-year anniversary, as well as Senior Day, on Sunday.
Huther became the fourth Bear in school history to score seven goals in a game. The last time a Cal player accomplished that feat was in 2010 when Vail Horn scored seven times against Saint Mary's. The other two Bears to score seven goals in a game were Sarah Wheatley in 2000 and Molly Brady in 2004.
"Bella had a phenomenal game," head coach Ginger Miles said. "She's been somebody who has been targeted by other teams, but she continues to play tough through tight defensive matchups. She's somebody that we really utilize on the offensive end. She's somebody that we need to contribute for us."
USC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, and led 9-2 at one point, before Cal started making its comeback. Trailing 9-2 with 16 and a half minutes remaining in the half, the Bears went on to score six of the final eight goals before the break.
One of Huther's seven goals came with just a second left on the clock before going to halftime. That goal cut the Trojans' deficit down to three at 11-8 at the break.
Huther's late first-half goal was the start of a five-goal scoring streak for the Bears that ended with Cal leading USC, 12-11. After Huther scored the game-tying goal on a free-position shot, Lizz Lavie gave the Bears the lead on a goal assisted by Paige Gasparino.
However, USC then went on a run of its own, scoring seven consecutive goals. Cal snapped a near 14-minute scoring drought with a goal by Amelia Burke at the 9:35 mark. The Bears scored twice more in the final nine minutes, but it wasn't enough to complete the comeback.
Despite the loss, Cal had a chance to not only recognize its 2014 seniors - Burke, Gasparino, Grace Parente, Marissa O'Meally and Jacqueline Pelletier, but Cal also celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the varsity program with a pregame tailgate and a halftime on-field ceremony.
"This is still a great day," Miles said. "We're disappointed with the loss. It wasn't the result we wanted, but it was a great opportunity for us to recognize the commitment of these seniors. The five of them have worked incredibly hard this season. They've shown tremendous commitment since the day they got here. This is a group that we've relied on since I came here. They've been my go-to guys. It's going to be tough to see them go."
Lavie, Burke and Gasparino scored two goals each for the Bears, while Brittany Ward and Caroline Schlegel notched goals as well. Lavie had a four-point afternoon with two assists to go with her two goals. Nicole Beck garnered two assists, as well.
Cal hits the road again next week. The Bears will play at Detroit on Thursday, April 10, at 1 p.m. PT and at Michigan on Saturday, April 12, at 10 a.m. PT.