Sept. 2, 2012
Score: No. 17 Cal 3, San Francisco 0
BERKELEY - The No. 17 California women's soccer team earned its first televised victory with a 3-0 win over San Francisco on Sunday afternoon in a game shown by the Pac-12 Networks. The Golden Bears (4-2-0) took a 1-0 lead into halftime before posting two goals in the second half to best the Dons (2-2-2).
"We're really pleased with the result," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "Scoring three goals and creating a lot of goal-scoring opportunities was fun to see. However, we need to tighten up our passing and take more pride in it. We tend to turn the ball over, and we need to improve on that."
Ifeoma Onumonu scored in the 23rd minute. Grace Leer upped Cal's lead to 2-0 with a shot in the 69th and Mekenna DeBack made it 3-0 in the 74th. Betsy Hassett assisted on the first two goals with Leer with the assist on the third goal.
The Bears came into the game taking an average of 19.8 shots per game to their opponents 8.6, but they took that one step further. Cal limited the Dons to just one shot in 90 minutes with the Bears firing off 17. USF's lone shot came in the first half, when the Bears tallied 13. Two of Cal's four second-half shots resulted in goals.
Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger made just one save between the posts in the shutout while the Bears worked San Francisco keeper Madalyn Schiffel for three goals though she made seven stops.
At the start of halftime, the Bears honored former Golden Bear and current USF assistant coach Maite Zabala with flowers and a signed jersey. In the nine years that Zabala spent in Berkeley as a player and a coach, the Bears posted nine winning seasons and garnered eight NCAA Tournament bids, highlighted by a third-round appearance in 2005. Last fall, Zabala earned the utmost tribute of being inducted to the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
"I was special to honor her," McGuire said. "We weren't in a position to attend her Hall of Fame banquet because we were playing in the NCAA Tournament last fall. This was the first time since her induction that she was back on campus, so we really wanted to honor her. She was a great Cal player and coach. We wanted to make sure that she felt that she was coming home and with a warm welcome."
22:13 - Cal 1, San Francisco 0:
Betsy Hassett dribbled the ball up field and found Ifemona Onumonu, who was flanked by two Dons in the goal mouth. With a tap of her foot, Onumonu scored the third goal of her blossoming Cal career.
"I've been getting a lot of chances in the inside, and I was just able to pull it through this time," Onumonu said.
68:43 - Cal 2, San Francisco 0:
Grace Leer took a left-footed shot from the top of the box for her fourth goal of the year.
"It was a great ball by Betsy," Leer said. "I was at the top of the 18, took a touch and knew I had to get a shot off. Thankfully it went in."
73:41 - Cal 3, San Francisco 0:
Leer received the ball off a thrown in and dished it off to deBack, who headed it in, scoring her first goal of the year.
"Grace went around the corner perfectly and played that awesome cross across the six yard," deBack said. "I saw the ball go up in the air and knew I get in front of the defender and score anywhere. It's really exciting that I was able to contribute and score my first goal of the season."
Next Week on the Pitch:
Cal plays just one game next week - a Sept. 7 tilt at UC Davis. The last time the Bears and Aggies squared off was in Neil McGuire's first-ever game - Aug. 27, 2007 - in exhibition play that saw UCD emerge victoriously with a 1-0 win. Cal's next home game is a Sept. 14 match against Penn in a Pac-12 Networks broadcasted event.