BERKELEY - Cal made a valiant comeback in the second half of Friday night's contest against San Diego State, scoring a game-tying goal with five seconds remaining in regulation, but the Golden Bears fell to the Aztecs in overtime, 14-11, at Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium. Freshman Bella Huther notched five goals. Cal fell to 1-1 on the season, while the Aztecs improved to 3-0.
With five and a half minutes remaining in regulation, SDSU scored to increase its lead to three at 11-8. The Bears rallied and scored the next three consecutive goals in the final five minutes - two of which were scored by Huther and all three assisted by senior Paige Gasparino - to send the game into overtime.
The three goals capped a stretch where Cal outscored the Aztecs, 7-2, in the final 20 minutes of the second half.
"I was really proud of our girls," head coach Ginger Miles said. "They continued to believe in each other, push each other and support each other throughout that second half. We knew we had the ability to chip away at that lead. We had just made too many mistakes on our own end and in transition. We cleaned up some of those mistakes, and we were able to narrow that lead."
Like Huther, Gasparino tallied five points on the night, three assists and two goals. Sophomore Lizz Lavie garnered three points on two assists and a goal, as well.
The Bears started the game on the right track, tallying three of the first four goals to open the night. Huther also scored two of those three scores. The Aztecs got on a roll after that and scored the next six goals in a row, five of which came in the first half, to take a 6-3 lead at the break. SDSU opened the second half notching three of the first four goals before the Bears began their comeback.
With her five goals tonight, Huther now has nine goals to start the campaign after notching four in the opener at Saint Mary's. Her nine points currently lead the team with Lavie right behind her with eight.
"It was an outstanding performance tonight by Bella," Miles said. "We see her do this every day at practice. She's not a secret anymore. She's somebody other teams are going to have to watch out for. She scores a lot of goals, but anybody on our team can score a lot of goals. It just happened to be Bella tonight, but next time it could be Paige or Gaby. Whoever has the hot hand is going to get the ball."
Cal will try to get back on track when they head to Davis to face UC Davis on Saturday, March 8, at noon. The game will conclude the Bears' streak of three consecutive conference games to start the season. The Bears return to Kabam Field at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, March 12, against Sienna at noon.