No. 13 Cal Blanks No. 19 Denver 2-0 in NCAA First Round
Nov. 15, 2002
STANFORD, Calif. - No. 13 California ended a 14-year NCAA Tournament win drought with a 2-0 shutout of No. 19 Denver Friday evening at Stanford's Maloney Field. The Golden Bears improved to 12-7-1 overall (4-5 Pac-10), while the Pioneers fell to 17-2-2 (8-0 Sun Belt) after seeing their 15-game winning streak come to an end.
The last time the Bears posted a postseason victory was in 1988 when they defeated Colorado College, 2-1, in overtime in the quarterfinals.
Junior midfielder Kimberly Yokers put Cal up 1-0 in the 10th minute with her first goal of the year. The play started on the right flank with a pass from freshman forward Dania Cabello to senior midfielder Brittany Kirk, who was just outside the box. Kirk slotted the ball to Yokers on the left side of the box, and Yokers delivered a left-footed strike to the lower right corner of the net.
'I was afraid it was going to go just wide, and the keeper wasn't moving, so that made me feel like it was going wide even more,' said Yokers. 'It snuck in there.'
The assist was Kirk's 20th of her career, moving her into a tie with Natalie Stuhlmueller (1997-00) for second on the school career list and three behind Fawcett.
Yokers had two of the Bears' three shots in the second half, and Cabello had the other. Denver was able to muster only four, with only one being on goal. The Pioneers were hurt by the loss of their top goal scorer, Katie Antongiovanni (32 points - 14G, 4A), for the game when she suffered a broken nose in the eighth minute.
'I thought the first half was pretty even,' said Cal head coach Kevin Boyd. 'Yokers put one away and then the game leveled out. We had a good start. Then, after we scored, they got a little more motivated, and we tended to back off. The game evened out.'
Cal came out the aggressor in the second half, posting eight of the first 10 shots. One of those shots was senior forward Laura Schott's Cal record 56th goal. In the 62nd minute, Yokers delivered a cross from the right flank over two defenders to Schott who was waiting inside the six-yard box.
When the rainbow cross came down, Schott headed the ball past Denver goalkeeper Erica Izard, who entered the game having given up only nine goals all season. Meanwhile, the Pioneers, which rank 14th in the NCAA for goals per game at 2.75 (55 total), suffered only their second loss of the season, the other also a 2-0 shutout (to Portland).
'I couldn't have had a better game to break the scoring record in,' said Schott, who scored her seventh goal of the season. 'I'd been wanting to get a playoff win since I got here, and we finally got one tonight. It feels pretty great.'
The Bears had several more good chances to increase their lead, including a long-range rocket off the foot of senior midfielder Carly Fuller in the 66th minute, which Izard was barely able to punch over the cross bar. Cal ended the game with an 11-9 advantage for shots.
'The second half I thought we overwhelmed them,' said Boyd. 'For the first 25 or 30 minutes, we were just all over them. When we got the second goal, that pretty much clinched it. Laura got that goal, breaking Joy Fawcett's career goal scoring record in the process. She got that off her back, which might have been hanging on her for a little while. We pretty much just held out for the final 15 minutes.'
The Bears face No. 1 Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cardinal defeated Cal Poly, 4-0, in tonight's nightcap.
'We think Stanford is a very good team, but I also have a pretty high opinion of my team, as well,' said Boyd. 'I think it'll be a great game on Sunday, if that's the case. Every time we play them we have a battle. It's interesting to play your big rival in the second round. If anyone wants to see a good game, that's going to be the one on Sunday.'
Women's Soccer ResultDenver 0 0 -- 0Cal 1 1 -- 2
Scoring SummaryCAL Yokers (Kirk, Cabello) 9:13CAL Schott (Yokers) 61:19
Shots: Cal 11 (Yokers 3), Denver 9 (Flenniken 3).Shots on Goal: Cal 5 (Yokers 3), Denver 3 (Norwood, Portincaso, Movius 1).Saves: Cal 3 (Post 3), Denver 3 (Izard 3).CK: Cal 3, Denver 4.Fouls: Cal 27, Denver 14.Offisides: Cal 1, Denver 2.Yellow Cards: Cal Team (78:13), Hamm (78:13), Mangiardi (88:43), Denver Movius (1:39), Warren (51:00).Red Cards: None.Records: Cal 12-7-1 (4-5 Pac-10), Denver 17-2-2 (8-0 Sun Belt).Attendance: 584.