Oct. 20, 2006
BERKELEY - Seventh-ranked California ended its regular-season homestand in fine fashion, shutting out Pac-10 rival Stanford, 2-0, in a battle for first place in the conference on Friday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. The Cardinal was in position to take over the Pac-10 lead from the Golden Bears, who had a two-point lead over second-place Stanford entering the day. But the Bears (11-3-1 record, 6-1-0/18 points Pac-10) instead extended their lead over the Cardinal (6-6-3, 4-2-1/13) to five points with their fifth-straight win.
Cal honored its six seniors - midfielder Eric Ebert, defender Andrew Felder, midfielder Nick Hatzke, forward Matt Holtrust, goalkeeper Mike Oseguera and defender Steve Purdy - before the game, the last regular-season home game of their careers.
"I'm really proud of all of our six seniors," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "Most of them have been with me for five years. They should have a great sense of pride in their contributions to our program. It's been significant in defining Cal soccer."
The Bears controlled the first half, having the edge in possession and outshooting the Cardinal, 9-3. But they couldn't get on the scoreboard until right before halftime. Junior defender Luke Sassano set up the goal, sending a cross in the box to sophomore midfielder Pat Marion, who scored past Stanford goalkeeper John Moore. Cal took the 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half wasn't much different, as Cal outshot Stanford, 10-4. The Cardinal produced two shots on goal in the second 45 minutes, but Cal junior goalkeeper Justin Myers stopped both shots by midfielder Galen Thompson and midfielder Brant Bishop.
In the 53rd minute, Hatzke and Purdy assisted on an insurance goal by sophomore forward Jacob Wilson, who headed in his goal past Moore from point-blank range.
Hatzke almost set up a third goal in the 62nd minute, dropping a pass over the Stanford defense to junior forward Javier Ayala-Hil, whose close-range header was saved by Moore.
Ayala-Hil had another opportunity in the 66th minute, when he stole the ball from a Stanford player and eluded Moore in the box. But the Bears forward couldn't get a shot off before the ball rolled over the endline for a Cardinal goal kick.
Moore, the busier keeper on the day, made 10 saves, while Myers made just two for the shutout. Myers also ran his personal record to 9-1-0. Moore fell to 6-4-2.
Cal hits the road for its final three games - all conference matches - of the regular season. The Bears play at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, against San Diego State in San Diego and then meet UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 2:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. Cal ends the regular season when it plays at Stanford at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.
Besides the Pac-10 and postseason implications of the Nov. 3 matchup between the two teams, the game will decide who earns the five points from the two-game season series as part of the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 F Stanford 0 0 0 California 1 1 2
Shots by Period 1 2 Total Stanford 2 5 7 California 9 10 19
Yellow Cards Stanford - None. Cal - Javier Ayala-Hil 82:34.
Red Cards None
Records: Stanford 6-6-3 (4-2-1/13 points Pac-10). California 11-3-1 (6-1-0/18 points Pac-10).