Nov. 15, 2006
BERKELEY - Javier Ayala-Hil scored twice and Jacob Wilson scored in the second minute to power California to a 3-1 victory over New Mexico in the second round of the NCAA College Cup on Wednesday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears advance to the third round of the tournament, with a 13-5-1 record, while the Lobos end their season with a 14-4-3 record. Cal, the tournament's 13th seed, will next face No. 4 seed Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers beat Bucknell, 4-0, tonight to advance to the next round.
"I thought we played a pretty complete game," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "The players were really excited to play. When you have a bye weekend and a seed, you have a long break in between matches. The biggest thing I found was the guys were really enthused about playing a game and coming out with a lot of energy and a lot of effort."
Last year, New Mexico ended Cal's season with a 1-0 overtime win over the Bears in the quarterfinal round of the College Cup.
Unlike in that game, when Cal couldn't score through 94 minutes, the Bears got on the board with their second-fastest goal of the year to take an early 1-0 lead this afternoon. Wilson, a sophomore forward, scored from 10 yards out at 1:04 today, taking a cross from freshman midfielder Hector Jimenez and shooting past UNM goalkeeper Mike Graczyk.
"It's always great to score a goal first and set the tone," said Wilson, whose goal was his fourth of the season. "We were just pumped to come out there and to get that first goal was a real boost for us. You can get a letdown after getting the first goals, but we know not to do that. We just kept going forward and doing what we usually do."
A nice series of passes set up Cal's second goal in the 32nd minute. Junior midfielder Luke Sassano had the final pass, crossing from the flank to Ayala-Hil inside the New Mexico six-yard box. Ayala-Hil, a junior forward, scored from two yards to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Cal, which outshot the Lobos, 8-3, in the first half, took the 2-0 lead into halftime.
A fired-up New Mexico team started the second half, when they were even in shots with Cal, at 9-9. In the 60th minute, Lobos sophomore midfielder Jack Smithson took a corner kick that curled right to Cal junior goalkeeper Justin Myers. One minute later, New Mexico earned a free kick about 25 yards from goal, but Smithson's drove his effort directly into the Cal wall. He corralled the rebound and fired another shot into the Bears wall.
But Cal and Ayala-Hil weren't finished, as the junior midfielder Andrew Jacobson chipped a pass over the Lobos defense to Ayala-Hil. The latter beat the defense, rounded Graczyk, who had come off his line, and fired into an empty net to give Cal a 3-0 lead with his 12th goal of the year.
New Mexico got on the scoreboard in the 83rd minute, when junior midfielder Joey Vitagliano sent a through ball to junior midfielder Blake Danaher, who scored past Myers.
Cal now has a 1-2-0 record in the all-time series with the Lobos, which hadn't allowed a goal in their last three games.
"Our guys tried to focus on themselves and their execution, and not look at any stats from the opponent," Grimes said. "They went out and said, `Let's just play our game, and if we play our game, we have a good feeling that good things will happen."
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 F New Mexico 0 1 1 California 2 1 3
Shots by Period 1 2 Total New Mexico 3 9 12 California 8 9 17
Yellow/Red Cards None
Records New Mexico 14-4-3. California 13-5-1.