No. 17 Cal Narrowly Blanked, 1-0, by No. 3 UCLA
Oct. 16, 2009
BERKELEY - The No. 17 California women's soccer team lost a tense Pac-10 Conference game, 1-0, to visiting No. 3 UCLA on Friday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears (8-4-1 overall, 2-1-0 in the Pac-10) had multiple solid looks on goal, but could not convert against the Bruins (12-1-1, 3-0-0). UCLA's goal came from Sydney Leroux in the 77th minute off an assist from Lauren Cheney. The 544 fans in attendance were a season high for the Bears.
'I think it was a great game today between two really good teams,' Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. 'It was always going to come down to opportunities and which team was going to put it away. UCLA took its chance, and we missed ours.'
Cal's first highlight came when redshirt junior forward Lisa Kevorkian stole away on a fast break. She stopped the ball just in front of the end line with a Bruin heavily guarding her, but Kevorkian's attempt at a cross was denied.
Junior forward Alex Morgan took the Bears' first shot on goal with an attempted header after the ball was booted to her in the box from the right side.
Despite being surrounded by five defenders, Morgan's chances looked bright in 17th minute, when she took a shot off a pass from Kevorkian, but the shot hit the left post.
The teams went into the 15-minute halftime scoreless with UCLA narrowly outshooting Cal, 5-4.
The Bruins almost poked one through five minutes into the final 45 minutes with a shot from Leroux, but Cal keeper Gina Pellegrini was there to make the stop.
With 32:33 remaining in regulation, Morgan, on a fast break, went around the diving UCLA keeper Chante Sandiford, but Morgan's shot hit the right outside net.
UCLA broke the game with open in the 77th minute, when Cheney shot a long pass to Leroux, who fired it off from inside the box for her 12th goal of the season.
Cal's second-to-last attempt on goal came with 7:32 left from Morgan, but Sandiford made the stop in the box. Kevorkian took the final shot in the 85th minute, but her attack went high.
'I was very proud of the players and the way they battled,' McGuire said. 'It was a great match.'
UCLA outshot the Bears, 10-9, with Cal earning four corner kicks to the Bruins' three. Morgan led the Bears on the offense with six shots. Pellegrini made three saves in 90 minutes of work between the posts for Cal, while Sandiford stopped three for the Bruins.
Cal continues its weekend homestand with a 1 p.m. kickoff against No. 9 USC on Sunday at Edwards Stadium.