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No. 15 Bears Beat No. 11 Blue Hens 4-2 Behind Two Braces

Sep 19, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 15 California Golden Bears defeated the No. 11 Delaware Blue Hens 4-2 behind a pair of braces by senior midfielder Connor Hallisey and sophomore forward Christian Thierjung on Friday at Edwards Stadium. Delaware was buoyed by a brace of its own, as senior defender Tobias Muller tallied his first two goals of the season. With the win, Cal has won its last four matches, and in defeating Delaware, knocked off the only remaining unbeaten team in Division I.

“Today Delaware played an outstanding game,” head coach Kevin Grimes said on Friday afternoon. “We know that we had to be at our best to get a result. Delaware and SIUE are both very good teams and with SIUE on Sunday, knowing the quality of their players and coaching staff, we will have to have the same type of performance.”

It was a very fast start for the Bears, who jumped out in front 2-0 within the first four-and-a-half minutes. Thierjung, who made his first career start on Friday, opened the scoring in the second minute when he received a through ball from senior forward Stefano Bonomo. The sophomore beat goalkeeper Borja Barbero soundly with a low shot when he went in one-on-one with the keeper. Thierjung bulged the back of the net again in the fifth minute in a similar fashion. Following a square ball from senior midfielder Max Oldham, Thierjung sidestepped one defender and went in alone on Barbero again, slotting the ball low and past the goalkeeper. The goals were the Dove Canyon, Calif. native’s third and fourth of the season, doubling his output from the 2013 campaign when he scored a pair in 19 appearances.

We had a great week of training,” Thierjung said on Friday evening following the match. “After watching the video on Delaware, we knew this team would be strong. We came and answered the call and played very well together and we are happy with the result.

Cal began the second half very quickly as well, scoring their third in the 48th minute of play. Thierjung picked up a turnover near midfield and was able to pick out Hallisey into space. The Pac-12 leader in points (11 coming into play today) made no mistake and finished low to the far post to stretch the lead to 3-0.

It appeared Cal had control of the match, but in the 53rd minute, the Fightin’ Blue Hens were true to their moniker, and they weren’t done yet. Muller pulled one back for Delaware off of a cross from Jaime Martinez on a set piece. Martinez floated the ball in to Muller who headed the ball into the near post past a diving Justin Taillole.

Delaware nearly cut the deficit to a goal in the 72nd minute on a nice piece of counterattacking. Senior forward Kyle Bruno played a square ball to an oncoming Guillermo Delgado, but Taillole was up to the task, making one of his five key saves,

Just seconds later however, Cal broke on an attack of its own. Senior co-captain midfielder Seth Casiple played a ball into Hallisey’s feet and he was able to finish low into the near post past a helpless Barbero to push the advantage to 4-1 in the 74th minute. Casiple has now registered an assist in his last four appearances.

The Blue Hens continued to fight back into the match when Muller added his second off of a cross by senior midfielder Ben Asante. Asante’s ball into the middle of the area picked out Muller, whose close-range pacey header beat Taillole to make it 4-2, which is how the match ended.

Cal hosts Southern Illinois Edwardsville (SIUE) at 1:00 p.m. PT on Sunday on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter during the match and can stay up to date on statistics and live updates during the game.                         

                                    1          2          F
No. 11 Delaware         0          2          2
No. 15 Cal                   2          2          4
Scoring Summary
Cal – 1:17       Thierjung, Christian (Bonomo, Stefano)
Cal – 4:34       Thierjung, Christian (Oldham, Max)
Cal – 47:32     Hallisey, Connor (Thierjung, Christian)
Del – 52:34     Muller, Tobias (Martinez, Jaime)
Cal – 73:04     Hallisey, Connor (Casiple, Seth)
Del – 78:36     Muller, Tobias (Asante, Ben)