Cal Heads To LA To Take On USC And UCLA
BERKELEY – California women's soccer will begin a season-ending three game road trip on Thursday as they take on USC at 3 p.m. The Bears will follow that with a trip to UCLA on Sunday at 2 p.m. Cal's game vs. USC will be on the Pac-12 Network, while the matchup vs. the Bruins will be on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Los Angeles.
The Bears enter the weekend having won three straight matches, Cal's best winning streak of the season. The Bears are riding the back of a defense that hasn't allowed a goal in 312 minutes and has kept three consecutive shutouts against Utah, Arizona and Arizona State.
Angelina Anderson now has seven shutouts this year and 20 in her career, tied for fourth on Cal's all-time shutout list. Karlie Lema is leading the team with six goals, she scored the decisive goal in overtime vs. Arizona last week. She now has 12 points and four game-winning goals on the season.
In 2019, the Bears beat both USC and UCLA in the same season. Cal won 2-1 at No. 7 UCLA in the team's last matchup in Westwood. They followed that by beating No. 4 USC later in the year by a 3-0 scoreline as Paige Metayer and Emma Westin both got on the scoresheet.
Cal has had one of the best defenses in the country this year, allowing only 0.69 goals per game and only 8.5 shots per contest. Cal has controlled possession in the majority of their non-conference contests leading to a massive 14.5-8.5 advantage in shots. The Bears have only permitted opponents to register 48 shots on goal in 15 contests, 3.2 on-target attempts per game.
Consequently, the Bears have posted seven shutouts in 15 games and have only allowed more than one goal in three games 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 (6 goals, 12 points) leads the team while Ari Manrique (1 goal, 4 points), Jordyn Young (1 goal, 3 points) and Ayo Oke (1 goal, 3 points) have also had an immediate impact.
Additionally, Marleen Rohde scored the game-winning goal vs. OSU and is third on the team in shots with 21. Noelle Bond-Flasza (14 games), Courtney Boone (5 starts, Pac-12 Defender of the Week), Maya Griffin, Alexis Wright (2 assists) 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 17 or more players in all but one game this year and have played more than 20 on nine occasions. 29 different players have logged minutes and 24 players have earned starts so far during the 2021 season.
15 different players have scored points for the Bears so far. Karlie Lema leads the way with six goals and 12 points. Sydney Collins has a team-best four 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.
Amaya has played 10 and started five while Anysa has played 13 and started three. They both have three points as Amaya scored the game-tying goal vs. Saint Mary's, 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 185 in her career. Harvey had 156 career saves. Anderson also has 20 career shutouts and is tied for fourth on the school's all-time shutouts 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.
Courtney Boone (Pac-12 Defender of the Week) and Angelina Anderson (Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week) earned honors after Cal held Utah scoreless in the team's matchup on October 15. Cal held the Utes to only three shots on goal, all of which Anderson saved, including a diving stop of Anna Escobedo in the 37th minute. Anderson kept her fifth shutout of the season and 18th of her career. She is now just two shutouts from breaking into Cal's all-time top five in career shutouts. Boone was starting her third game and playing in her sixth contest. She played 89 minutes at center back for the Bears and was matched up with Utah's leading scorer, Taliana Kaufusi, for most of the game. Boone, Emily Smith and the rest of the Cal defense held Kaufusi without a shot.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
California fifth-year player Emily Smith has been named as one of 30 candidates for the women's soccer 2021 Senior CLASS Award due to her notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character, and competition.
LEAVING IT LATE
Cal has scored seven goals in the final 15 minutes of games this year and added an overtime winner, that has helped the Bears collect an extra four wins and two ties. Cal was able to score twice in the final 10 minutes at Portland to claim a 2-0 win.
The Bears also scored in the 83rd minute vs. Saint Mary's (CA) as Amaya Gray headed home a cross. Gray's goal helped the Bears comeback and secure a draw. Cal opened Pac-12 play with a 77th minute equalizer vs. Colorado to secure a draw. Marleen Rohde scored in the 82nd minute to put the Bears in front and claim a win vs. Oregon State. Karlie Lema scored the lone goal of the game vs. Utah in the 76th minute to help Cal claim a road win. Lema also scored an OT winner vs. Arizona in the 96th minute.