Cal Opens Season With Thorough Victory
SAN DIEGO - California women's soccer opened the 2021 season on Thursday afternoon with a 2-0 win over UC San Diego at Triton Soccer Stadium.
Paige Metayer opened the scoring for the Bears with a goal in the 43rd minute. Cal had a free kick from the right wing, but UCSD was able to clear the initial ball into the box. Abby Borchers picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and lofted a ball to the back post where Metayer was waiting. Metayer controlled the ball with the outside of her right foot and slotted it to the keeper's left to put the Bears up.
The Bears (1-0-0) added to their lead in the second half, courtesy of a goal from Mia Fontana in the 62nd minute. Ayo Oke created the goal after picking the ball up on the right flank. The freshman made a move to get around the outside, got to the touchline and played a ball through the six-yard box on the ground to Fontana who was waiting on the back post to tap it in and give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Rilee Harmon almost added a third with seven minutes remaining as she hit a curling effort from 25 yards out which hit the post and bounced out. Natalie Hueston also had a great chance on a breakaway, but UCSD's Grace Taylor made a save.
Eventually, Jordyn Young did provide the Bears with a third goal as the freshman scored with 34 seconds remaining in the game. Abena Aidoo lofted a ball forward, and Young was able to get past the defense, take a touch around the goalie and secure the win.
UCSD had more shots on goal in the first half than the Bears, but that stat was a little misleading as the Tritons were happy to shoot from distance, with none of the efforts troubling Angelina Anderson. The three first-half saves moved Anderson past Mary Harvey for fifth on Cal's all-time saves list as she now has 157 in her career.
The Bears controlled possession throughout the first half, generating five shots including a hard-hit effort from Keely Roy that went just over the bar. The Bears doubled their efforts in the second half as they finished the game with 23 shots and 15 shots on goal as they used their depth to take over the game.
Cal played 21 players in the first half and 23 players in the game, including seven freshmen who made their collegiate debut: Ari Manrique and Oke started for the Bears while Young, Karlie Lema, Marleen Rohde, Velize King and Noelle Bond-Flasza made appearances off the bench.
The Bears will be back in action on Sunday for their home opener as they take on the defending NCAA Champions and No. 2 ranked Santa Clara. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. PT at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. Admission is free for the game and will be free for the entirety of Cal's five-game, non-conference home schedule.