Unranked Bears Defeat Indiana, Tie Notre Dame to Win Tourney

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After ending last season in less than desirable fashion, the Cal men's soccer team needed a strong start to this season to erase the disappointment of 2009.

With a double-overtime, 2-1, win over No. 20 Indiana (1-1) and an exhausting scoreless tie against No. 18 Notre Dame (0-1-1) to win the Adidas/IU Credut Classic, the Cal men's soccer team found the start to the season that they sought.

Part of a four-team tournament with the Hoosiers, the Fighting Irish and No. 5 UCLA, the Bears (1-0-1) entered both games as underdogs, but managed to leave the state of Indiana as tournament champions.

The Bruins defeated Notre Dame, 1-0, on Friday, but were throttled by Indiana, 5-1, on Sunday.

Cal was the only unranked team in the tournament, but hardly played like one over the course of the weekend.

"It was a successful weekend," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes told CalBears.com. "We look forward to Wednesday's training so we can continue to improve."

Despite being outshot in both games, the Bears thrived from strong goalkeeping from junior David Bingham and stout defense from tournament defensive MVP, A.J. Soares.

Bingham made an astonishing 16 saves over the course of the two games, earning him a spot on the all-tournament team with teammates Davis Paul, Servando Carrasco and Soares. Cal led all teams with four players named to the all-tournament team.

Soares, who entered the season with all sorts of preseason accolades, showed himself to be one of the best defensive players in the nation, weathering strong attacks from the Hoosiers and the Irish, both of whom have highly regarded offenses.

Though he scored Indiana's lone goal, the Bears managed to hold Indiana's Will Bruin, the tournament's offensive MVP, to just one goal. The junior forward would record a hat trick against UCLA two nights later.

Friday night belonged to Paul and Carrasco, who played key roles on both goals.

Paul earned a second assist on Carrasco's goal that gave the Bears a 1-0 lead. The roles reversed in overtime when Carrasco threaded a ball through the six-yard box to ball, who drove a low liner past Indiana goalie Luis Soffner to clinch the victory.

"Davis finished the chance really well," Grimes said.

Though Carrasco and Paul were the source of most of the Bears' offense, sophomores Tony Salciccia and John Fitzpatrick effectively spelled the starters and provided some firepower of their own.

Salciccia, a starting midfielder, led Cal with four shots, two of which were on goal, against Notre Dame. Fitzpatrick appeared as a substitute in both games and recorded two shots in both contests.

The Bears return home this weekend for their first home games of the 2010 season. against St. Mary's on Friday followed by UNLV on Sunday.

Tags: CAL MEN'S SOCCER, KEVIN GRIMES, DAVIS PAUL, A.J. SOARES


Gabriel Baumgaertner covers soccer. Contact him at [email protected]



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