Cal Takes On Portland, Saint Mary’s This Weekend
BERKELEY – California women's soccer returns to action this week with two games against tough opposition. The Bears head to Oregon to take on the Portland Pilots at 4 p.m. on Friday before returning to Berkeley for a 4 p.m. matchup vs. Saint Mary's (CA) on Sunday.
Cal opened the 2021 season with a win and a draw in the first week of action. The Bears defeated UC San Diego with a comfortable 3-0 win in the season opener before going toe-to-toe with the defending champion, Santa Clara, on Saturday. The Bears and Broncos couldn't be separated after 110 minutes as both teams notched a goal. Santa Clara came into the game ranked second in the nation, but the Bears withstood a late onslaught to hold onto the tie.
The last time Cal played Portland, the Pilots were able to snap Cal's eight-match winning streak during the 2019 season. The Bears are 5-7-2 vs. Portland in the school's history. Saint Mary's is Cal's second-most common non-conference opponent, only trailing Santa Clara. The Bears are 17-8-4 all-time vs. Saint Mary's (CA) and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 meetings, although the Gaels won when the two teams last squared off in 2016.
Cal will have free admission to all home non-conference matchups during the 2021 season, including Sunday's matchup vs. Saint Mary's (CA).
Angelina Anderson is now fifth on Cal's all-time saves list. She passed Mary Harvery in the 2021 season opener as she recorded three saves vs. UCSD and now has 157 in her career. Harvey had 156 career saves.
Anderson was named National Freshman of the Year in 2019 as well as Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and Freshman of the Year. She was the first player to win both Freshman of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year in the conference. She earned second-team All-Pac-12 last season as she's proven to be one of the top shot stoppers in the nation.
A QUICK INTRO
Makena Smith joined the Bears' soccer team two days before the game vs. Santa Clara on 8/22. She had one day of practice before the junior was introduced to the lineup in goal vs. #2 Santa Clara. Smith was named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week for her performance. Smith is an All-Pac-12 catcher on the Cal softball team, but had experience playing for Legends FC club prior to joining Cal.
She stepped into the lineup and recorded seven saves in 110 minutes of action against the defending NCAA champions and helped Cal sercure a draw.
NO. 1 RECRUITING CLASS COMES TO CAL
For the 2021 season, the Bears welcome the top-ranked recruiting class in the country according to TopDrawerSoccer. Cal welcomed 14 new student-athletes in the class of 2021.
Noelle Bond-Flasza, Cailin Bloom, Courtney Boone, Maya Griffin, Velize King, Kei Kitamura, Karlie Lema, Ari Manrique, Aasha McLyn, Ayo Oke, Marleen Rohde, Aaliyah Schinaman, Alexis Wright and Jordyn Young make up the class of fantastic freshmen.
Of the 13 national recruits, 11 are ranked in the Top-200, including No. 25 Oke, No. 28 Manrique, and No. 36 Lema. TopDrawerSoccer gave nine recruits a four-star rating, with two rated as three-star athletes. Eight athletes have national team experience, including international recruit, Rohde, who was ranked as one of TopDrawerSoccer's international newcomers to watch.
The Bears bring back the majority of the team that played during the 2020-21 season. The squad finished the season 5-7-1 in a shortened, conference-only, spring schedule.
For the 2021 season, 21 of the 24 players that saw minutes during the 2020-21 season return. Cal returns 19 of the 20 players that made starts last season, with Kailee Gifford the lone departure, after she started all 13 matches last year.
The Bears return student-athletes who have combined for 358 starts and 533 games played in their Cal careers. The experienced group will add the top-ranked recruiting class for the 2021 season.
Seniors Emily Smith and Emma Westin return for a fifth year in 2021. The duo, who have been roommates since freshman year, are eligible for an extra season due to the rule change resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two are team captains along with senior Sydney Collins and junior Angelina Anderson. This is the fourth straight year that Smith has been a team captain and the second year for both Westin and Collins.
DRAFT AND STAY
Racing Louisville FC selected defender Emily Smith in the second round of the 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Draft. Smith, chosen with the 31st overall pick, decided to play one more season with the Bears in 2021, before reporting to Louisville for the 2022 season.
IN THE ONE HUNDRED
Two Bears earned national recognition on TopDrawerSoccer prior to the start of the 2021 season. Defender Emily Smith ranks No. 55 in the National Top 100, while goalkeeper Angelina Anderson ranks No. 83.