SEATTLE – The fourth-ranked California Golden Bears (12-3-2, 6-2-1 Pac-12) fell in heartbreaking fashion to the third-ranked Washington Huskies (13-1-4, 6-1-2 Pac-12) 2-1 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Husky Soccer Stadium in Seattle. The Bears grabbed the lead just six minutes before halftime, as senior Alec Sundly headed home his fifth goal of the season and took a 1-0 lead into halftime. The Huskies equalized in the 62nd minute when freshman midfielder Cristian Roldan scored on a header of his own. Following a scramble in the penalty area just 37 seconds into the first overtime period, Huskies freshman forward Mason Robertson scored the golden goal to give Washington the victory.
“It was a close game today and it really could have gone either way,” said Cal head coach Kevin Grimes.
The first quality chance of the game came just ten minutes in, as Washington midfielder James Moberg sent a cross in to senior Brad Jacobson, but his header went high of the Cal goal. The Bears answered back with a chance of their own in the 12th minute when senior midfielder Ryan Neil made a long run from the center line and his shot from just outside the area was saved by Huskies’ goalkeeper Ryan Herman.
Washington threatened again in the 35th minute with a pair of quick opportunities. Forward Darwin Jones was played in on goal and his chip attempt on goal went off the far post after a tremendous save on a slight touch by Bears’ goalkeeper Justin Taillole. Cal defender Christian Dean then was able to beat Jones to the ball in front of an empty net to clear it from danger. The ensuing corner kick saw Ian Lange’s header go wide of its target, and things were still scoreless.
The Bears opened the scoring in the 39th minute off of a set piece. Junior midfielder Seth Casiple earned his sixth assist of the season, as his corner kick swung inside the box and Sundly’s glancing header found the netting at the back post to put the Bears in front, 1-0.
After the break, Washington threatened to level the score. Jones struck woodwork for the second time in the 60th minute. The Huskies broke through just two minutes later with an equalizer, as Roldan headed home a Michael Harris cross to the near post to tie things at 1-1.
Cal continued to push for the go-ahead goal and in the 73rd minute junior midfielder Max Oldham created a quality chance on a counterattack. His shot from roughly 25-yards out was saved well by Herman. The Bears threatened again when Casiple’s 79th minute cross took a deflection and fell to the feet of freshman forward Nick Lima. His low shot on goal seemed bound for the back of the net, but it was cleared off the line by the Huskies’ defense.
The match was turned on a goalmouth scramble inside the first minute of the first overtime period. Washington’s Harris sent in a long throw that bounced around the Cal penalty area until it fell to Robertson, who scored the golden goal, his fourth goal of the season.
The Bears conclude their regular season in Palo Alto in the Bay Area Derby against Stanford on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT when they battle the Cardinal. Cal defeated Stanford 1-0 on Oct. 20 at Goldman Field in Berkeley earlier this season. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.