Oct. 30, 2009
BERKELEY - The California women's soccer team grabbed an important 2-0 victory over visiting Arizona on Friday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. Freshman midfielder Amanda Groves netted the gamewinner in the third minute for her first goal of her Golden Bear career. Redshirt junior Lisa Kevorkian added an insurance score at 53:03. The Bears (9-7-1 overall and 3-4-0 in the Pac-10 Conference) outshot the Wildcats (4-12-0, 1-5-0 in the Pac-10), 16-6.
"I think our team energy was good," Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. "I think that we attacked relentlessly. We felt like we could wear their backline down if we continued to pass effectively, and as a result, we got our goal."
The Bears took control of the game with Groves' score just 2:10 into the match. Kevorkian passed to Groves, who took a touch and shot it to the back of the net. This game was the first start, shot and goal of Groves' Cal career.
"I was so excited," Groves noted. "I've never really played the four position before, but the ball went in. but the first time I was there, I was able to make a difference for the team. It brought the team and our spirits up."
Cal looked like it was going to add on a score from Kevorkian in the 14th minute, when a shot from her hit the outside left net. At 22:27, Arizona fouled Cal, giving the Bears a free kick, which junior forward Alex Morgan took. Morgan took a shot that hooked around the Wildcat line of defense, but UA keeper Devon Wharf was there to make the save.
The Bears had two near misses on shots from Morgan (34:04) and sophomore defender Danielle Brunache (38:18) that both hit the post. Cal, which was 5-1 when leading at the half prior to this game, went into the halftime break with a 1-0 lead over the Wildcats.
Kevorkian and Morgan teamed up to distance the Bears, 2-0, with just under 37 minutes remaining in regulation. Escaping defenders, Morgan dribbled the ball past a diving Wharf in the box, and passed to Kevorkian, who was on the near side just above the end line. Kevorkian shot the ball in for her sixth goal of the season.
"I was originally making a run for a through ball, as well," Kevorkian said. "But they played Alex, and Alex took this really long touch wide from the goalkeeper. But I got the pass and connected."
The second half was offensively heated for the Bears, who took seven shots, forcing Wharf to make five saves in the final 45 minutes of play. All in all, Cal outshot Arizona, 16-6, and had six corners to the Wildcats' one.
Sophomore midfielder Katrin Omarsdottir paced the Bears with three shots on goal while Morgan had five shots in all. Senior keeper Gina Pellegrini played the full 90 minutes in goal, grabbing three saves en route to her second shutout of the season to improve to 6-6-0.
The Bears close out their home regular-season schedule against Arizona State (7-5-1, 0-4-1) on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. The ASU match will the final home game for the California's six seniors - goalkeeper Rosie Aguilera, defender Brianna Bak, forward Torrey Delaplane, forward Lisa Kevorkian, midfielder Katie Oakes and goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini.
To read three Q&A with some of the members of the senior class - Gina Pellegrini, Lisa Kevorkian and Brianna Bak - click here or go to the Q&A With the Golden Bears link on the sidebar of the women's soccer page.
Golden Bear Notes:
~The Groves' goal at 2:10 was the second fastest goal scored by Cal this year. The quickest goal was scored at 1:28 against Oregon (Oct. 9, 2009) by Alex Morgan.