Nov. 11, 2010
BERKELEY - On a day when eighth-ranked California honored its seven seniors, freshman Alec Sundly scored two goals, including the gamewinner, in a 3-2 win over Stanford on Thursday at Edwards Stadium to power the Golden Bears to the Pac-10 championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Sundly's strike with 7:22 remaining became the winning margin in Cal's victory over its rival in the second game of the Bay Area Derby.
"I tried to do it for the seniors," Sundly said. "As I was getting mentally prepared for this game I was thinking, `Man, this might be their last game,' and I just put it all out on the field."
The Bears, who improved their record to 12-2-3 (8-1-1 in the Pac-10), rebounded from a last-place conference finish in an injury riddled 2009 season to claim Pac-10 supremacy in 2010.
Stanford ended its season with an 8-10-0 record (4-6-0 Pac-10).
Cal scored its last two goals with Stanford playing a man down after goalkeeper Jason Dodson picked up a red card for fouling senior forward Davis Paul outside the Cardinal box. Stanford also scored its second goal while playing with just 10 men, as Cameron Lamming struck in the final minute. Cal held on in the dying seconds to capture its third conference championship and first since 2007.
Prior to the match, the Bears honored seniors Anthony Avalos, Servando Carrasco, Hector Jimenez, Demitrius Omphroy, Paul, A.J. Soares and Scot VanBuskirk, who would be playing in their final regular-season home game of their college careers. Cal's largest home crowd of the season - 2,415 - was on hand for an eventful Veterans Day.
Sundly, who had not scored as a Golden Bear before today, headed in his first goal as a collegian at 33:21. Paul, who assisted on all three Cal goals, set up the goal with a corner kick, and Cal led, 1-0. With his three assists, Paul set a school single-season assist record of 13, breaking the former record of 12 set by alumnus Peter Woodring.
A Stanford corner kick preceded the Cardinal's first goal. Sophomore forward Adam Jahn eventually wound up with the loose ball in the Cal box and fired past Cal junior goalie David Bingham at 37:38.
The teams went into halftime tied at 1-1.
At 68:13, Paul was streaking into the Stanford end when Dodson fouled him outside his box to earn an ejection. Redshirt freshman Galen Perkins subbed in for senior midfielder Daniel Leon and replaced Dodson in the Cardinal's goal.
Carrasco shot high of the Stanford goal at 71:12 and tested Perkins again about two minutes later. Another Paul corner kick set up Carrasco, who headed in his sixth goal of the year at 73:38 to give Cal a 2-1 lead.
Sundly collected the second goal of his career at 82:38, as Paul and Avalos combined to assist on his 25-yard blast. Cal led, 3-1.
Stanford wasn't finished. Senior defender Ryan Thomas had a long throw in that found senor defender Bobby Warshaw, who misfired on a bicycle kick. Senior midfielder Cameron Lamming pounced on the ball and scored at 89:02 to cut Cal's lead to one.
Neither team recorded another shot, and, a few minutes later, Cal held up the Pac-10 trophy.
"It's a very emotional day, being Senior Day, being our last Pac-10 game ever and our last game against Stanford ever," Carrasco said. "It was the perfect way to go out. The second half was great, and guys really stepped up. Alec Sundly had a phenomenal game, so hat's off to him."
Now Cal awaits the Monday, Nov. 15, announcement of the NCAA Tournament field of 48 to find out its next opponent and when and where it will play its next game. ESPNU will broadcast the selection show from 1:30-2 p.m. PT.
Goals by Period
1 2 F Stanford 1 1 2 California 1 2 3
Shots by Period
1 2 F Stanford 8 8 16 California 6 9 15