Sept. 11, 2012
BERKELEY - Five different players scored for California in a 5-0 blowout of Houston Baptist in a mid-day game on Tuesday on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears improved their record to 3-2-0, while the Huskies fell to 2-4-0.
The Bears have scored nine goals and allowed just one in its last two games, since falling at Virginia on Aug. 31 and at Maryland on Sept. 2.
Given that trip to ACC country, Cal head coach Kevin Grimes commiserated with the Huskies, who have been on the road for several days, including for a tournament at San Diego State this past weekend.
"We know exactly what Houston Baptist is going through - being on the road for five nights and dealing with a lot of travel and fatigue," Grimes said. "That trip made us a better team. For HBU, I'm convinced that this trip will have positive dividends for them as well."
The first half stayed 0-0 most of the way until the 43:37 mark, when senior defender Steve Birnbaum and sophomore midfielder Connor Hallisey combined to set up senior midfielder Tony Salciccia's third goal of the season.
Hallisey picked up his second assist of the game when he slipped a pass to junior forward Luis Fuentes, and the latter - a transfer from Mt. SAC - scored his first goal as a Bear with his blast at 44:50.
Cal took the 2-0 lead into halftime, when it also held advantages in shots, 12-9, and corner kicks, 11-4.
At 59:54, sophomore midfielder Seth Casiple - who leads Cal in assists with four - scored his first goal of 2012. Senior forward Michael Munoz and Neil assisted on the goal, which Casiple shot from in close and past HBU goalkeeper Kevin Suarez. Cal led, 4-0.
For the second straight match, Kyle Marsh capped the scoring as the junior defender fired past Suarez at 69:13 to give the Bears a 5-0 lead with his second goal of the year.
Also of note was the return of Birnbaum, who played in his first game of 2012. The 2011 All-Pac-12 first-team selection missed some time with a minor injury he sustained in preseason. But the Cal co-captain looked spry on the Goldman Field grass.
"It's great to get my feet wet and help the team win," he said.
Cal sophomore goalkeeper Kevin Peach made three saves in a little over 67 minutes of action, while counterpart Kevin Suarez also made three saves in almost 75 minutes of work.
For the match, Cal outshot HBU, 25-13, and held an 11-4 corner-kick edge.
Cal continues its home stand when it hosts San Francisco at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.