No. 17 Cal Blanks Columbia, 1-0, in Season Opener

Aug. 31, 2007

Box Score

BERKELEY, Calif. - No. 17 California won its season opener over Columbia, 1-0, Friday afternoon on the opening day of the Cal Invitational at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears have now won eight straight season openers.

'All week long they wanted to play more in practice, and I've been trying to hold them back,' said Cal first-year head coach Neil McGuire, who spent the last two seasons as head coach at Texas Tech. 'I liked the level of energy they had. I think the girls did a very good job.'

Junior forward Valerie Barnes scored the game's only goal in the 58th minute with a shot from 20-yards out. Barnes' also netted the game-winning goal last year in the Bears' 1-0 season-opening win over Indiana. Sophomore midfielder Katie Oakes was credited with the assist on Barnes' goal today, accounting for her first point of her collegiate career.

Cal held a commanding 20-1 shot advantage - 12-0 for shots on goal - with Barnes and senior forward Stephanie Wieger leading the way with four shots each. With about a minute left until halftime, freshman defender/forward McKenna-Louise McKetty almost sent the Bears into the locker room ahead, but Columbia's goalkeeper, Allison Vespa, made an acrobatic save to preserve the first-half shutout. Vespa secured 10 saves overall, which was one shy of tying the Edwards Stadium record.

'We're putting ourselves in very good goalscoring position,' said McGuire. 'We just have to be a little more savvy and be a little more crafty in the way that we finish the ball. That will come. This is the first game of the season. I don't think there's going to be many teams that are perfect, but we're going to continue to work at it.'

Reserve Lauren Cooke attempted the Lions' only shot of the game in the first half. It was a long range attempt that sailed high over the cross bar.

Nineteen players saw action for Cal today, with only goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini and defenders Courtney Hooker and Kristine Relja going the full 90 minutes.

'We were looking for mismatches,' said McGuire. 'We found several mismatches on the field. When we did score the goal, we were more interested in having a lot of experience on the field so that we didn't give up a goal in return.'

In the first game today, Saint Mary's tied Colorado College, 2-2. The Gaels jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead behind goals from Allie Weiner and Alex Ciliento. The Tigers netted two goals in the final 10 minutes, 12 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime. Molly Uyenishi and Emily Beans notched Colorado College's goals.

Cal faces Colorado College Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. on the final day of the Cal Invitational. Prior to the contest, Saint Mary's and Columbia play at noon. Cal, Colorado College and Columbia earned 2006 NCAA Tournament bids.

Women's Soccer ResultGoals by Period	        1	2		FColumbia		0	0	--	0California		0	1	--	1

Scoring SummaryCalifornia Valerie Barnes (Katie Oakes) 57:15

Shots: Columbia 1 (Lauren Cooke 1), Cal 20 (Valerie Barnes 4, Stephanie Wieger 4).Shots on Goal: Columbia 0, Cal 12 (Valerie Barnes 3.Saves: Columbia 11 (Allison Vespa 10, Team 1), Cal 0 (Gina Pellegrini 0).CK: Columbia 1, Cal 7.Fouls: Columbia 10, Cal 9.Offsides: Columbia 0, Cal 1.Yellow Cards: Columbia (Chrissy Butler 23:42), Cal (Nkechi Kanu 64:56).Red Cards: None.Records: Columbia 0-1, Cal 1-0.Attendance: 629.

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