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Golden Medals: Cal Men’s Soccer and Field Hockey are on 5 match winning streaks

Cal Men’s Water Polo edged by UCLA, beats Stanford. Women’s Soccer continues undefeated streak but drops valuable home points in a draw.

Cal Men’s Soccer opened Pac-12 play on Thursday night with a big road win at UCLA.
Cal Men’s Soccer Twitter

There were plenty of successes for Cal Athletics in this past week despite the schedule getting tougher as conference play is essentially underway across the board.

Cal Men’s Soccer (6-2, 1-0-0 in Pac-12) on a 5 match winning streak

Cal 2, UCLA 0

Bears started Pac-12 play with a huge 2-0 win at UCLA on Thursday night. Drake Callender recorded 6 saves for the clean sheet. Bears got goals from Samuel Ebstein and Shinya Kadono in this one.

UCLA has been struggling a bit in the non-conference season, but this was still a huge victory. Bears have now won 5 straight matches, after winning 3-2 over Santa Clara last Friday behind a hat trick from Paul Salcedo. They need to continue to play with the “not get [their] foot off the pedal” mentality.

Bears will next visit San Diego State in a conference match on Sunday at noon PT. That is the lone non-televised match for the Golden Bears.

Cal Field Hockey (6-3, 1-0 in American East) stays undefeated (4-0) on the road

The most pleasant surprise thus far for Cal Fall Olympic Sports have got to be Cal Field Hockey. Bears have found a way to put the adversities of the past few years behind them and put together a 5 match (and counting) winning streak. The most special aspect of this win streak is that 4 of the 5 matches came from the road, from all the way in New England.

Last week, the Bears added two more wins from a road trip to Connecticut when they defeated Fairfield 3-1 and host Quinnipiac 3-2. Freshman Megan Rodgers lead the way with 3 goals through these two matches. Granted, neither Fairfield nor Quinnipiac are exactly field hockey power houses. Nonetheless, it is always a tough task for a Cal squad to win in the Eastern timezone.

Bears will stay on the road, but this time much closer, when they play at UC Davis in their 2nd conference match of the season this afternoon.

The 5 match winning streak matches the result of the 2011 team. Bears’ program best streak is 7 matches, set in 2007 when they were co-conference champs. Bears have found plenty of offensive success this year, they are just one goal short, at roughly the midseason mark, of the total number of goals scored last year.

Following this short road trip, the Bears will travel to Ohio to play Penn State and Ohio State next weekend.


Cal Men’s Water Polo (11-1) finished 3rd in Mountain Pacific Invite

Previously No.1 Golden Bears suffered their first loss of the season in double OT 9-8 to UCLA in the Mountain Pacific Invite (hosted by USC) semifinal last weekend. Cal goalie Kevin Le Vine made a season best 17 saves but it was not enough.

While the hope of a perfect season is dashed, the Bears did bounce back with a 11-9 win over Stanford in the 3rd place match. Reminder, only the top 3 teams from the MPSF conference will make the NCAA tournament. After last weekend, the Bears are now ranked 3rd in the country.

Johnny Hooper scored 12 goals in the 4 matches last weekend. The junior attacker had previously been slow in scoring goals this year after very prolific freshman and sophomore campaigns.

After the intense tournament, Bears will have a string of winnable matches starting with a visit to UC Santa Barbara this Saturday.

Cal Women’s Soccer (8-1-1, 1-0-1 in Pac-12) runs undefeated streak to 7 matches

Not to be too harsh on the Cal Women’s Soccer team, but leaving points off the table by only getting a draw instead of win in Thursday afternoon’s home match vs. Arizona State will likely not allow the Golden Bears to stay in Pac-12 contention - not when UCLA and Stanford, two top ranked teams in the country are also in the Pac. The Golden Bears followed up a huge 1-0 road win at Washington last Saturday with an 1-1 home draw against Arizona State on Thursday.

Cal 1, Washington 0

Sophomore Anja Koehler deposited a cross from Luca Deza into the far corner for the lone goal in the 62nd minute in this match. Emily Boyd earned her 31st clean sheet of her career but only had to make one save. Koehler earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor for her timely strike.

Cal 1, Arizona State 1

Abi Kim, with an assist from Haley Lucas, put the Bears ahead in the 48th minute. Sun Devils found the equalizer in the 70th minute. Unfortunately, this game was not streamed/televised. Bears outshot the Sun Devils 23 to 10 (7 to 2 with on target shots), but just can’t break through. The two points dropped in the standing here may haunt the Bears, but they continue their unbeaten streak to 7 matches.

Bears will next host the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at 1 pm PT.

By the way, with all 4 NWSL playoff teams set, we are guaranteed at least one Cal Women’s Soccer alum as the winner. The 4 playoff bound NWSL teams are North Carolina Courage with midfielder Sam Witteman (saw action in 12 matches, started in 5), Portland Thorns FC with midfielder Celeste Boureille (saw action in 17 matches, started 13), Chicago Red Stars with midfielder Taylor Comeau (saw action in 19 matches, started 9, has 1 assist), and Orlando Pride with forward Alex Morgan (saw action in 12 matches, started 11, has 9 goals and 3 assists). Good luck to all the Cal alumni in their NWSL championship hunt.

The NWSL championship on Saturday, October 14th will be played at the same site as the College Cup championship from Orlando, FL.

Cal Volleyball (9-4, 0-2 in Pac-12) hosts Arizona schools this weekend

Against two tough (and ranked) teams in Stanford and Utah, the Bears find themselves starting Pac-12 play with two 3-set losses. Back in Berkeley this weekend, the Bears will look to turn things around against the visiting Arizona State and Arizona squads.

Bears will also honor their teammate Savannah Rennie who has suffered setback from her liver transplant last summer.

While ASU took a ranked UW team to 5 set last week, these are the matches that the Golden Bears need to win to have a shot at the NCAA postseason.