Cal Fights to the Bitter End, but Falls to No. 1 UCLA
Oct. 26, 2003
Berkeley, Calif. - In one of the most intense games Cal has played this season, the Bears came up on the short end of the scoreboard, losing to No. 1 UCLA, 1-0. The win moves the Bruins to 13-1-0 overall and 6-0-0 in the Pac-10, while Cal fell back to 7-7-2 and 3-3-2 in the conference.
In what was a very well-played contest, both teams came out tentative in the first 10 minutes. As familiar as the two rivals are with each other, the feeling out process didn't last long. UCLA struck in the 11th minute when a Mike Oseguera saved header went off the crossbar and was not cleared. Kiel McClung was first to the ball and knocked in an easy goal.
The game was up and down the field throughout with both teams moving through midfield into enemy territory with ease. UCLA had the next best opportunity when leading Pac-10 scorer Matt Taylor found himself in space behind the Cal defense. He sent a booming shot across goal only to be denied by the crossbar. This time Cal did clear. Cal countered when substitute Alex Martinez almost connected on the other end of a cross. His flick in front of net went over the goal, to the dismay of the 576 in attendance.
Cal played numerous crosses into the box but could simply not break through. The bounces did not go the Bears' way today. Andrew Jacobson almost found his way on the end of one of many Kyle Navarro crosses near half, but the ball glanced just past his foot.
The teams came out for the second half with the Bears the clear aggressor. The first chance of the half fell to Eric Ebert in front of a cross, but he also could not put the ball on goal. The Bears, sensing the urgency of this contest, pressed hard sending everyone forward. Head coach Kevin Grimes got all his attackers into the game, but none could come up with the right touch.
UCLA's defense had a lot to do with it. It was sound for the most part in front of standout goalkeeper Zach Wells. Wells only made two saves during the game, a testament to the play of the UCLA defenders and Cal's inability to put the ball on net, while Oseguera was busy with seven saves, including several spectacular ones.
With four games left on the Bears' schedule, they will need to come out with the same urgency they showed in this second half, if they want to make a third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Men's Soccer Results from Edwards StadiumBerkeley, Calif.
1st 2nd TotalUCLA 1 0 1California 0 0 0
Scoring SummaryUCLA McClung 10:56