California senior Shinya Kadono scored his first career poker—four goals scored in a single match—Thursday (Sept. 6) in a 6–2 thriller against the Sacramento State Hornets. The Golden Bears and Hornets had an identical 12 shots and eight shots on goal in an evening more reminiscent of video game play of soccer than an NCAA Division I match.
“I’m glad I was able to help the team win with four goals. I’ve never done anything like that before in my career,” Kadono said in an interview posted to Twitter on Friday by Cal Athletics. “The team’s intensity was there from the beginning.”
In a match many expected to be high-scoring, Kadono tied the NCAA Division I men’s soccer record for the most goals in a single game this season. The midfielder follows in the footsteps of former California midfielder Christian Thierjung who scored a glut—five goals in a single match—in a 6–2 rout of Harvard on Sept. 18, 2016.
“I was trying to aim for five,” Kadono said, inspired by Thierjung’s record. The Golden Bears midfielder, then a sophomore, played for 19 minutes in the 2016 match-up against Harvard.
An offense running on all cylinders
Kadono was not the only Golden Bear to make a statement in Avaya Stadium. California redshirt-freshman Alonzo Del Mundo scored the first goal of the match in the 6th minute capitalizing on a Hornet’s slip. The high shot above the Sacramento State goalkeeper was Del Mundo’s first career goal for California.
The Golden Bears played with a quick turn of pace. The majority of Cal’s scores were on fast breaks and one-on-one match-ups against Sacramento State Goalkeeper Nick Kubler.
Discipline remains an issue
The midfielders and goalkeepers were not the only ones busy Thursday. Referees called 31 fouls with California picking up 15. This season, the 3–1 Golden Bears have committed a whopping 50 fouls.
Each side had two penalty kicks each. Sacramento State scored from the spot on both occasions with conversions from Hornets midfielder Dominic Scotti and forward Benji Kikanovic. California was only able to convert its second penalty in the 53rd minute— Kadono’s second goal of the evening.
California returns to Edwards Stadium on Sunday (Sept. 9) to compete against the Highlanders of U.C. Riverside at 2 p.m. The Highlanders, who play their sixth away match in a row this weekend, have not yet won a game.
How many Golden Bears will be on the scoresheet on Sunday? Will we see more goals from seniors Kadono and Ebstein or will we see more career-first goals?