BERKELEY - California opened its home schedule in fine fashion, routing Central Florida, 4-1, on Friday evening at Edwards Stadium. Four different Golden Bears scored a goal, with Tony Salciccia getting a goal and assist and Seth Casiple adding two assists. Rebounding from a tough East Coast trip, the Bears evened their record at 2-2-0, while the Knights fell to 1-2-0.
The match - which kicked off a seven-game home stand - was also the first Cal men's soccer game played on the Pac-12 Networks.
"Anthony Salciccia and Alec Sundly, both of them had great games at midfield, and certainly all the forwards up front played well," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "Overall there weren't too many guys who didn't have great games - Seth Casiple played real well, so did Ryan Neil. You could name a number of others - Ted Jones in the back, Kevin Peach. Everybody really had a good game today."
The first half was relatively even, with UCF outshooting the Bears, 7-6, and forcing Cal sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Peach to make two saves. Conversely, the Bears took a 4-1 advantage on corner kicks in the first 45 minutes.
On one of UCF's six first-half fouls near the sideline, Casiple caught the Knights unaware with a quick free kick, passing to Salciccia, and the senior midfielder blasted a shot past UCF goalie Shawn Doyle at 30:27.
The Bears took that 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the second half, at 59:38, Jamaican forward McKauly Tulloch forged into the Cal penalty area and fired under Peach to knot the match at 1-1.
But that was the Knights' last shot on goal.
Less than five minutes later, at 64:17, Cal untied the game when junior defender Ryan Neil crossed to junior midfielder Alec Sundly, and the latter scored his second goal of the season from close range. Cal led, 2-1.
Another cross - this time from Casiple - found the onrushing senior forward Kyle Lunt, who fired past Doyle for his first goal of the year and gave Cal a 3-1 lead at 69:28.
At 82:07, junior defender Kyle Marsh capped the scoring with his first goal of 2012, taking a nice pass from Salciccia and slotting the ball past Doyle for the 4-1 lead.
Coming off losses at ACC powers Virginia and Maryland, Cal relished playing for the first time on Goldman Field. Still, the last road trip had a positive effect on the Bears.
"Our team improved significantly being under that type of pressure and dealing with all the circumstances you deal with in going back East - the weather, the time change, the five-hour flight," Grimes said. "I think all of it made us a more balanced team and a team that's improved from one game to the next."
Cal returns to action with another nonconference, home match on Tuesday, Sept. 11, when the Bears host Houston Baptist at 11:30 a.m. at Edwards Stadium.