Nov. 10, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior forward Julia Schnugg tallied two goals and an assist to lift No. 21 California to a 3-1 victory over Auburn Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Seminole Soccer Complex. The Golden Bears improved to 12-4-5, while the Tigers ended their season with an 11-6-3 record.
"We were expecting it to be a good game," said Cal head coach Kevin Boyd. "Auburn is a good team. I thought it was every bit the battle we thought it would be. We were very efficient going to goal today. The rest of the game was pretty even to be honest. We did a nice job keeping them away. Nicole Jarbo did a great job shutting down the PK and taking that one from them. As a whole, I thought it was a very close match. Auburn is a terrific team."
Cal's three goals were the most the Bears have scored in an NCAA Tournament game since a 3-0 triumph over UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals in 1987.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Jarbo had a huge game for the Bears in her first collegiate start. Jarbo, who had previously only played 10 minutes in her Cal career (vs. Southern Methodist in 2005), grabbed nine saves, including a diving save to her right on a penalty kick by Jenny Zarzour in the 63rd minute. The Bears' top two goalkeepers - freshman Gina Pellegrini and senior Anna Key - were both unavailable today due to injuries.
"I came into this game thinking that this game is like any other game," said Jarbo, who hails from Palmdale, Calif. "I'm so impressed with the way we played. I'm proud to be a part of it. I was nervous, but I didn't have time to be nervous. I was more excited to get out there. To get my first major minutes in a playoff game, what more could I ask for? It was so fun, and we looked great."
Schnugg, who played her first two seasons at Florida State, put the Bears ahead in the fourth minute when she tapped in the rebound of senior midfielder Nadia Al-Lami's second shot. Senior forward Katie Ratican delivered a corner kick to the far post, and Al-Lami's header was knocked out by an Auburn player. Al-Lami collected the rebound, and her second attempt was blocked, but Schnugg was in the right spot to put her team ahead.
"I was surprised to be back (a second time), but I'm happy to be back," said Schnugg. "We have a second chance (after last year's loss in Tallahassee to Florida State). Today, we really took it to them. On our mind the whole week was to play well against Auburn, and Sunday will come. I'm really excited. It was a lot of fun tonight. It was a good homecoming. Nicole Jarbo did a great job. I also think the team really stepped up."
In the 38th minute, Schnugg extended Cal's lead to 2-0 with her first multi-goal game as a Golden Bear and second of her collegiate career. Senior defender Courtney Hooker carried the ball far out of the back and passed the ball wide to junior forward Stephanie Wieger. Wieger centered the ball from the right side to the far post to Schnugg, who knocked the ball in from two yards for her third NCAA Tournament goal and team-leading sixth goal of the season. Her first postseason goal came in 2003 against Dartmouth as a member of the Seminoles.
After Cal held a 2-0 halftime edge, junior midfielder Caitlin Hannegan increased Cal's advantage to 3-0 with a 12-yard shot to the center of the goal in the 46th minute. Schnugg crossed the ball from the left side of the field, and freshman forward Lisa Kevorkian passed the ball back to Hannegan, who was wide open in the box to net the first goal of her career.
Auburn erased Cal's streak of four straight shutouts with a goal in the 81st minute by Zarzour. Amanda Garcia fired a free kick hard off of the cross bar, and Zarzour poked in the rebound for her third goal of 2006.
Auburn held an 18-16 shot advantage with Al-Lami and Kevorkian leading the way with three shots each for the Bears. Ratican had a goal waved off due to a foul against one of her teammates in the first half, and an Auburn player scored what appeared to be an own goal for Cal in the second half, but it was waved off due to an offsides call against the Bears.
Today marked the first-ever meeting between Cal and Auburn in women's soccer.
Cal battles No. 2-seeded Florida State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Seminoles defeated Jacksonville, 6-0, tonight prior to Cal's game. Sunday's game is a rematch of last year's NCAA third round game, which Florida State won, 2-1, in Tallahassee.
Cal Women's Soccer Result #21 California 2 1 -- 3 Auburn 0 1 -- 1