Sept. 21, 2012
Score: Arizona 2, No. 15 Cal 1
BERKELEY - The No. 15 California women's soccer team lost 2-1 to Arizona on Friday afternoon at Edwards Stadium in the first Pac-12 game of the season. After the Wildcats scored in the 53rd, the Golden Bears played an offensively aggressive second half to recover from the one-goal deficit and tie the game at 1-1 in the 62nd. After Arizona went up 2-1 with 20 minutes remaining in regulation, Cal could not muster a second comeback goal and dropped the match. The Bears fall to 6-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the Pac-12 while the Wildcats now stand at 5-3-1 and 1-0-0.
"First, we have to credit Arizona for coming in and winning a game on the road," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "They scored a great goal to win it."
Cal played a Bear down for roughly 40 minutes when Emily Kruger was issued a red card in the 51st minute. Lauren Hein stepped into goal and Celeste Boureille exited the field, leaving the Bears with just 10 players. The Wildcats could not convert on the free kick but just over a minute later, the Wildcats scored when Jazmin Ponce's shot from 25 yards out found the back of the net.
In most resilient fashion, the Bears hunkered down and turned on the offensive engines. In the 62nd minute, Kaitlin Dickmann played a short pass to Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, who was just outside the box. Fitzpatrick took a quick dribble and shot the ball into the lower left corner, knotting the game at 1-1.
"Obviously, the red card changed the game entirely because it put us on our heels," McGuire said. "Once they scored, we made a decision to be more aggressive and we tied the game."
Ponce rained on the Bears' parade once again, this time at 70:39, when she put the ball over Hein's reach for the gamewinner.
Overall, Cal outshot Arizona 16-10, taking 10 second-half shots to the Wildcats' seven. Both Hein and Kruger made two stops apiece while UA keeper Gabby Kaufman made seven.
"We had chances, we didn't take them," McGuire said. "We have to rebound for Sunday at Nevada."
Next Time on the Pitch:
After opening Pac-12 play against the Wildcats, it's a quick turnaround for Cal when the Bears head to Reno for its final nonconference game of the year - a Sept. 23 match at 1 p.m. at Nevada (4-4-1).