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#SundayGoals men's soccer preview: California at No. 16 Washington

Oct 9, 2016
Cal Athletics/Washington Athletics

Who: California at No. 16 Washington

When: Sunday, October 9 at 5 P.M. PT/6 P.M. MT on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Bay Area, and Pac-12 Washington

On the call: Aaron Heinzen and Kelly Gray

On the home side: Washington (7-5, 1-2 in Pac-12 play)

The No. 16 Huskies look to bounce back from a tough 1-0 loss that occurred Thursday night against the Stanford Cardinal. Washington has scored 11 goals in the past five games and already has tallied 19 goals on the season, which is more than the 18 they ended with last year. The Huskies opened up Pac-12 play with a win against UCLA, but have lost two consecutive games since. They currently sit at third in the conference.

The Huskies-Bears series currently favors Cal at 15-12-5, but the teams are evenly matched at 7-7-2 at Husky Stadium. The last time the Huskies hosted the Bears was in 2015, a tight match where Washington fell 1-0.

Huskies to watch:

Handwalla Bwana: The freshman midfielder has made an immediate impact for the Huskies. Bwana leads the Huskies in points with 12, tallying four goals and four assists. The freshman has scored in three of the last four games including a goal in the Huskies' 4-0 win over UCLA, their first win over the Bruins since 2012.

Mason Roberston: The senior forward has three goals on the season and sits at third on the team in points. Mason had four shots against San Diego State, the most on the team, despite the Huskies' 1-0 OT loss. The senior has started in every conference matchup this season so far and will be a tough matchup for the Bears on Sunday.

Auden Schilder: The junior goalkeeper began conference play making a career-high eight saves against UCLA and keeping the shutout for the Huskies. Schilder has started every game this season and only allowed seven goals in 12 appearances. The tall, athletic goalkeeper will be a challenge for the Bears.  

On the visiting side: California (4-3-2, 0-1-1 in Pac-12 play)

Cal heads into Sunday’s matchup after 110 minutes of tough play that ended in a 2-2 tie against Oregon State in Corvallis on Thursday evening. Sunday’s game provides a big opportunity for the Bears, who look to earn their first road win and their first win of this season’s conference play. 

Golden Bears to watch:

Jose Carerra-Garcia: The Junior forward proved once again to be key for the Bears in their last matchup against Oregon State when he scored two second-half goals - one to tie the game and the other to take the lead.  Garcia helping the Bears equalize is not a new storyline as he did so twice earlier this season. First against Saint Mary’s, when he equalized for the Bears in the 70th minute to make the score 2-2. Later, against UC Santa Barbara, where he evened the score to 1-1, contributing heavily to the Bears 3-2 OT win against the Gauchos.

Christian Thierjung:  Best known for scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against then-ranked No. 13 UC Santa Barbara just last Saturday and for notching FIVE goals against Harvard less than a month ago, the senior forward leads the Bears with 8 goals and 16 points. Thierjung looks to score his first conference goal and lead the Bears to their second victory over a top-ranked opponent.  

Nick Lima: Ranked on Top Drawer Soccer’s Men’s National Top 100 players list, the senior defender is not only a top defender but an offensive threat as well. Lima sits at third on the team in points with nine and is tied with Garcia with four goals on the season.

Stories to watch:

Cal’s goal-driven trio of Garcia, Thierjung, and Lima will fight to find the back of the net as they take on their fourth ranked opponent this year. The Bears are 1-2 against ranked opponents but are hungrier than ever to earn their first Pac-12 conference win of the season.  

Similar to most Pac-12 teams, Washington and Cal have no shortage of fast and athletic players. The pair of teams will both look to move the ball around, but it may take awhile for the game to settle down. Cal’s defense must be prepared for Washington’s long throw, which they have seen in past seasons and has contributed to Washington’s success. The Huskies' first two goals against UCLA came off of Steven Wright's long throw. 

The Bears without Klinsmann

The Bears take the field Sunday without their starting goalkeeper, Jonathan Klinsmann. The sophomore keeper was selected to the U.S. U20 Men’s National Team and is currently competing in the Men’s Four Nation Tournament in London, England. Freshman goalkeeper, Drake Callendar started for the Bears in their last game against the Beavers and had nine saves. Hopefully, Callender and an experienced defensive line for the Bears will be enough to stop the Husky attack.