No. 18 Cal Loses to No. 4 Santa Clara, 2-1, in NCAA First Round
Nov. 12, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - No. 18 California jumped out to a 1-0 lead against No. 4 Santa Clara but lost 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA College Cup Friday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Golden Bears end their season with an 11-6-3 record.
'The game went exactly how we thought it would be in terms of it being a very competitive, tough match,' said Cal head coach Kevin Boyd. 'I felt whomever won would win by one goal. Obviously, we thought that was going to be us. It was a good game. Santa Clara is a very good team. We always know that. I thought we played them well, also. That was as good a game as you're going to see.'
Sophomore midfielder Nadia Al-Lami had given the Golden Bears a lead with a 24th-minute header set up by freshman midfielder Chioma Igwe's corner kick. Cal was awarded the corner kick after a bad clearance by a Santa Clara player 30 yards from the end line. All three of Al-Lami's goals this season have come on headers off set pieces, with the other two coming against defending NCAA champion North Carolina and San Jose State. Igwe finishes 2004 tied with freshman forward Stephanie Wieger for the team lead in assists with five, while Al-Lami ends the year with a career-high 10 points (three goals, four assists).
'Usually in practice, we try to target the back post,' said Al-Lami. 'That's usually where I go. Right before the corner kick, I went up to Chioma and said, `Get the back post, get the back post.' And, she just sent a perfect ball. I just saw it coming and went for it and saw it go in.'
Right before halftime, the Broncos (15-4-2) duplicated Cal's feat as Marian Dalmy headed in a corner kick from teammate Megan Kakadelas to tie the match. Another Kakadelas set piece set up the winning goal in the 53rd minute. The Santa Clara forward found Leslie Osborne sandwiched between two Cal defenders. From a difficult angle, Osborne rose up over the Bears and headed in the final goal just inside the far right post.
Cal was a different team to start the game than the squad that lost 3-1 at Santa Clara back on Oct. 6. The Bears had their share of possession and caused problems for Santa Clara with their counterattacks. Al-Lami's goal snapped Santa Clara's scoreless streak, that included six shut outs, at 594 minutes.
Up 1-0, Cal had a golden chance to double their lead in the 27th minute. Santa Clara goalkeeper Julie Ryder came out of her penalty area to contest freshman forward Carolina Lea, who rounded Ryder and fired on the open net. But, as three Broncos defenders converged on the goal, Lea's shot went just wide of the far left post.
'It would have been a different game,' said Boyd.
The Bears were unlucky not to earn a penalty kick in the final four minutes of the first half. On a cross into the Santa Clara box, Ryder barreled through Al-Lami to try to reach the ball. Neither player ended up with the ball and there was no foul whistled.
Bears junior goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio had three saves. Cal, which features no seniors, returns all of its players next season.
The Broncos play the winner of the Stanford-Cal Poly game at noon in Sunday's second round also at Buck Shaw Stadium.
California 1 0 -- 1Santa Clara 1 1 -- 2
Scoring SummaryCal Al-Lami (Igwe) 23:26SCU Dalmy (Kakadelas) 44:32SCU Osborne (Kakadelas) 52:28
Shots: Cal 7 (Hamm, Lea 2), SCU 8 (Osborne 3).Shots on Goal: Cal 4 (Igwe, Cabello, Lea, Al-Lami 1), SCU 5 (Osborne 2).Saves: Cal 3 (Sulprizio 3), SCU 3 (Ryder 3).Corner Kicks: Cal 2, SCU 5, Fouls: Cal 23, SCU 18.Offsides: Cal 1, SCU 0, Attendance: N/A.Records : Cal 11-6-3, 4-3-2 Pac-10, SCU 15-4-2 , 6-1 WCC.