Cal Falters At Fullerton To Open Season
FULLERTON, Calif. – Shoei Honda scored the Cal men's soccer team's first goal of the season, but the Golden Bears fell to Cal State Fullerton, 3-1, in both teams' season opener on Thursday night at Titan Stadium.
Down 1-0 after a Sander Foro goal in the 12th minute, Cal got a boost from the play of some reserves, including forward Nonso Adimabua. After stealing the ball from Giovanni Calderon, Adimabua had one Titan to beat before possibly forging his way into Fullerton's penalty box. But Calderon pulled Adimabua down to earn a red card.
The 6-4 Adimabua was a handful all night for the Titans and took three of Cal's eight shots.
But with Cal throwing players forward into the attack, Fullerton got goals from Julian Madrigal in the 60th minute and then Sebastian Cruz in the 67th minute.
Trailing 3-0 in the 73rd minute, the Bears served a ball into the box intended for forward Nate Carrasco. As Fullerton goalkeeper Tetsuya Kadono – the brother of former Cal player Shinya Kadono – tried to corral the ball, Carrasco tapped it free, and Honda pounced to send the ball into the back of the net.
"That's Shoei," Cal head coach Leonard Griffin said. "He came back in in the second half and gave us a boost. He's a fox in the box, he's very opportunistic, and I think that's a very good example of what he can bring to the team."
Fullerton held on to the 3-1 advantage to win the game.
"We came out firing and I thought we were playing our match, and we had some moments in the game where I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit, and it was hard to dig ourselves out of that hole," Griffin said. "We'll analyze the game, learn, grow and get better, because we have another big game on Sunday."
Cal plays its home opener on Sunday, when the Bears host Villanova at 1 p.m. on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium.