Cal Drops Pac-12 Quarterfinal To Arizona State, 17-8
TEMPE, Ariz. – Cal's 2022 season came to an end Wednesday when the Golden Bears fell, 17-8, to host Arizona State in a quarterfinal game at the Pac-12 Championships. The fifth-year senior duo of Liz Scott and Nikki Zaccaro led Cal's effort in their final collegiate game with Scott registering a hat trick while Zaccaro also had three points with the game's final goal and two assists.
"We really did leave it all out there, and I think that's very showing of what my career has been here at Cal," Zaccaro said. "We all love each other and there's no other group I'd want to do my fifth year with. I'm just so grateful for the experience and so grateful for the people. The people are really what makes this team special."
"It's definitely not the outcome we expected or wanted especially being the last time you step on the field," Scott added. "But we were the underdogs all year, and to be able to play proudly and leave everything we had on the field every game, that's all you can ask for in a team and that's all you can ask for in your teammates. Overall, I'm so proud of this team. I'm so proud of my teammates for having the resilience and drive that they did all year given all the adversity."
Arizona State jumped out to a 5-1 lead and led wire-to-wire Wednesday with the closest the Bears cut the deficit to the remainder of the contest being three goals twice in the second quarter. The Sun Devils led 11-5 at halftime and scored six of the first seven goals after the break before Cal got the final two.
The Sun Devils had 10 different goal scorers including seven players with a pair of goals each. Emily Glagolev and Carley Adams shared game-high honors with four points on two goals and two assists apiece.
Arizona State's Bella Ingrao had a game-high seven draw controls, while Kennedy Goss had six for the Bears and ended up with a team-high 80 on the season one shy of single-season school-record holder Eliza Christman's 81 in 2019. Arizona State outdrew Cal, 15-14, to leave the Bears with one less draw control than their opponents this season (272-271) to mark the first time in four campaign they have not outdrawn their opponents.
The final goal of the game and Zaccaro's career came when she converted a free position shot with 1:33 left on the clock.
"There's definitely some aspect of it being poetic to go out on that note," Zaccaro said. "I'm happy I had the opportunity. It's something I'll remember forever."
Zaccaro finished her five-year Cal career as the school's all-time leader in games played (79) and assists (93), while contributing other final statistics of 68 starts, 71 goals and 164 points.
In addition to wrapping up her collegiate career, Zaccaro was named the 2022 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier in the day on Wednesday. She finished her undergraduate work at Cal in May of 2021 when she graduated with Distinction in General Scholarship (equivalent to cum laude) and a 3.86 GPA. She is currently enrolled in the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program.
"It's a big honor," Zaccaro said. "I've always really cared about performing on and off the field. One never took precedence over the other, so I'm proud that it can now be recognized."
Scott, who grad transferred to Cal for a fifth collegiate season in 2022 after playing previously at Loyola (Md.), was named second-team All-Pac-12 also earlier in the day on Wednesday. She finished her lone campaign with the Bears as the team's leader in nearly every offensive category including goals (46) and points (54).
But Scott was thinking more about her teammates than her 2022 on-field accomplishments after Wednesday's contest.
"We're a tight group," Scott said about her fellow Golden Bears. "If we gained one thing tonight we realized that we have 26 best friends and close people that we can go to when we really are in a crisis in life, and at the end of the day that's all that matters. It's not the wins and losses. it's not the record book. It's not the Pac-12 honors. It's not how many saves you have or how many goals you have. At the end of the day, it's the people you meet and the relationships you build."
Cal finished its 2022 season with a 2-16 overall mark, while Arizona State is now 10-7 overall and advances to play No. 2 seed USC (13-3) in the second of two Pac-12 semifinals Thursday (7 pm MST). The winner of the Arizona State-USC contest will advance to Saturday's championship game (Noon MST) to play the winner of Thursday's first semifinal (4:30 pm MST) between No. 5 Oregon (5-13) and No. 1 Stanford (10-6). The winner of the Pac-12 Championships will receive the conference's automatic bid to the 29-team NCAA Tournament that begins May 13 at campus sites.