Bears Topped By Trojans
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears fell 5-0 in a tough matchup against No. 21 USC (7-3-2, 6-3-1 Pac-12) after playing back-to-back games against top-25 opponents. Despite Cal's strong defensive effort that held the Pac-12 shots-per-game leader to just 12 shots, the precision of the USC attack found five goals to edge the Bears. California drops to a 5-6-1 (3-6-0 Pac-12) record after a competitive weekend at home.
The Trojans' first goal occurred in the fifth minute when Croix Bethune struck a shot from the right of the box that zoomed to the top left corner of the net. Mia Fontana tried a shot for the Bears in the 10th minute that went high, and the Trojans took advantage of their next possession. In the 11th minute, Bethune collected a second goal and thrust a shot to the back right of the net that just brushed past Cal goalkeeper Angelina Anderson's gloves.
Strong pressure from the Trojans brought the Bears back to their defensive third following the Cal kickoff. In the 13th minute, Penelope Hocking brought the Trojans to a 3-0 lead. The Trojans drew three corners in the next 10 minutes of game time, but the Cal defense would prevent further damage from USC through the remainder of the half. The Trojans would prevail and score two more goals in the second half, holding the Bears to a shutout.
Amaya Gray was a driving force in the Bears' attack and led the team with three shots. Gray kicked a powerful shot in the 36th minute that went wide after making an impressive tackle to steal the ball back in the final third. Lily Arbabaraghi took a shot on goal in the 41st minute that was saved by USC's Kaylie Collins.
Kaylee Nguyen, Mia Fontana and Skylar Briggs each had one shot on goal for the Bears in the second half. Briggs sent a long-range shot in the dying minutes that found its way to the goalbox but could not get by the USC keeper.
Anderson finished the game with four saves.
Cal concludes its regular season next weekend with Senior Day preceding its April 16 battle with rival Stanford on Witter Rugby Field, with the game scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on the Pac-12 Networks.