BERKELEY – Three Golden Bears scored to lead top-ranked California to a 3-1 victory over Oregon State in the Pac-12 Conference opener on Thursday on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. Stefano Bonomo, Omid Jalali and, on a header, Steve Birnbaum tallied for the Bears, who improved their record to 7-0-1 (1-0-0 in the Pac-12) with their fourth straight win. The Beavers dropped to 7-3-0 (0-1-0 Pac-12).
Cal improved to 27-9-3 in the all-time series with Oregon State.
“It was a great win over a very good Oregon State team that came in with a 7-2 record, so we knew this would be a hard-fought match today,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “All in all we’re pleased with the outcome.”
Senior midfielder Ryan Neil collected two assists on the day, first setting up Bonomo on Cal’s first goal and then assisting Birnbaum on the third. At 21:22, Neil lashed a crossed deep into the Oregon State box, and Bonomo scored on an easy tap in to give Cal the 1-0 lead.
Jalali, scoring his second goal after coming off the bench this year, scored next, at 38:12, to make the score 2-0. Defender Dylan Serrano crossed from one flank to junior midfielder Max Oldham on the other. Oldham found Jalali in the OSU box, and the junior midfielder scored Cal’s second of the game from close range.
Cal took the 2-0 lead into halftime, when the Bears held a 9-3 shots advantage. Neither team recorded a corner kick in the first half.
Neil set up the Bears’ last goal a few minutes into the second half. At 48:48, Neil took Cal’s only corner kick of the day and found Birnbaum. The senior defender headed the ball in for his fourth headed goal of the season and his team-leading sixth of the year. Birnbaum also leads Cal in points with 13.
Cal goalkeeper Justin Taillole made one save, in the first half, during his 74:48 minutes in goal today, before making way in the net for backup Alex Mangels.
At 77:27, the Beavers ended the shutout when Brendan Woodfull played a short ball to Mike Reckmeyer in the Cal box, and Reckmeyer scored.
The Beavers didn’t threaten again, though Cal freshman forward Nick Lima, outracing a pair of Oregon State defenders, took a shot that went wide at 86:52.
Cal held on for the 3-1 victory.
Oregon State goalie Matt Bersano made six saves in 90 minutes, while Mangels did not record a save in 15 minutes and 12 seconds of work.
The Pac-12 Networks will televise Cal’s next conference match, as the No. 1 Bears host third-ranked Washington on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m.