Cal Scores Late Winner To Topple OSU
BERKELEY - California women's soccer dominated possession and finally found a breakthrough with an 82nd minute winner, which helped the Bears claim a 2-1 win over Oregon State during Pac-12 play on Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.
The winner came after Cal took its eighth corner kick of the match. Ari Manrique launched a ball into the middle of the box, but OSU headed the ball clear. Sydney Collins jumped on the loose ball, firing a shot into a pack of players, the ball deflected, but Marleen Rohde was the quickest to react. The freshman side-footed the ball into the net for her first career goal to put the Bears in front.
"It was a bit of a scramble in the box, but Marleen is very technical as a player," head coach Neil McGuire said. "She was able to maintain composure and she finished it well. The Pac-12 is always going to have tight matches and it's always going to come down to the last five minutes because teams are so good."
Cal would kill off the rest of the game, and claim their first Pac-12 win of the season. In the process, Cal (5-2-3, 1-1-1) handed Oregon State (9-2-0, 1-2-0) their second loss of the season. OSU entered Sunday's contest ranked No. 11 in the RPI and receiving votes in the most recent coaches poll. They also secured a 2-1 win against No. 7 Stanford in the game before playing the Bears.
The Bears opened the scoring in the 32nd minute as Natalie Hueston scored her second career goal and first of the season. Skylar Briggs started the move as she came down the right flank, she played a through ball to Alexis Wright, who took the ball to the endline. Wright crossed the ball to the middle where Hueston was able to beat the keeper to the ball. She pulled the ball back to her left foot and chipped it over the keeper and into the side netting on the far post.
"Natalie came in and did an excellent job," McGuire said. "We know of her quality. We felt like today's matchup was going to be a good one for her and she took her goal well."
However, Cal's lead did not last long. 97 seconds after the Bears took the lead, the Beavers pegged them back with a free kick goal. Oregon State won the free kick just to the right of center 25 yards away from goal. Brianna McReynolds hit the ball on a line and was able to find the net from the ensuing free kick.
"We were disappointed with the goal we gave up," McGuire said. "We had worked on set pieces this week, but it's proof that we need to do better, myself as a coach, the team as a whole. We have to continue to work to grow in that space. But I thought the response in the second half was excellent. We created a lot of goal scoring chances today and we want to stay sharp in the box to see if we can turn them into goals."
The Bears dominated possession, controlling 67 percent of the ball. Cal also dominated with a 19-4 edge in shots and a 6-1 advantage in shots on goal. The Bears exerted consistent pressure on the Beavers. Neither team recorded a shot in the first 10 minutes of the game, but the intensity was extremely high.
"This team is very proud of itself and wants to do well for each other and for the program," McGuire said. "They were disappointed with the result on Thursday so the collective idea was to come out and have more energy, be better in possession and press better. I think it showed over the course of 90 minutes."
Cal also did not allow a corner kick while taking eight of their own.
The Bears return to action on Thursday as they travel to Washington to take on the Huskies at 7 p.m., the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.