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Cal’s Southern CA road trip goes south

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OCTOBER 26, 2022

Cal men’s soccer made its way down south this past weekend for two matches against two strong Southern California opponents. The last time the blue and gold took a trip south, their matches resulted in two draws. Unfortunately, the results for this weekend were not any better as the Bears’ struggles continue to get back in the win column. 

The first stop on the tour began with a match against UCLA on Thursday. The Bruins were coming off of two wins and looking to continue their win streak against Ca  while the Bears had just suffered two tough losses and wanted to bounce back. UCLA had already gotten the better of its Northern California foe in Cal earlier in the year; now, the Bruins were going for the season sweep on their home turf. 

The game started off competitively as both teams battled to see who was going to strike first. A costly foul from Cal’s Cameron Robie, however, put the blue and gold down a man for the remainder of the match in the 32nd minute. This development completely changed the complexion of the game. Down one, Cal was forced to play a little tighter while the Bruins applied all of the pressure. UCLA eventually broke through with a goal in the 42nd minute just before halftime. 

In the second half, despite missing a player, the Bears came out and were on the attack. They did not stay defensive-minded as was expected when playing with 10 men, but they came out in scoring mode. There were a few chances for Cal to score in the second half, but none of the players found the back of the net. UCLA did not add on in the second half, and the match ended with a Bruin win 1-0. 

“I was really proud of the group for battling and pushing the tempo of the game, even though we were a man down and still creating a lot of chances for us to even the score,” said Cal head coach Leonard Griffin.

The second game of the trip for the Bears took them further south to San Diego to face SDSU on Sunday. With the Padres having just lost their series with the Phillies, San Diegans needed something to cheer about — but Cal was looking to spoil those plans. 

SDSU saw one of Cal’s three victories of the season as the blue and gold got the best of the team in Berkeley; but this time, the Aztecs were the one going for the season sweep. The Bears drew first blood with freshman Kevin Carmichael scoring his first collegiate goal, putting Cal up 1-0 in the 33rd minute. The Bears took this lead into halftime, feeling good about their chances.

Up a goal, all Cal had to do was defend for 45 more minutes. However, the Aztecs refused to back down and were able to score an equalizer in the 71st minute. They were not done, though, as they came right back in the 75th minute to put the home team up 2-1. Now Cal was the one in desperation mode, looking for a goal in the final 15 minutes just to pull out a draw. 

“We showed a lot of character after going down 2-1,” Griffin said. “To continue to flight and battle back to get a goal inside of the last five minutes shows some of the high character we’ve shown at other points in the season.”

Their prayers were answered in the 87th minute when a handball in the box led to a blue and gold penalty. Fahmi Ibrahim stepped up and calmly knocked it through to earn his sixth goal of the season and tie the match at two goals apiece, which was the final.  

Cal men’s soccer moves to 3-6-5 following its weekend in Southern California and is currently sitting at the bottom of the Pac-12 conference rankings. There are three home games left in the season against three tough conference opponents. 

Contact Emery Goulet at 


OCTOBER 26, 2022