Soccer Shut Out Yet Again

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Another game, another loss, another shutout.

Unfortunately, that is the tune the Cal men's soccer team has heard too often this season.

Yesterday's 1-0 loss to the University of San Francisco at Goldman Field marked the fourth time in the past five outings that the Bears (2-4) have been shutout by their opponent.

Against the Dons (3-4-2), Cal was able to keep the game scoreless until the 76th minute when USF junior defenseman Raji Ananda's 25-foot strike ripped through the Bears' defense untouched and found the left corner of the net for the game's only goal.

The Bears were left shocked and disappointed after falling asleep on defense and letting an easy one get by.

"When the ball came to me, the defense didn't step out," Ananda said. "I looked up, there was a lot of space so I let one go and it went in."

According to Grimes, the goal shouldn't have happened and it upset the balance of an otherwise hard-fought match.

"Tough game, tough loss, tough goal to give away," Cal coach Kevin Grimes said. "They got a silly goal."

The Bears were forced to play with only 10 men for most of the match because less than 10 minutes into the game, Cal's goalkeeper, Marco Palmieri, was issued a red card for sliding into an oncoming striker while attempting to block his shot.

Not only were the Bears outmanned for the rest of the game, but they were also without their starting goalkeeper. Freshman Brian Walker finished the rest of the match.

"Though we were playing with only 10 men for 80 minutes and I had to switch my goal keeper, we fought them nail and tooth down to the end," Grimes said.

Palmieri doesn't agree with the call but accepts the responsibility for the loss.

"It was the referee's opinion," Palmieri said. "I didn't go at him maliciously, I didn't mean to hurt him. (But) I take full responsibility for the team having to play with 10 men."

Palmieri's collision was by no means the only physical encounter of the game. Yesterday's match featured a number of run-ins, scrapes, tackles, knockdowns and injuries as three players were knocked out of the game at least temporarily.

Both teams benefited from stellar defensive play and had trouble finding the back of the net. The Bears just ended up on the short end of the stick and the wrong side of a freak goal.

"It was a back and forth game," Ananda said. "They had some good scoring opportunities but they just didn't go in."

Despite the effort and heart his team showed in playing shorthanded, Grimes' team ended up with another loss.

"It just wasn't meant to be," Grimes said.

One positive note was the return of senior midfielder Ramiro Arredondo, last year's leading scorer. Arredondo didn't start but he played extensively for the first time since injuring his quadriceps.

Despite sitting out for a good part of the season, Arredondo looked sharp and contributed crisp passes and timely defense, but couldn't carry the Bears to a win.


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