Arioto, USA Softball Win Olympic Opener
TOKYO, Japan – The 2020 Tokyo Olympics opened on Tuesday evening as four Cal Olympians took part in the first day of action. Soccer and softball were the first two sports to begin group play in the Olympics that were postponed from last summer and it didn't take long for the Bears to make an impact.
Softball: USA 2, Italy 0
After 13 years, softball made a return to the Olympics and Cal alumnus Valerie Arioto scored the first run for the United States as they won their opener vs. Italy, 2-0. USA Softball won their group play opener as they will play a round robin vs. the other five teams in the tournament with the top two teams slated for the Gold Medal match.
After a hitless, scoreless first three innings, Arioto slapped a single for the first hit of the day in the fourth. Two batters later, Arioto scored from second on a single from Michelle Moultrie to tally the first run. The Americans would add an insurance run in the fifth inning as Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott combined for a one-hit shutout.
USA Softball will be back in action Wednesday afternoon as they take on Canada at 5 p.m. PT.
Women's Soccer: USA 0, Sweden 3 - New Zealand 1, Australia 2
Cal's Alex Morgan started at forward for the United States, but played just 45 minutes as she was subbed off at halftime for Carli Lloyd. Morgan had one shot on goal in the first half and left with the Americans trailing 1-0 in a match they would ultimately lose 3-0.
The loss for the top-ranked team in the world ended a 44-match unbeaten streak. Sweden, who came in ranked fifth in the world, is leading the group. Stina Blackstenius scored twice for Sweden and her substitute in the second half, Lina Hurtig, got a third. The USA is last in the group after the first round of play, but the top three teams from the group will advance.
The other game in the group featured two more Bears as Betsy Hassett and Daisy Cleverley lined up for the New Zealand Football Ferns. Hassett played the full 90 minutes, starting at right wing while Cleverley joined the action as a 68th minute substitute.
The Ferns lost their opener to Australia, 2-1, as Sam Kerr and Tameka Yallop scored in the first 33 minutes to put Australia up at the half. Gabi Rennie pulled one back for New Zealand in stoppage time. New Zealand is in third place in the group, ahead of the United States on goal differential.
The group stage continues Saturday with New Zealand set to play the United States in a game featuring three Bears.
CalBears.com will have daily coverage of the Olympics, and fans can also follow the Golden Bears on Cal's social media accounts. All Olympic content can be found at CalBears.com/Olympics.