Last-Second OT Score Preserves Cal's Postseason

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Cal Men's Soccer Wins in Overtime

In an overtime thriller, the Cal Men's Soccer team came out with a win against the Gauchos in a 2-1 win to advance in the NCAA tournament.

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mens soccer vs. UCSB
mens soccer vs. UCSB during playoff game at Cal

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100 seconds away from what could have been his last collegiate contest, Cal senior Servando Carrasco stood face-to-face with UCSB keeper Sam Hayden.

After a Gaucho penalty in the box, only Hayden stood in the way of the No. 6 Bears' last chance to send in an equalizer.

Carrasco buried the ball in the upper V of the net, tying the game at 1-1 and keeping Cal's run at the NCAA College Cup alive.

After a hard-fought battle at Edwards Stadium, it seemed like anything could happen in the 10 minutes of overtime.

In the final second of the extra period, senior forward Davis Paul took a shot on an empty goal - kicking in the game-winner and sending his team into the next round against Brown.

The 2-1 nail-biter's decisive play came on a counterattack created by defender Steve Birnbaum, whose cross found midfielder Anthony Avalos. Senior Hector Jimenez then collected the ball and found Paul in the perfect position.

"Sometimes you're down a goal; sometimes you're up a goal," senior A.J. Soares said. "We know what to do in those situations, and we did what we had to do today to win the game."

Unfortunately, drama continued after the final whistle. UCSB players charged the referee, shoving him and throwing punches in an obvious display of poor sportsmanship. It resulted in three red cards and the referee's speedy departure via security escort. Danny Barrera, who launched a ball at the referee, Machael David and Michael Tetteh were the three recipients.

The frustration came on the heels of an emotional effort. A two-footed, studs-up challenge to Carrasco from UCSB midfielder Luis Silva in the 24th minute of the first half earned him a straight red card. The Gauchos played with 10 players for the rest of the match.

That early physical dispute marked a turning point in the pace of the match, as UCSB was forced into more defensive style of play early in the contest.

A scoreless first half required a change for Cal. Senior Scot VanBuskirk made his first appearance since he was sidelined with injury about a month ago. Despite the defender's added speed on the Bears' side, UCSB turned up the pressure.

"It was a very exciting today, obviously ..." Cal coach Kevin Grimes said. "It came down to a great play by Davis there at the end."

Kelly Suckow covers men's soccer. Contact her at [email protected]

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