Bears Topple Titans 2-1
NEWS & NOTES:
- Two Cal players scored their first collegiate goals - SR MF/D Genessee Daughtee and SO MF Samantha Witteman
- Cal outshot Detroit 19-2
- 20 of the team’s 33-person roster entered the game.
- The game was the first-ever meeting between Detroit and Cal.
BERKELEY – Bolstered by a robust home crowd, two Golden Bears notched their first career goals for the Blue and Gold to lead No. 18 California (2-0-1) to a 2-1 victory over Detroit (0-2-1) Friday evening at Edwards Stadium.
“The soccer performance was good. We played quite well and the possession was good. The final product in terms of goal scoring wasn’t where it needs to be, but we’ll tighten that up as we move forward,” said California head coach Neil McGuire.
Senior Genessee Daughetee (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and sophomore Samantha Witteman (Redondo Beach, Calif.) scored their first collegiate goals, and Witteman also assisted Daughetee on her goal. Senior Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick (Pleasanton, Calif.) assisted Witteman’s goal.
Detroit scored its lone goal on a penalty kick as the Bears limited the Titans to just two shots while tallying 19 shots total on offense from nine different players.
Near the 36 minute mark, Fitzpatrick stole the ball and began driving up the back line. She faked the play wide and instead took the ball inside, slotting Witteman through on a short pass in space. Wittemann played the ball straight into the center of the net.
With just two shots on goal despite an 8-1 shot advantage over the Titans at halftime, the Bears made key adjustments to their shot production.
Cal returned for the second period and scored within six minutes. The defense played a long ball wide to the inside to Witteman, who clipped the ball over the Detroit backline to Daughetee before Daughetee chopped it in with her left foot, sending the shot straight past Titan goalie Martha Dunbar.
The Titans got their chance at goal nearly a minute later after a foul was called on the Cal defense, leaving senior Emily Kruger (Woodside, Calif.) alone to defend against a penalty kick. Detroit’s Abby McCollum denied Cal the shutout, sending the ball into the left side of the frame.
The Bears tried to pull away with a greater lead, tallying 11 more shots before the whistle blew but could only manage three within frame. Detroit’s Dunbar (0-2-1) finished with five saves.
“We had a lot of opportunities on goal. We need to capitalize on those opportunities though, and go back to basics to make sure those shots are goals. We’re only going to get so many opportunities, but the work ethic was there and we all came together,” Fitzpatrick said.
More than half of the team’s 33-person roster saw time in the home opener as 20 players entered the game at some point, including the home debut of freshmen Alexa Vandevanter (Alamo, Calif.) and Zoe Clark (New York, N.Y.).
“It was really fun to finally be out there in front of our home fans. It was such a privilege to be out there and play with the team. Playing at the collegiate level is still so new and different and has already given me a different outlook from playing in high school,” Clark said.
Friday’s match also marked the debut of the new Cal Soccer Bear Den fan club. Many of the 517 fans in attendance cheered along with chants created by the men’s and women’s soccer team, much to the notice of the Cal players.
“The crowd on the bench really got us up and excited and made us want to play hard and do our best at home on our own turf,” Witteman said.
35:23 Cal -- Witteman, Samantha (Fitzpatrick, Kaitlyn)
51:00 Cal -- Daughetee, Genessee (Witteman, Samantha)
52:28 Detroit -- McCOLLUM, Abby Penalty kick
DETROIT 5 (Dunbar, Martha 5), California 0