Cal Falls To UC Irvine In Opener
IRVINE – California women's soccer opened the 2022 season on Thursday evening as the Bears fell 1-0 against UC Irvine at Anteater Stadium.
The Bears had the majority of possession and outshot the Anteaters, 7-4, but UC Irvine tallied the lone goal of the evening to win the season opener. Cal also had a 3-0 edge in corner kicks and a 3-2 edge in shots on goal.
The best chance of the opening 15 minutes for either team came after the Bears won the ball back with their high press in the attacking third. After the turnover, the ball was played into Karlie Lema who turned and sent the ball across the face of the goal. Velize King made a back-post run, but the ball was just out of reach as King attempted to tap home the opener.
After making some substitutions at the 25-minute mark, the Bears upped the pressure on the Anteaters and controlled the game for the rest of the half. Courtney Boone had a great opportunity for the Bears as she carried the ball out of defense and fired a shot from 25 yards away that went just wide of the post. Mia Fontana powered a shot from the top of the box that looked to be heading towards goal, but was blocked by the UC Irvine defense. Fontana got the ball after a short corner at the top of the box and worked it to her left foot before firing the shot.
The Bears defense was stout all night as they only allowed four shots and two shots on goal. However, against the run of play, UC Irvine took the lead in the 57th minute as Alyssa Moore scored for the Anteaters. Moore won the ball up high, went on a solo run and fired a shot into the lower corner to the keeper's right.
The Bears fought until the end, creating opportunities at the end of the game as they tried to find an equalizer. Sydney Collins had a chance in the 82nd minute off a Bears corner. The ball was lofted to the back post and Collins volleyed it on net, but Glo Hinojosa stopped it for the Anteaters.
Cal will host the Chinese National Team in an exhibition on Saturday afternoon. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. from Edwards Stadium. Admission is free for the exhibition and the game will not be televised.
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