Sept. 23, 2012
BERKELEY - Stefano Bonomo scored his third goal in the last two games to give California a 1-0 win over Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium in the finale of the Cal-Stanford Tournament. The Golden Bears remained unbeaten during their current home stand - producing a 4-0-1 record in Berkeley - and hold a 5-2-1 overall record after the nonconference victory over the Lions, which aired on the Pac-12 Networks. LMU fell to 2-5-1.
The scoring play began when senior midfielder Tony Salciccia took a shot that goalkeeper Paul Blanchette saved but deflected into the path of the onrushing Bonomo. The sophomore forward bundled the ball into the net for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
"Luckily enough I was there, and it was a wide open net," Bonomo said. "I tried to hit it in with my first touch and got bottled up. I brought it down again and knocked it in the back of the net with my momentum."
Bonomo also scored twice in Cal's 4-1 win over Duquesne on Sept. 21 at Edwards and is tied for second place on the team in points (8) with sophomore midfielder Seth Casiple. Salciccia leads the Bears with 10 points.
Cal hasn't lost since its trip to ACC country in late August/early September.
"It's been a huge bounce back," Bonomo said of the team's play at home. "We've been playing very well and playing better each game."
Cal took the 1-0 lead into halftime, at which point the Bears held a 7-5 shot advantage over the Lions. The teams were also tied with three corner kicks apiece.
At 54:06, Casiple came close to doubling the score for the Bears, rattling a 20-yard shot off the crossbar. LMU responded quickly, as Juan De Rada headed the ball from in close at 56:47, but sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Peach made the save.
The Cal defense took another hit at 57:18, when senior Ted Jones had to leave the match due to an apparent leg injury. The Bears were already without senior defender Steve Birnbaum, who missed another game due to injury.
Junior midfielder Kyle Marsh had a chance at 62:39, after a nice buildup by the Bears, but he shot just high.
The Lions connected with three shots on goal late, with Dylan Seedman (at 78:56), Craig Nitti (83:06) and John LaCouture (85:58) forcing saves out of Peach. The steady Cal keeper wound up with seven saves in 90 minutes and reduced his goals-against average to 1.16 through eight starts. Blanchette made four saves for the Lions.
"The team did a great job today, even when facing a little bit of adversity throughout the match," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "We created a number of great chances, and we have to be happy with how we played overall in the game. LMU has proven to be a tough opponent all year along to everyone they've played, and certainly that was the case today."
Cal winds up the home stand against San Diego State at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, and against UCLA at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30. The match against the Bruins will be Cal's third on the Pac-12 Networks.