Comeback Comes Up Just Short At San Diego State
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Maya Lawliss scored a career-high four goals and Cal rallied from four goals down to tie the game late in the second half before the comeback eventually came up just short in an 11-10 loss to San Diego State in a non-conference game on Easter Sunday at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
Cal had trailed by as many as four goals as early as 5-1 with 15:59 to go in the first and as late as 9-5 with 27:22 to go in the game when Emily Resnick connected on a goal assisted by Julia Sheehan with 27:22 to go.
But the Golden Bears would score the next four goals and evened the game at 9-9 when Lawliss scored her second of the four goals and her fourth of the game with 13:56 to go. Both of Lawliss' first-half goals (14:01, 0:55) were unassisted while assisted on her two second-half tallies (17:44, 13:56) came from Marisa Kuberra and Ashley Ward.
But the game would remain tied at 9-9 for only 34 seconds until Avonna Usher tallied with 13:22 remaining on an assist from Camdyn O'Donnell to put San Diego State back in front, 10-9. The Aztecs would hold on to the slim one-goal margin for nearly the next nine minutes, saving two of three Cal shots taken during the period, before O'Donnell added an unassisted insurance goal with 4:10.
San Diego State would end up needing that insurance goal when Sophia Cerino scored unassisted on a free position shot with 0:27 remaining but Jones was able to come up with the ensuing draw control and the Aztecs successfully ran out the clock despite a late exchange of turnovers in Cal's territory.
"I'm so proud of the team for the comeback and grinding until the final whistle," head coach Brooke Eubanks. "It was a big moment when Sophia [Cerino] finished on our last free position to put us within one."
Seven of Cal's goals came from the bench trio of Lawliss, Lily Berger and Amanda Morse. Berger scored unassisted with 8:48 and 5:45 to go in the first half as Cal was able to cut one goal from an early 5-1 deficit to make it 8-5 in favor of San Diego State at the break. Morse started Cal's second-half comeback with an unassisted goal with 25:37 remaining in the contest.
"We have a lot of offensive ability from many players," Eubanks said. "It was huge to have people rotating through and making an impact."
Three Cal starters also registered single goals in Cerino, Kuberra (23:51 first half, unassisted) and Nikki Zaccaro (14:58 second half, unassisted).
Cal continued its strong draw control play in the contest as the Bears won the category, 15-8, to make the seventh time in 11 games this season that Cal has had more draw controls than its opponent.
"It was a super fun game to play in," Lawliss said. "After a few mistakes early in the game, we were able to work together and string together some goals to close the gap. It felt great to be able to help the team keep the game close. I am excited to head back home for our games next weekend. It will be nice to be back on our home turf and fight for some Pac-12 wins."
Cal both returns home and begins the second half of Pac-12 play next Friday (5 pm PT) and Sunday (2 pm PT) when the Bears host Oregon and Colorado.
"Round two of the Pac-12 schedule will give us an opportunity to build off of and grow from our experiences in round one," Eubanks said. "We are excited to see our Pac-12 opponents again."