Cal Opens Pac-12 Play Vs. Colorado
BERKELEY - California women's soccer opens Pac-12 play this week as they host Colorado at Edwards Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Insider.
Cal finished non-conference play with a 4-1-2 record as the Bears have only conceded three goals. Cal's defense has posted four shutouts in seven games and proved difficult to score on.
Cal was selected to finish sixth in the Pac-12 this season, while Colorado was picked eighth in the preseason poll of the league's coaches.
Cal and Colorado have played 12 times in the schools' history, with the series being tied at 5-5-2. The Buffaloes had the upper hand when the teams met in March. Colorado scored in the 44th and 73rd minutes to take a 2-0 lead. Sydney Collins scored her first career goal in the 80th minute, but the Bears were unable to complete the comeback.
Tickets are free for fans coming to Edwards Stadium for Saturday's contest vs. Colorado.
Pac-12 Insider is the free, 24/7 streaming channel from Pac-12 Networks - no subscriptions or paywalls. Pac-12 Insider is currently available on nine partner platforms, including Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio, Xumo, Sports on Tubi, Local Now, Redbox, Sling and Sportstribal, as well as Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app.
Cal has had one of the best defenses in the country this year, allowing only 0.43 goals per game and only 7.7 shots per contest. Cal has controlled possession in the majority of their non-conference contests leading to a massive 17.0-7.7 advantage in shots. The Bears have only permitted opponents to register 20 shots on goal in seven contests, 2.86 on-target attempts per game.
Consequently, the Bears have posted four shutouts in seven games and have not allowed more than one goal in any game so far this year.
Cal's No. 1 ranked recruiting class has made waves immediately. Three of the Bears' top four scorers are freshman: Karlie Lema (3 goals, 6 points) leads the team while Ari Manrique (1 goal, 3 points) and Jordyn Young (1 goal, 3 points) have also had an immediate impact.
Additionally, Ayo Oke has one assist in three games at right back. Marleen Rohde has started six games and is third on the team in shots with 14. Noelle Bond-Flasza has played in all seven games, while Maya Griffin, Alexis Wright and Velize King have all seen time.
The Bears have a deep roster of contributors that have positively impacted the team this year. The Bears have played 18 or more players in every game this year and have played more than 20 on five occasions. 26 different players have logged minutes so far during the 2021 season.
12 different players have scored points for the Bears so far. Karlie Lema leads the way with three goals and six points. Rilee Harmon has a team-best two assists.
Cal features a set of twins in Amaya and Anysa Gray. The sophomores from East Palo Alto have been constants in the Bears' attack.
Both have played six games as Amaya has started four and Anysa three. Amaya has three points as she scored the game-tying goal vs. Saint Mary's, which rescued a draw for the Bears. Anysa scored the game-winning goal against Portland in the 83rd minute.
Angelina Anderson is now fifth on Cal's all-time saves list. She passed Mary Harvey in the 2021 season opener as she recorded three saves vs. UCSD. She now has 164 in her career. Harvey had 156 career saves. Anderson also has 17 career shutouts and is just three away from tying for fifth on Cal's all-time list.
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 secure a draw.
The Bears excellence on defense enjoys the benefit of an experienced backline. Emily Smith is in her fifth-year as a starter, Sydney Collins and Abena Aidoo are both in their fourth year as starters. Collins and Smith are two of the Bears' captains, along with junior goalkeeper Angelina Anderson.
The Bears also benefit from the play of holding midfielder Paige Metayer, who sits in front of the backline and breaks up plays. Metayer is in her fourth year in the program, and has been a starter every season.