The California Golden Bears men’s soccer team (5-8-2, 1-6 Pac-12) could not make the most of their many scoring chances Sunday, losing 1-0 to the Oregon State Beavers (8-4-3, 4-2-1 Pac-12). Beaver defender Alex Cover, a freshman, selected an opportune time to score his first career goal, knocking in a rebound—the winning “golden goal”—past Cal goalkeeper Drake Callender in the second minute of overtime.
Although the match ended scoreless in regulation time, both squads came out in the first half swinging. In just five minutes of play, Oregon State created two quick scoring opportunities with a shot from outside of the box blocked and a corner.
The Bears would bounce back and outshoot Oregon State 13 to eight. A strong defense prevented the Beavers from challenging goalkeeper Drake Callender. The Beavers did not have a single shot on goal in regulation time.
California Head Coach Kevin Grimes’ side never felt settled. Much to the chagrin of the more than 350 fans in attendance, timed runs were missed, and wayward crosses were kicked from corners.
With Sunday’s loss, California will go the entire month of October without a victory. The Golden Bears have dropped the last five matches in Pac-12 play, and are tied with the San Diego State Aztecs at the bottom of the conference standings. The Bay Area side’s sole Pac-12 victory was a one-score affair against the Aztecs on Sept. 30.
‘Senior Day’ honorifics for the Bears
Friends and family joined five California seniors on the pitch before the 3 p.m. PT kickoff as a part of “Senior Day.” At the last home game of the 2018-19 season, California honored forwards Shinya Kadono and Spencer Held, midfielders Halil Beqaj and Sam Ebstein and defender Sam Junqua.
A fan favorite this season, forward Shinya Kadono finished the match as the Pac-12 conference leader in shots (50) and goals. With 12 goals to his name, he is fifth in the nation for total goals scored.
San Francisco local Sam Ebstein also received considerable fan support. The midfielder played significant minutes all season with a nagging injury. He sat out for just two matches.
Responsible in part for the Bears’ qualification for the NCAA Tournament last year, forward Spencer Held spent the season sidelined and did not play a single match due to injury.
The end of conference play
California enjoyed a favorable schedule this season with 10 matches in Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears went 4-4-2 at home in the 2018-19 season, scoring on average a little more than one goal per home game.
To avoid a losing season, the Bears must win its remaining three matchups on the road against the No. 24 UCLA Bruins (Nov. 1), San Diego State Aztecs (Nov. 4) and archrival No. 20 Stanford Cardinal (Nov. 8).