Cal Upsets No. 22 Santa Clara, 2-1.
The California men's soccer team won its fifth game of the season against Bay Area rival No. 22 Santa Clara Thursday night, 2-1, in Buck Shaw Stadium. Sophomore Carl Acosta led the Golden Bears to their fourth straight victory, recording both of Cal's goals.
The Bears (5-2-1) did not dominate the statistical sheet in either half but did control the ball for most of the first half, dictating the pace of play. The Broncos (4-2-0) had a golden opportunity to seize the early lead when senior Jamil Walker took a shot from eight yards out that sailed high over the crossbar.
Cal, however, did not let their opportunities pass them by, scoring twice on three shots in the first stanza. Acosta accounted for both Bear goals, the first coming at the 27:20 mark when he took a pass flicked on from a long goalkeeper punt, beat the Santa Clara defender and slammed home his second goal of the season. He would capitalize again just five minutes later after a cross deflected off both a Cal player and a Bronco player to his waiting feet where he slid a low ball past Santa Clara netminder Steve Cronin.
After re-grouping at halftime, the Broncos took seven shots in the second half to Cal's three, eventually pushing their only goal by Bear keeper Josh Saunders at the 80:21 mark. Jason Cunliffe scored his first collegiate goal, the Broncos' only goal of the game, after taking a Matt Upton deflection inside the penalty box and slotting the ball into the lower left corner of the net.
Santa Clara continued to put pressure on the Bears' defense, but could not force home the equalizer. In the end the Broncos outshot Cal by a 12-6 margin, but it was Saunders coming up with four big saves to Cronin's two.
Today's victory was significant for the Bears, as the last time they faced Santa Clara was last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they fell short in overtime, 1-0, advancing the Broncos to the next round of the Tournament, ending the Bears' season.
From here California will travel to nearby Stanford, CA to take on Tulsa at Maloney Field Sunday afternoon at noon.
Men's Soccer Results at Buck Shaw StadiumSanta Clara, CA
California 2 0 - 2Santa Clara 0 1 - 1
Scoring SummaryCal Acosta 28minCal Acosta 33minSCU Cunliffe (Upton) 81min
Records:Cal 5-2-1Santa Clara 4-2-0