Women's Soccer: Bears Take Out No. 3 Texas A&M

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The Cal women's soccer team seemed to learn its lesson this weekend about capitalizing on opportunities.

After wasting their chances in a loss to No. 10 Texas Friday, the Bears used an efficient effort to beat No. 3 Texas A&M yesterday.

No. 11 Cal took advantage of an Aggie own goal in the 50th minute to pull off a 1-0 upset at Edwards Stadium.

A&M defender Shannon Labhart attempted to hold off a charging Tracy Hamm by feeding a pass back to her goalie. The errant kick instead found the back of the Aggies' net.

"I don't think it was a lucky win," Cal coach Kevin Boyd said of Texas A&M miscue and the ensuing Cal victory.

The Bears' defense was the big story of the day.

"Our whole backline is playing well," Boyd said. "We only gave the No. 3 team in the nation one good chance (on goal)."

That chance came in the 26th minute when Bears goalie Sani Post made a great one-on-one save against a blitzing Aggie attacker.

"Sani is outstanding in her communication and organization," Boyd said of his junior netminder.

Hamm, who had several second-half scoring opportunities, was pleased with Sunday's outcome.

"This was one of the hardest games of the entire year," Hamm said. "I think the better team came out on top."

On Friday, the Bears were unable to take advantage of numerous scoring opportunities and dropped a 2-1 decision to the visiting Longhorns.

"I think we out-played them," Boyd said. "They just converted their chances."

The Texas game was highlighted by the season debut of the Longhorns' Kelly Wilson.

The sophomore forward lit up the Bears for two unassisted goals against freshman goalie Ashley Sulprizio.

Wilson, who spent the last five months with the U.S. under-19 national team, took a lob pass from a free kick and outraced a Cal defender for the second of her two goals. 

"She's agile and mobile," Boyd said of Wilson. "She's also opportunistic."

The Bears outshot the Longhorns 10-5, but were unable to put any of those shots into the back of the net.

"I don't think we played badly," Boyd said. "Where we didn't get it done was in front of the goal."

The Bears were hampered by the absence of their main scoring threat, Laura Schott.

Schott sprained her MCL in last Wednesday's practice and is expected to be out a week.

"We were really lucky that our All-American converted her two chances and their All-American was watching," Texas coach Chris Petrucelli said.

Texas goalie Alex Gagarin played well with five saves against the Bears.

Her biggest save of the game was on a breakaway by Hamm. Gagarin charged out of goal and made a sliding left-footed deflection of Hamm's shot.

Cal's freshmen competed well in the absence of key starters. Hamm, Dania Caballo, and Sierra Garthwaite all made strong contributions.

"Tracy got more dangerous as the game went on, when everyone else got tired," Boyd said of one of his freshmen starters.

The Bears' only goal of the game came in the 86th minute when a corner kick hit a Texas arm in the penalty box.

Senior Carlie Fuller drove the ensuing penalty kick past the out-stretched fingertips of a diving Gagarin.


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