March 25, 2012
BERKELEY - Clutch performances by several Golden Bears clinched a 15-11 win for California over Hofstra on Sunday at Witter Rugby Field. Junior attacker Megan Takacs led all players with nine draw controls and seven points, senior Tori Harrison played her usually stellar defense and sophomore goalkeeper Megan McGinnis made eight saves in the nonconference match against the 2-7 Pride. Cal evened its record to 4-4.
"It's very rewarding to get this win," Cal head coach Ginger Miles. "We've been working very, very hard. We've had a lot of close losses as of late, but we've been really working on the mentality piece. Today we really came out just trying to focus on us, and coming out and playing this game minute by minute. I was really, really proud of the effort and how our girls executed down the stretch."
Despite allowing the first goal to Hofstra, Cal took a 9-6 halftime lead, with five different Bears scoring goals. Takacs scored all four of her goals - at 2:11, 6:13, 12:45 and 17:49 - in the first half. Senior midfielder Vail Horn (2:45), sophomore midfielder Paige Gasparino (3:48), sophomore midfielder Amelia Burke (11:01) and senior midfielder Emily Abbood (16:03) scored one each.
The Bears lost Gaby Christman for the game after the freshman defender collected two first-half yellow cards.
"But we didn't let adversity stand in our way," Miles sad. "We had two yellow cards and we had a couple situations where we had to make a lot of substitutions, but the next person was always ready to step up."
Cal opened the second half by outscoring the Pride 6-1 to take a commanding 15-7 lead. Burke started the outburst by scoring an eight-meter goal just 37 seconds into the half and completed her hat trick at 33:35, as Cal took an 11-6 lead.
After a Hofstra goal, Cal junior attacker Alexa Rozelle scored (43:34), Gasparino netted her third (44:24) and junior attacker Melissa Humphrey tallied twice (44:36 and 47:40) to give the Bears their 15-7 advantage.
The Pride rebounded to outscore Cal, 4-0, the rest of the way. During that run, Miles called a timeout to settle her team, whose four losses this year have been by four goals or less.
"We called that timeout to just focus everybody," Miles said, "to make sure everybody was on the same page with what the game plan was in terms of making sure we finished the game strong. You saw a lot of great effort out here. We had some big plays down the stretch to make sure we got possession and we maintained possession."
Hofstra's last goal came with 13 seconds left in the game. Takacs nabbed the last draw control, and the Bears held onto its 15-11 victory.
"Megan did a great job on the draw again," Miles added. "She's just been outstanding either getting the ball herself, getting the ball off the ground, making sure we get it into our offensive end safely. McG had a couple of great saves in the first half. Defensively I thought we played terrific one-on-one defense. Tori did a great job shutting down their top attacker for the most part, and we did an amazing job all-around offensively. We had seven different goalscorers. We had great offensive team effort in terms of working that ball around, waiting for that right opportunity and really maintaining possession the whole game."
This marks the first home victory of the season for the Bears as well as the first home win for Miles and her first-year coaching staff.
With the University on spring break, Cal hits the road for its next two games, playing at Navy on Wednesday, March 28, and at Villanova on Friday, March 30.