One Year Later, Bears Avenge Lopsided 2007 Loss to Mizzou

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Down went the oaks. And down went the Tigers.

Saturday witnessed two events that have been a long time in the making–the slicing conclusion of the Memorial oaks saga and the redemption of the Cal women's soccer team against Missouri.

It took the Bears 350 days to get a chance to avenge last year's 4-0 loss to the Tigers. But when the official finally signaled that the time was right, Cal cut its opponent down to size with a 3-0 victory at Edwards Stadium.

"We were pumped up for the game," sophomore Alex Morgan said. "We were willing to do anything to score."

Despite the score, the match was rather even with the Bears leading in the shot column by a narrow margin of 13 shots to Mizzou's 10. The ball just seemed to roll Cal's way.

In the 19th minute, Morgan tried to sneak one past the defense. A Tigers defender blocked her shot, but as the ball was rolling out of the box it was picked up by Bears captain Valerie Barnes.

Realizing that she still had three defenders in her path to the goal, Barnes played a slow roller towards the outside. Leading goal scorer Lisa Kevorkian ran to the ball and rocketed a shot straight at Missouri keeper Tasha Dittamore's feet that somehow squirted out from behind the sliding Dittamore and into the goal for Kevorkian's fifth of the season.

Although Kevorkian's goal would prove to be the game winner, the Tigers were not without their chances. Mizzou struck a ball high off the woodwork in the 25th minute that put its small, traveling contingent of fans on their feet. But the Bears added to their lead just before halftime with Nikki Schrey intercepting Katherine Daiss' shot to put it away.

Cal went into halftime with the same lead that it had held one week earlier against Cal State Fullerton. But this time, the Bears were able to protect the lead that they had created in the first half.

Cal spent most of the half defending the Tigers attack with Gina Pellegrini making three saves. It seemed that Mizzou was just a shot away from getting back into the game. Yet the Bears defense didn't budge, and the offense piled up another four shots.

"It is easier to control the tempo when you're not chasing the game like we did against Fullerton," Cal coach Neil McGuire said. "We are going to be a team who is going to take a lot of shots and get a lot of opportunities."

McGuire gave his team another opportunity when he subbed Morgan back into the game in the 85th minute. Freshman Camellia Senemar volleyed a picture-perfect through ball behind the defense and Morgan beat her defender and the goalie to the ball making her first touch back, a goal.

"When I went back in, Val Barnes said that she'd take me to dinner if I scored," Morgan said. "I got a great ball from Cammy and just put it away. So we're going to Gypsy's."

Tags: ALEX MORGAN, CAL WOMEN'S SOCCER, LISA KEVORKIAN, NIKKI SCHREY


Contact Joseph Cannon at [email protected]



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