The pressure is on for the Bears as they prepare to face off against No. 1 UCLA on Friday, Sept. 23, in a match that will mark the end of the winning streak for one of these teams.
UCLA remains undefeated with an overall score of 8-0 while the Bears have yet to lose a game since their first match this season against the UC Irvine Anteaters.
During the 2021 season, Cal fell to UCLA in a close match with a score of 1-0. The winning goal was made by midfielder Mia Fishel, who, luckily for the Bears, is not on this season’s roster. Will this give the Bears the advantage they need over the Bruins to maul their streak of victory?
When comparing how Cal was performing around this time last year, the Bears are relatively around the same overall score. In 2021, after their ninth game, their score stood at 4-2-3, while their current score stands at 5-1-3. This year, the Bears hold one more victory and one less loss, but it remains to be seen whether this is enough to predict a win against the No. 1 team in the conference.
The Bears have shown great defense throughout this entire season and have dominated the field this past week. In an impressive feat, they have not allowed a single goal to be scored in the last four games, as well as only allowing four goals to be scored in nine games.
Cal has acquired five shutouts so far, preventing any team from scoring more than one goal. Additionally, defender Sydney Collins was named Pac-12 Defender of the Week for the second week in a row, having only let in four shots on goal so far this season, as well as four corner kicks, in two games.
Angelina Anderson’s stifling defense has been pivotal for Cal’s successful season so far. Anderson currently holds 25 shutouts throughout her time with the Bears, and is third in all-time school history. She has been named Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the week five times, and has held down the fort as team captain during her sophomore and junior years. Cal’s offense has been stellar, with a total of 121 goals fired, almost double the amount from its opponents, who mark 65 goals shot.
Keely Roy continues to lead the team with three goals, an impressive start to the season for Roy as she did not score any goals for Cal last season. Roy has not only shown that she can score, but that she can also assist, pulling off an impressive assist to Ari Manrique during Cal’s match against UNLV.
Marique herself leads close behind, with two goals under her belt. She has also improved from her first season, during which she had only scored one goal for the Bears. Karlie Lema and Anysa Gray have both scored one goal each for Cal so far, and were key players last season: Lema led the team with six goals, with Gray following in second with two scored goals and one assist.
Ayo Oke is in the lead for assists with a total of three, including the only goal scored against USF. Oke currently stands with the same number of points she accumulated during the last season, during which she had scored and assisted one goal respectively. Oke scored the game-winning goal in Cal’s 1-0 win against Arizona State on Senior Day during the 2021 season as a freshman.
Cal has many instrumental players on its team, and has a high potential of winning against UCLA, especially after the season it’s been having so far. Will the Bruins rain on the Bears’ parade, or will UCLA walk away with a tear in its marked winning streak?