September 20, 2009

No. 7 Cal Edges Santa Clara in Bay Area Classic

Sept. 20, 2009

Final Stats |  Action Photos 

BERKELEY, Calif. - No. 7 California remained perfect at home, earning a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara in a hotly-contested meeting between the two local schools Sunday in Berkeley. It was the second and final game for both in the 2009 edition of the four-team Bay Area Classic.

Tied 1-1 at the half, California (5-1-0) faced its toughest challenge since losing in overtime at then-No. 1 Maryland September 6.

A flurry of offense immediately following the intermission nearly allowed Santa Clara a lead. A shot by Ross Smith, another by Jalil Anibaba and a third by Erik Hurtado all managed to be denied by the Cal defense.

Santa Clara (2-4-0) was trying to rebound from Thursday's 2-0 loss to Stanford. For the first time since 2002 the Broncos were swept by its local neighbors from the Pac-10 Conference.

"There were a lot of things I saw today that impressed me on both sides," said Santa Clara Head Coach Cameron Rast. "Credit Cal for two terrific goals today, but it goes without saying that we can't give up three goals and expect to win. That is not our trademark. We have got to address that problem and get better in the backfield."

The Bears had taken a 1-0 lead inside the first eight minutes when 6-foot 4-inch forward Jeff Cosgriff leaped over the Santa Clara defense to head-in Hector Jimenez's free kick from 20 yards out. .

Santa Clara responded moments later with an unassisted equalizer by Hurtado. The freshman, who was introduced as a collegiate starter for the first time Sunday, dribbled through Cal's center-defenders and ricocheted a shot off the left post and into the back of the net, tying the match 1-1.

Cal almost added a second first-half goal if not for an offside penalty and a foul inside the box wiping-away a pair of opportunities.

The game changed instantly in the 58th minute when Jimenez sprinted down the right side of the field and delivered a near-perfect cross that All-America forward Andrew Wiedeman put past Larry Jackson.

Wiedeman's tally put the homestanding Bears up 2-1, a lead they would work hard to protect until Wiedeman provided an insurance goal, cleaning up a rebound with 19 minutes left.

"I would like to see us improve in our judgement and decision making," said Rast. "Handling pressure, being able to pick our spots to attack, recognizing situations; these are things we need to address before conference play begins."

The Broncos now prepare for a home match with Brown University Friday as part of a men's and women's doubleheader, then play local rival San Jose State on the road Sunday.