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Golden Medals: Cal W. Soccer beats No.7 UCLA; M. Water Polo’s Kolasinac is MPSF Newcomer of the Week

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Let’s check in on the Olympic Sports

Cal Bears (9-1) opens Pac-12 play with a huge road upset
Cal Women’s Soccer Twitter

The previously undefeated Cal Volleyball and Cal Football lost on Thursday and Friday nights, respectively. If they are looking anywhere for inspiration after the first blemish on the season, they can find that in Cal Women’s Soccer’s huge road win on Friday night, just one match after losing their perfect start the previous Sunday on a home loss to Portland.

Cal Women’s Soccer opens Pac-12 play with a 2-1 upset of No.7 UCLA on the road

Cal Women’s Soccer had a perfect 8-0 start while earning a ranking as high as No.21 in the country. That winning streak was halted in the non-conference match of the season in a 2-0 home loss to Portland last Sunday.

Nonetheless, the Golden Bears (9-0, 1-0 in Pac-12) bounced back in a big way by beating No.7 UCLA on the road on Friday night via a thrilling 2-1 results. Bears never trailed in this one, but also withstood numerous Bruins attacks with a bend but not break defensive effort in addition to great goaltending from freshman Angelina Anderson. UCLA outshot the Bears 10-6 in the 2nd half and had 11-4 advantage in corners, yet the Bears shut them out. Anderson talks to the Pac-12 Network after this win.

Cal took the early lead with Luca Deza’s 4th goal of the season in the 6th minute. UCLA immediately pressed and earned a penalty in the 10th minute which was converted by Marly Canales for the equalizer. The two sides will trade a ton of chances, with several shots stopped by the frame, until the 88th minute when Abi Kim sends a cross that found Kailee Gifford who scored the game winner with her left foot.

Kim, with her blazing speed, was causing havoc in the UCLA backline all match long. While Abi Kim has taken a step back in scoring this season (she did take a shot at the goal late instead of going to the corner...so the scoring mentality is certainly there), Kim has already set a new season high with her 4th assist on the year.

It’s fun to see how psyched the Cal team got after this win - their first over UCLA since 2015 and first at Westwood since 2006. It is also Cal’s first win over a top 10 opponent since a win over then No.7 USC in 2016.

Earlier this week, Cal Women’s Soccer made a cool video highlighting Gifford’s high school experience as her (American) Football team’s kicker. Definitely check that out below.

By the law of transitivity, Cal Women’s Soccer could already claim a win over UCLA as the Bears did beat Santa Clara 2-1, who had given the Bruins their lone loss before Friday night. Still, this win puts the Bears in a great position to break into the top 3 of the conference, if not win it. Of course, Cal will also have to go through the top 5 ranked USC (No.3) and Stanford (No.2) in Pac-12 play.

Bears, who should pick up a ranking again, will return to Berkeley and host Washington at 3pm PT on Thursday before a clash with No.21 Washington State at 12pm PT on Sunday. Both matches will be on the Pac-12 Networks.


Cal Men’s Water Polo has 5 match win streak snapped by No.2 UCLA 12-9 on Saturday morning

After a rather rough start, No.7 Cal Men’s Water Polo righted the ship with a perfect 4-0 weekend from UC Davis last weekend. Junior transfer Jasmin Kolasinac scored 8 goals and recorded 7 assists to earn the MPSF Newcomer of the Year honor. On the year, he has 17 goals to go with 20 assists - where his 37 points leads all players in MPSF.

Last weekend, Bears beat No.19 Cal Baptist 16-7, No.18 San Jose State 13-11 (OT), host No.7 UC Davis 14-10, and Santa Clara 12-9.

This weekend, Cal finally faces one of the other big time California school at the SoCal Invitational, hosted by UCLA. Golden Bears defeated No.10 UC Irvine 10-5 to run their winning streak to 5 matches.

Against UCLA this Saturday morning, Golden Bears got as close a 9-8 early in the 4th quarter before the Bruins answered with 3 straight goals and ran out of time.

In a topsy-turvy Men’s collegiate water polo season, UCSB is currently ranked 3rd while Pepperdine is ranked 6th (both ahead of Cal). One of them (the loser) will face the Bears this afternoon.

Cal Men’s Water Polo (8-4) has another month of non-conference matches before facing UCLA, USC, and Stanford in regularly scheduled play. Bears will also host the MPSF tournament in late November where the automatic conference bid as well as statements to earn the two at-large bids will be at stake.


Cal Field Hockey picks up 2nd win of season with road win over Penn State

Cal Field Hockey (2-6, 0-1 in America East play) has had a challenging schedule. The Bears finally faced their 3rd non-top 20 opponent on Thursday and picked up their 2nd victory when they played Penn State (who was ranked 24th in some polls) at the neutral site of Manheim, PA. Bears won 4-3 in OT.

Trailing 3-1 early in the second half, Bears answered with two goals (Gabi Jimenez and Katrina Carter) to send this one to overtime. The Golden Goal was scored by Brynn Zorilla with the assist from Femke Delissen. Delissen had 3 assists in this win.

Although the Bears followed this win with a loss of 4-1 at No.12 Delaware (it was 1-1 match at the half), Bears will wrap this East Coast trip with a match on Sunday at Drexel in Philadelphia.

Last week, Cal lost 2-0 to rival Stanford from The Farm in their first conference play of the season. Stanford’s scoring star junior Corinne Zanolli scored her 13th and 14th goals of the year in that one. Bears had 13 shots, 7 on goal, but could not break through. Keeper Natalie Dalton was able to make 6 saves but that was not enough.

Bears will go back to Berkeley to host Syracuse and Central Michigan next weekend before another East Coast trip to Rhode Island and Connecticut.


Quick hits -

Cal Men’s Soccer (3-2-1) lost 2-1 to Stanford last weekend. Rick Chen will have coverage of their USF match this Saturday from Edwards Stadium in Berkeley.

Golf season started -

Cal women’s golf finished 8th at the Cougar Cup hosted by Washington State. Cal senior Maria Herraz Galvez finished in a tie for 8th individually to lead the Bears.

Cal men’s golf, in a rebuilding year with the talent graduated last year, finished 12th at the Fighting Illini Invite. Sophomore James Song is the top Cal finisher at 27th overall.

Cal women’s tennis is hosting the Fall Invite this weekend in Berkeley. Bears have three new players on the squad as well as a familiar face on the sideline - long time WTA pro Raquel (Kops-Jones) Atawo has retired from the pro tour to serve as Cal’s volunteer coach this season.

GO BEARS!