Feb. 19, 2011
BERKELEY - Alexa Rozelle scored a game-high five points to lead California to a 14-6 conference victory over Saint Mary's on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon at Witter Rugby Field. The Golden Bears improved their record to 2-1 (2-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while the Gaels fell to 0-1 (0-1 in the MPSF) after dropping their season opener.
The Bears have a 19-1 record in the all-time series with Saint Mary's.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the wet conditions, as they tied 2-2 at halftime. Junior midfielder Vail Horn gave Cal a 1-0 lead by converting a free-position shot just 53 seconds into the first half. Junior attacker Tara Arolla also scored a free-position, or eight-meter, goal in the first half at 5:44 to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Mariah Walk, who led the Gaels with four points (3 goals, 1 assist), scored a pair of unassisted goals in the first half.
The Bears outshot the Gaels, 15-6, in the first half. But Saint Mary's goalkeeper Kathleen Worsdale made six of her game-high 10 saves through 30 minutes to keep her team in the game.
"Our execution was off, and we struggled in the first half," Cal head coach Theresa Sherry said. "A good team finds a way to win, even if it's having a bad day. We figured it out in the second half."
Cal's first four goals of the match were eight-meter goals, including the first two of the second half. Freshman midfielder Teresa Li converted the first one at 34:36 - marking the first goal of her college career - and Horn notched the second one at 34:47. The Bears opened the second half with a 6-0 run, including goals by senior midfielder Chapin Jackson (36:08), Arolla (36:33), sophomore midfielder Megan Takacs (37:41) and Horn, who tallied another eight-meter goal at 41:08. Horn's strike gave Cal an 8-2 lead.
"At halftime we talked about a couple of things tactically, about how their goalkeeper was good and had good presence in the cage," Sherry said of Worsdale. "We had to shoot off the feed instead of just driving in, to change the point of attack and shoot off the pass in the second half more to get her moving."
Walk struck with her third goal of the game at 42:05 to make the score 8-3. But that was the closest Saint Mary's would get the rest of the game. Just 21 seconds later, Rozelle scored her first goal of the game to give the Bears a 9-3 lead.
Cal scored three of the next four goals, including the first two of the season from sophomore midfielder Ana Cyr (43:52 and 49:19) and freshman midfielder Paige Gasparino's first goal as a Bear (46:09), to claim a 12-4 advantage.
Saint Mary's pulled within six goals at 12-6 after strikes by Krista Morgan (49:55) and Katie Nelson (51:51). Rozelle then scored the last two goals of the game (55:17 and 56:35) to give Cal the 14-6 win.
"I'm proud of her coming in off the bench and having a big impact," Sherry said of Rozelle, who has already matched her four-goal total of 2010. "She executed a couple things I talked to her about before going on. It's nice to see someone listen, take advice to heart and finish. She did a great job."
Cal senior goalie Allie Shropshire made two saves in almost 46 minutes of work. Freshman goalie Megan McGinnis played in relief of Shropshire and did not record a save. Junior defender Tori Harrison gathered a game-high seven ground balls for the Bears.
The Bears play their next three games on the road, with nonconference stops at Longwood on Feb. 25, at Davidson on Feb. 27 and at second-ranked Northwestern on March 11.