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Cal Falls To Stanford In Opener

Feb 20, 2021
Tommy Williamson assisted on Cal's goal against Stanford.

BERKELEY - Down 1-0 after a first-half goal, Cal bounced back to tie Stanford early in the second half with a Christian Gomez strike before the Cardinal prevailed, 3-1, in the Golden Bears' season opener under the lights at Witter Rugby Field.

Fifteen months after its 2019 season ended, Cal opened its 2021 spring regular season at 0-1 (0-1 Pac-12. Stanford improved to 3-0 (1-0 Pac-12).
 
The Cardinal put Cal under a lot of pressure in the first half, outshooting the Bears, 11-2. Cal goalkeeper Chris Gustini made three saves, and Stanford missed some good chances before taking a 1-0 lead on a Gabe Segal goal in the 36th minute.
 
Stanford took that lead into halftime.
 
In the second half, Cal forward Tommy Williamson blasted a close-range shot that Stanford goalkeeper Andrew Thomas parried into the path of Gomez, who stuck the ball into the net in the 50th minute. That gave Gomez – who scored one goal in 2019 – his second career goal as a Bear. 

Christian Gomez scored Cal's first goal of the season.

 
The 1-1 tie held until the 65th minute, when forward Zach Ryan scored the first of his two goals on the night, giving Stanford a 2-1 lead. Ryan struck again in the 77th minute, and Stanford led 3-1.
 
Cal's Collin Travasos played the final 45 minutes in goal and made two saves.
 
"The victory tonight was getting back on the field in a real game after 15-plus months," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "Secondly, we had many players make their college debut, and they all did quite well. All told, a soccer match is exactly what we needed to get ourselves in top form."
 
Cal returns to action on Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. when the Bears host Washington in another Pac-12 clash at Witter Rugby Field.