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Golden Nuggets: Luke Rubenzer's Boost to Cal Defense

Men's and Women's Soccer both finish off impressive victories.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Soccer

Cal Upsets No. 25 UCSB 3-2

BERKELEY - The season's third overtime game resulted in California's first win against a top-25 opponent on Saturday night.

In the 100' of action, Christian Thierjung, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, put one in the net off an assist from Spencer Held to rout No. 25 UC Santa Barbara 3-2 in the Golden Bears first road win.

Cal (4-2-1) trailed twice in the game, but was able to rebound after tough goalie play by Jonathan Klinsmann kept the Bears in the game.

Jose Carrera-Garcia notched the equalizer in the 63' on a rebound assist from Aravind Sivakumar, while Nick Lima hit another to tie things up at 2-2 in the 86'.

Klinsmann, who played the entire game, recorded eight saves against stout attacks from the Gauchos (4-5-0). UCSB's Kevin Feucht and Nick DePuy scored in the 59' and 77', respectively.

"It was a fanstastic game between two very high quality teams," said head coach Kevin Grimes. "We had to dig deep within ourselves to play as well as we did."

Women's Soccer

Corbin Leads No. 20 Cal Over OSU

BERKELEY --- Freshman Mia Corbin scored the first two goals of her collegiate career and senior Arielle Ship nearly tied a 27-year old assist record in No. 20 California's 3-0 Pac-12 opening victory over Oregon State on Friday afternoon at Goldman Field.

The Golden Bears (8-2) improved to 5-4-1 in conference openers under head coach Neil McGuire (since 2007) and 6-0 at home this season with its fifth Berkeley shutout of the year.

"With us starting our Pac-12 schedule, it's important that you start out strong and I feel we did that," McGuire said. "Oregon State is a great team and they have had some great results so far this season. We knew that they would come out organized and committed so I'm proud of the girls."


Inside the Lair: Luke Rubenzer gives Defense New Perspective

Safety Luke Rubenzer is off to a good start towards accomplishing his goal this season.

The former quarterback who converted to safety wants to collect at least one turnover in each game in 2016. So far through three games, he has done just that.

He is currently tied for second in the nation in fumble recoveries with two, one in each of the first two games, and last Saturday against Texas he came up with a big momentum-changing interception.

"It was awesome," Rubenzer said about the interception. "It was a key point in the game after giving up that safety. We needed a big play, so I was really glad I could come up with one and help give us the lead. I just watched the quarterback's eyes. He was looking at the same receiver the whole time. I reacted to it and jumped the route."

Cornerback Darius Allensworth wasn't surprised when he heard Rubenzer's goal for this season. Since Rubenzer switched from quarterback to safety, he and Allensworth have become good friends and Allensworth sees his dedication at every practice.

Allensworth said it's Rubenzer's heart and competitive drive that has quickly and seamlessly turned him from an offensive-minded player to a defensive playmaker.

"I could tell throughout the offseason that he was motivated, but that's just Luke being Luke," Allensworth said. "He's a competitor. He's not the tallest or the fastest, but he's making plays. He plays with tremendous heart. Being an ex-quarterback, he's helped me and the rest of the defensive backs with seeing the field differently."