The sixth-seeded California Golden Bears Men's Soccer team defeated the Brown Bears 2-0 on Sunday, November 28 at Edwards Stadium in front of about 2,000 fans to advanced to the elite eight in the NCAA Men's Soccer tournament. Unlike the previous week, when the Golden Bears scored the golden goal and defeated the UCSB Gauchos 2-1 in overtime with 1 second remaining, things didn't get ugly with the officiating or the fans. Cal played stifling defense to shut out the Bears (yes, they are the Brown Bears) and were supported by 9 saves by junior goalkeeper David Bingham, who was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week for his efforts.
There appeared to be a fairly large contingent of Brown fans at the match and I found out from some friends that the Brown Bay Area Alumni Newsletter informed people of the match earlier in the week. Noticeably missing though was the Cal Band, Rally Comm and Oski. Sandy Barbour did show up for a bit of the action.
Cal scored in the 30th minute on a set piece when senior forward Davis Paul crossed a corner kick to sophomore John Fitzpatrick for a header in the left side of the net. Cal went up 2-0 on an own goal when Davis Paul tried to cross the ball and it deflected off of Brown defender Eric Robertson and past goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand.
For the rest of the game, Demetrius Omphroy, Ted Jones, Chris Ortega and Steve Birnbaum frustrated Brown's attackers with their stifling defense, stealing ball ofter ball and clearing the scoring zone. Add to that the awesome effort by Bingham in making incredible save after incredible save and we had the makings of a solid effort to get us to the next round. Steve Birnbaum made what was arguably the play of the game when Bingham was drawn out of the goal and a Brown attacker had what appeared to be an easy shot on goal when Birnbaum races over, slides and kicks the shot over the net.
Great effort guys and good luck on Saturday (Dec 4) against #3 seed Akron (20-1-1) in Ohio at 1 pm PST. You can follow the action on Gametracker or via the men's team's Twitter feed. The other match-ups in the elite eight are #1 Louisville vs. #8 UCLA, #2 Maryland vs. #10 Michigan, #4 North Carolina vs. #5 SMU.
Here are my photos from the match (unfortunately, I didn't get any of the actual scoring):
Ted Jones going for the ball on defense. They only let fans sit on one side of Edwards, the cold side.
Davis Paul with a kick towards the goal. The Brown player with the silly hat in this shot (lower right) and the previous one was pretty scrappy.
Good defense by Brown to keep Cal from scoring.
The celebration after the first goal. Check out that crazy bear mural on the wall behind the players.
Goalkeeper David Bingham with a goal kick. The dude was legit.
Shaking hands with the Brown players after a well-deserved win. Notice Brown out-shot us 15-13 and had 8 corner kicks to our 2.
The team applauding the crowd who showed up to cheer them on.