Nov. 10, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. - Ariana Martinez scored her biggest goal as a Golden Goal when she pounced on a loose ball in the box and scored in the 87th minute to lead California to a 1-0 win over Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Golden Bears (16-5-0) advance to the second round to play the winner of the match between second-seeded San Diego State and Cal State Northridge. The Waves end their season with a 14-7-0 record.
With overtime looming, junior midfielder/forward Lauren Battung crossed the ball into the box, and Martinez, on the near post, whiffed on her initial shot attempt. A defender tried to clear the ball, but Martinez beat her to it and fired past a diving Roxanne Barker at 86:02. The Wave goalie had made seven saves to stymie Cal to that point, but she couldn't stop Martinez's second goal and first gamewinner of the season.
"I hit it in as hard as I could, and made sure it went in," the junior midfielder said." That was my biggest and proudest goal at Cal. It was just a great moment."
The Waves' pressure combined with a strong wind at their backs meant the home team had plenty of possession early. The Waves ended up outshooting Cal, 6-5, and taking a 4-0 corner-kick advantage in the first half.
But the Waves created only two shots on goal - albeit two very dangerous chances - in the first 45 minutes. The first one came at 1:12, when Anisa Guajardo's header soared towards the near post, and Cal senior defender Amanda Glass headed it clear. Pepperdine's only other real threatening chance came at 28:08, when Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger made a clutch save on a blast by forward Lynn Williams.
Those were Cal's only saves of the match.
"Obviously with the wind this was going to be a game of two halves," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "When you got the wind, you were going to have more success. It's just so difficult to play with the wind in your face. I thought Pepperdine did a really nice job in the first half.
"In the second half, we felt it was important to put the ball on the floor because longer balls were going to run away from us. We tried to use our width to try and create some passing lanes. As a result our midfielders were able to get on the ball more than they were in the first half, and we were very pleased with that."
Indeed, Cal ended up outshoot the Waves, 8-2, and won five corner kicks to none in the second half. Overall, Cal outshot Pepperdine, 13-8, and had a 5-4 corner-kick advantage.