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Cal shines against Oregon, struggles with Colorado

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MARCH 22, 2023

2-5, 2-16 and 2-16. These are the records of each of Cal’s previous three seasons. Under new head coach Jennifer Wong, the Bears have already improved upon the past three seasons with a 3-6 record so far this year.

Cal accomplished this feat in a stunning 13-12 win against Oregon on Friday, but went on to lose 3-20 to Colorado on Sunday.

The Bears have shown consistent improvement in light of some difficult losses.

“Colorado was obviously a little setback … but in general, I think we are performing at a higher level each week. The key is going to be continuing that progress as we go along,” Wong said. “After playing the Colorado game, we know exactly … what we need to work on and get better at, and so the team is really excited — that Oregon win was huge for them.”

In the game against Oregon, Cal owned the draw control margin by four, led by junior midfielder Kennedy Goss, who had eight of her own. The Bears dominated early, going up three goals and were driven throughout by senior midfielder Maya Lawliss, who scored four.

In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Alicia Souliotis played a huge role in keeping the Ducks’ offense at bay by notching 10 saves.

“Being able to go up three was really helpful and we were able to ride that wave the rest of the game,” Wong said. “From start to finish, they played their game and we had prepared well … and they knew what they wanted to do.”

In the game against Colorado, the Bears did not fare nearly as well in any stat category.

Cal struggled to contain a relentless Buff attack, allowing 20 goals on 36 shots. On the other hand, the Bears were only able to put up 13 shots scoring just three goals.

Nonetheless, the Bears have consistently found ways to grab positives from all of their games regardless of the box score.

“It gives us a learning experience,” Wong said. “They took it to us, there’s no doubt about that. And so now we have to go back and figure out how to up our level in order to play at that level. And I think both Stanford and Colorado showed us what it’s going to take to be competitive within the Pac-12.”

At 1-2, Cal is now fourth in Pac-12 win percentage behind Stanford, USC and Colorado at press time.

What might be the brightest note from a hard-fought weekend is Goss’ continual rise on the all-time career draw controls list at Cal. With 161 career draw controls, Goss is now only two places behind LizaBanks Campagna, who holds the all-time school record of 178.

Goss is now third on this season’s Pac-12 draw controls standings with 42. Goss is just behind USC’s Catherine Lord with 44 draw controls, and Stanford’s Annabel Frist with 69.

“No matter what’s happening, and no  matter whether she won the last (draw control), (Goss) will get back out there and try to figure out what works,” Wong said. “Her dedication to the draw is definitely something that helps our team … and she’s working really hard to be more than just a draw specialist. She sets the tone for how the whole thing goes.”

Goss and the Bears will continue to strive for improvements and winning outcomes as they pursue the rest of conference play.

Cal will now have two weeks time for rest, recovery and preparation before it faces the USC Trojans, who are currently leading the Pac-12 in their overall season’s win percentage at 6-2.

Contact Logan Ghecea at 


MARCH 22, 2023