Aug. 21, 2011
BERKELEY - In what looked like a foreshadowing of a repeat of last season's many overtime games, the California women's soccer team delivered five minutes into the first overtime period with a score from senior co-captain Katie Benz to get a 2-1 win against San Diego State on Sunday afternoon. After Lauren Battung struck in the 60th minute, the Aztecs equalized with less than five minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime. Thanks to the goal by Benz, the Golden Bear improve to 1-1-0 while SDSU now stands at 1-1-0.
"There were parts of the game in which we looked quite sharp," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "We did well with our possession, but we need to turn possession into penetration. We created a lot of good goal-scoring opportunities, but we need to work on our composure in front of the goal and our killer instinct. San Diego State came out strong and would not back down."
After pressing for much of the game, the Bears finally caught a break with 30 remaining in regulation. Danielle Brunache dribbled her way around two SDSU forwards, deep in Aztec territory. Clearing the ball with one swift kick, Brunache found a streaking Battung on the far side. With a keen eye on the goal despite three Aztec defenders and the goalkeeper coming out, Battung sent the ball into the back right corner with ease.
"We had wanted to test the back space," Battung said. "DB hit that 80-yard diagonal like she can and I just focused on finishing strong."
In the 86th minute, Tiffany Hurst crossed the ball from the right side into the scrum in front of the box. Walker was the only one to put boot on ball and scored her second goal of the season.
"I'm quite happy for Katie," McGuire said. "She has worked extremely hard to get herself prepared for this season. She's led her teammates in the spring and preseason and it's nice to see her get rich rewards for her hard work."
The Bears out shot the Aztecs, 16-6, which was bolstered by a first half ratio of 9-2. Battung took six of Cal's shots with Bennett knocking off three.
"I think we came out well," Battung said. "We out shot them but all it takes is one goal. We weren't as disciplined as we should have been at some points. We didn't stay sidelined, but battled the whole time."
In goal, it was Emily Kruger who garnered the win, posting one save in 94:57 minutes of work. For the Aztecs, Rachel Boaz suffered the loss despite stop six shots.
Next Week on the Pitch:
The Bears take to the friendly skies for a trip to Hawaii. First up will be an Aug. 26 game against North Dakota State, kicking off at 10 p.m. PT. The tournament continues for the Bears with an Aug. 28 match versus host Hawaii at 8 p.m. PT.