You win some, you lose some — and after letting go of their eight-game win streak, Cal’s luck has finally started looking up.
The Bears had a quick turnaround after their two Pac-12 conference games in Arizona against ASU and University of Arizona this past weekend, losing the first then clutching the second respectively.
Despite a head start with senior Keely Roy’s fifth goal of the season only 10 minutes in, the Sun Devils dusted the Bears at their conference game in Tempe on Thursday, leaving a disappointing 1-2 final score for Cal and furthering ASU’s unbeaten season.
Although ball possession was mostly heavily guarded by the Bears, both sides were all over the field pressuring their opposition, putting each team’s defense to the test. Roy’s goal, the only one scored by Cal, came as a penalty kick after a foul for a handball on ASU, swerving the ball past the unknowing goalie.
Cal had a plethora of opportunities, with six corner-kicks and eight total shots, but did not hold up against the Sun Devil’s craftiness, as the enemy slowly infiltrated the Bears’ renowned rigid defense.
Alexia Delgado scored the first goal for ASU after a pass from Arizona State forward Nicole Douglas around 20 minutes in, slipping left past Cal’s star goalkeeper Angelina Anderson.
Even with the Bears crowded around the penalty box, edging on bringing up the score during the second half, ASU kept blocking the ceaseless kicks and passes from Cal.
The energy changed as the second half came to a close, and the Sun Devils’ returning Eva van Deursen hit the final goal and solidified the win. Both Deursen and Delgado have made five goals in their last five games, emphasizing the offensive strength of their team. Courtney Boone attempted a final shot in the last minute of the game, but just narrowly missed, skimming the top of the goal.
The following Sunday in Tucson came as much-needed reassurance for the Golden Bears as they regained their footing against University of Arizona 1-0 coming after two consecutive losses against UCLA and ASU. Consistent with its game against ASU and its playing style, Cal corralled the ball for most of the game.
The winning goal was scored by Karlie Lema, who was stylishly assisted by dependable Roy. Roy brought the ball up the right side of the field, and after evading much of Arizona’s defense, was able to pass it off to Lema. Lema’s shot went straight through, catching Arizona’s goalkeeper Hope Hisey off guard.
Lema has shown beyond a doubt to be a personalized nightmare for the Wildcats, recurring with this goal since the last time the teams were matched up and she scored the game-winning overtime goal.
Still, Arizona’s defense was a tough opponent even with Cal’s shot average per game at a solid 12.4, only allowing six shots which matched their own. In comparison, Cal’s Anderson has been working her way up the chain, claiming the second-highest total career shutouts with her 25th all-time shutout against Arizona.
After the two Arizona games, Cal stands at an overall of 6-3-3, with its conference slate at 1-2-0. The Bears’ game against the Wildcats proves that they’re not willing to stand down in the face of defeat.
Will they be able to respark their streak in their upcoming game against Washington State?