Oct. 14, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. - Sophomore Rachel Mercik scored in the first minute of overtime to lead the No. 18 California women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Arizona Friday night at Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
The Bears extended their unbeaten streak to three matches with the victory and improved to 10-3-2 overall and 3-1-2 in the Pac-12 Conference. The 10 victories surpass Cal's nine wins during the entire 2010 season. It was the Bears' third consecutive shutout and seventh of the season, matching their shutout total from last year. Cal also secured its first conference road victory since Oct. 11, 2009 at Oregon State.
California and Arizona (1-11-2, 1-4-1 Pac-12) played scoreless soccer through the first 90 minutes, but it was the 91st minute that decided the match. Freshman Taylor Comeau found Mercik in the middle of the box and the sophomore connected on a shot that found the back left corner of the net for the game-winner 46 seconds into the overtime period.
Mercik has scored four of the last six California goals, dating back to the San Francisco match on Sept. 18.
All three of the Bears' shots in the first half came in the final five minutes of the period. Arizona goalie Ashley Jett saved a Miranda White shot in the 40th minute. A Danielle Brunache shot just missed wide left of the post two minutes later. Cal ended the half with a strong scoring opportunity off a corner kick in the final minute of the period. Brunache connected on Thelma Bjork Einarsdottir's corner kick in the box, but Jett was there to make the stop and prevent the goal as the teams headed into halftime scoreless.
Arizona held a 10-8 edge in shots while both Cal goal keeper Emily Kruger and Jett, the Wildcat net minder, posted three saves. Mercik and Brunache led the Bears with three shots apiece. Arizona's Jazmin Ponce took four of the Wildcats' 10 shots in the contest.
California improved to 14-1-2 in the all-time series with Arizona.
Cal returns home where the Bears will host Colorado next Friday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. and Utah next Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.