Wiedeman Nets Two Goals as Cal Wins Season Opener Over Highlanders

Photo: Andrew Wiedeman scored two goals against UC Riverside.
Nathan Yan/Staff
Andrew Wiedeman scored two goals against UC Riverside.

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It's a sports cliche that only results matter. But cliches are based on truth, and the Cal men's soccer team fulfilled one Friday afternoon in its 3-1 victory over UC Riverside: It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

"All in all we got it done," Bears coach Kevin Grimes said. "We tried to keep our heads the most we could, and we walked away with a 3-1 win."

Cal burst out of the gates at the first whistle, taking the attack to the Highlanders. The effort paid off as the Bears scored all three goals in the first twelve minutes, beginning with Pat Marion's header in the fourth minute of the game. Andrew Wiedeman kicked off his season with two goals as he chased down a loose ball for his first before a pass from Hector Jimenez set up the second only a few minutes later.

The initial offensive wave was all Cal would muster for the rest of the game as they gathered eight shots, all but one coming in the first half.

"We came out and got three goals early," Wiedeman said. "Then it kind of looked like we let our foot off the pedal from there, and they were coming down our throats the next 60 minutes."

After suffering through the Bears' barrage in the first few minutes, Riverside bounced back and began surging toward the Cal goal.

"Riverside did a good job of trying to go for broke, and started sending a lot of players forward," Grimes said. "There are ways that you can counter that over-exuberance in the attack by the opponent, and we just didn't do a good enough job of taking advantage of them sending so many numbers forward."

The pressure finally culminated in a goal as Cesar Diaz sent the ball flying into the upper right corner of the net, just beyond Stefan Frei's outstretched leap.

During the game substitutes were numerous. For Cal, most came along the midfield and forward positions, with the defense remaining fairly intact throughout. Several players, including freshmen, saw action in an effort to establish a starting line-up.

"Our guys all did well, they did the best they could today," Grimes said. "It was a warm, beautiful day and they played as well as they could to get a 3-1 result. A month from now I'm sure they'll be a much better team than they are the first day of the season. You just have to take it step by step."

The second half was highlighted mostly by fouls, as both teams grew frustrated. A total of twenty fouls were called during the second half, compared to eight in the first. Two Highlander players earned yellow cards, with Cal's Servando Carrasco, Wiedeman, and Evan Sassano also receiving one each. As a tactic, Riverside's physicality was successful.

"I'm sure that was probably part of their game plan," Wiedeman said. "We tend to knock the ball and pass around. They came out and were throwing their bodies everywhere, and they took us out of our game."

Sunday will be a tougher test for the Bears as they travel to Los Angeles to face No. 8 Maryland.


Contact Nicole Baudouin at [email protected]

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