Cal takes on two California rivals


Women’s soccer travels to Saint Mary’s, hosts UC San Diego

BERKELEY – After a thrilling comeback against the Chinese national team in an exhibition, California women’s soccer will return to non-conference play against a pair of state rivals. The Bears will face local opponent Saint Mary’s (CA) Thursday at 4 p.m. and system school UC San Diego Sunday at 4 p.m. in a doubleheader with the Cal men’s soccer team.

In their last outing, Cal trailed China, the 16th-ranked national team in the world, at 1-0 and 2-1, but both times found ways to come back and earn a draw. Karlie Lema and Keely Roy scored for the Bears in a thrilling game in front of a raucous crowd at Edwards Stadium.

The Bears will look to use that experience with the return of Ayo Oke and Teagan Wywho joined the team after playing with the USA U-20 national team at the U-20 World Cup this month, to propel them into their next round of games.

Last year Cal played at both Saint Mary’s (CA) and UC San Diego, the Bears earned a 3-0 win over UC San Diego in the 2021 season opener. It was the first time the two schools had played since 1987 when Cal went 3-0 all-time against the Tritons. They took on Saint Mary’s (CA) to a 1-1 draw at Edwards Stadium and are now 17-8-5 against the Gaels.

Thursday’s game against Saint Mary’s (CA) will be broadcast live, while Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 network. Ted Enberg is on call for the match, which will be seen on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Bay Area.

SUFFERING DEFENSE

Cal had one of the best defenses in the country in 2021, allowing just 0.94 goals per game and just 9.67 shots per game. Cal controlled possession in the majority of their contests leading to a 13.3-9.7 shooting advantage. The Bears have allowed opponents just 69 shots on goal in 18 games, 3.83 attempts on target per game. They improved on that in their first game of 2022, allowing UC Irvine to take just two shots on target in 90 minutes.

As a result, the Bears posted seven shutouts in 18 games and allowed no more than one goal in five games last year.

A-PLUS ANGIE
Angelina Anderson is now fifth on Cal’s all-time save list with 201 in his career. Anderson also has 20 career shutouts and is tied for fourth on the school’s all-time shutouts list after recording seven shutouts in 2021.

Anderson was named National Freshman of the Year in 2019 as well as Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and Freshman of the Year. She was the first player to win both Rookie of the Year and Goalie of the Year in the conference. She earned second-team All-Pac-12 in 2020-21 and third-team honors in 2021, as she proved to be one of the best shooters in the nation.

RETURN FROM PRODUCTION

The Bears are bringing back the majority of the team that played in the 2021 season. The team finished the season with a three-win improvement from the previous season.

For the 2022 season, 30 players from last year’s squad are returning and only five players who saw minutes leave last year. Cal returns 149 starts from last year’s team. Cal also brings back 14 of the 15 players who recorded points last year, including 17 of 18 goals and all 17 assists.

The Bears are returning student-athletes who have combined for 352 starts and 626 games played during their careers at Cal.

BEARS MAKE GREAT ADDITIONS

Cal is only adding three players to the roster for the 2022 season, but they should all make big contributions. Cal’s only freshman is a goalie Teagan Wy. Wy has been with USYNT in 11 different camps and tournaments and was ranked the 18th best prospect for the Class of 2022. She helped USA to the 2018 CONCACAF Championship as a starting goaltender.

Bears also add a familiar face in Kailee Gifford. Gifford spent four seasons at Cal, playing 50 games and making 31 starts as a defenseman. She transferred to Pepperdine last year and started in all 10 games before getting injured. She returns to Cal to use her final year of eligibility in 2022.

The bears also add Mya Daily to the team in 2022 as a transfer from Long Beach State. Daily started at center back for the Beach, helping them lead the Big West in goals against average and being named to the All-Big West freshman team.

NOPE. 1 RECRUITING A CLASS IS GOOD

The Bears signed the highest-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer in 2021. The 12-man squad is in its second year in the program after some outstanding first-year performances.

Noelle Bond Flasza, Cailin Bloom, Courtney Boone, Maya Griffin, Velize King, Kei Kitamura, Karlie Lema, Ari Manrique, Aasha McLyn, Ayo Oke, Aaliyah Schinaman, Alexis Wright and Jordyn Young make up the class.

Three of the Bears’ top four scorers in 2021 were freshmen: Karlie Lema (6 goals, 12 points) led the team as Ari Manrique (1 goal, 4 points), Jordyn Young (1 goal, 3 points) and Ayo Oke (1 goal, 3 points) also had an immediate impact.

Noelle Bond Flasza (16 games), Courtney Boone (8 starts, Pac-12 Defender of the Week), Maya Griffin, Alexis Wright (2 assists) and Velize King have all seen the time.

Oke, Bond-Flasza and Wright have impressed enough to be called up to their respective national teams for the CONCACAF U20 Championship in 2022.

Of the 12 rookies, 11 were ranked in the Top 200, including No. 25 Oke, No. 28 Manrique and No. 36 Lema. TopDrawerSoccer gave nine rookies four-star ratings, with two rated as three-star athletes. Seven athletes have national team experience.

STAY PUBLISHED

For full coverage of Cal’s women’s soccer, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalWSoc), Instagram (@CalWSoc) and Facebook (/CalWSoc/).

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