BERKELEY - Top-ranked California remained unbeaten – but not in the way it wanted to – after its clash with third-ranked and fellow undefeated Washington on Sunday, as the Pac-12 Conference powers tied, 1-1, after two overtimes on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. Connor Hallisey scored a first-half goal for the Bears, whose record now stands at 7-0-2 (1-0-1 in the Pac-12). The Huskies (7-0-3, 1-0-1 Pac-12) scored late in regulation to tie the match.
Today’s match marked Cal’s third to air on the Pac-12 Networks this season.
Hallisey, a junior midfielder, scored directly off of a free kick from about 30 yards at 20:59 on Cal’s third shot of the match.
“I just tried to put it in the mix,” Hallisey said of his free kick. “If it happens to go in, it happens to go in. It worked out well for me.”
Cal’s second shot was almost as dangerous, as junior forward Stefano Bonomo fired a header off of a Washington goalpost at 16:33.
Washington’s James Moberg had a good look on goal at 30:48, but Cal junior goalkeeper Justin Taillole saved his shot.
Junior midfielder Omid Jalali took Cal’s last shot of the first half at 39:34, with UW goalie Ryan Herman making the save, and Cal took its 1-0 lead into halftime. The Bears had a 6-3 shots advantage and tied the Huskies with two corner kicks apiece in the first half.
The shot advantage swayed the other way in the second half. Washington took the first shot of the half, as, on a Huskies’ throw in, Michael Harris uncorked a flip throw that found Steve Wright deep in Cal’s box. But Taillole saved Wright’s short-range header.
Cal took two of the next three shots, with Bonomo taking a cross from Hallisey and nodding the ball on UW’s net, but Herman saved his shot. After Taillole saved a Darwin Jones blast at 49:12, junior midfielder Seth Casiple fired shot that Herman saved over the goalline for a Cal corner. Washington recorded the last nine shots of the half, giving the Huskies an 11-2 second-half shot advantage.
One of those shots came at 84:59, when Moberg’s corner kick found Taylor Peay, who tied the match at 1-1 with his header.
The match stayed tied at 1-1 and moved into overtime, Cal’s fourth overtime game of the season. Still tied after 10 minutes, the teams moved into a second sudden-victory overtime period. Cal defender Mason Case had a shot blocked at 106:00, and then Cal forced Herman to make a save on Jalali’s close-range effort at 108:01. Junior defender Christian Dean took Cal’s and the game’s final shot on a free kick. But the Huskies blocked Dean’s shot at 109:41, and the match ended in a 1-1 tie.
“We had a great first half, and in the second half we seemed to have a little bit of a letdown,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “On the throw ins we did great. We had a great chance with Omid right inside the six. We had the free kick shot from Christian with little time left. You get two great looks like that in overtime, that’s what you hope for. This definitely helps us, makes us battle prepared. It was a very tough game. You become a better team when you play games like this.”
“That was definitely a battle,” Hallisey added. “Pac-12 play always brings a battle. It’s not necessarily the best soccer game you’ll ever see, but it was the best battle you’ll ever see.”
Taillole made seven saves in 110 minutes of action – after UW outshot the Bears, 22-11 – and Herman made five.
“We were unlucky about the goal,” Taillole said. “But we pushed through in overtime and had chances to win.”
Cal continues conference play when it heads to southern California to play at San Diego State on Oct. 10 and at No. 10 UCLA on Oct. 13. The Golden Bears return to Goldman Field when they host Stanford on Oct. 20. Both the Oct. 13 and 20 matches will air on the Pac-12 Networks.