Men's Soccer: An Inch Goes a Mile Toward Extending Bears' Streak

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The ball hit the post and rolled slowly into the goal. The Washington keeper pounced on it as it crossed the goal line.

But it was enough. The linesman ruled a goal, the sudden death overtime was over and the Cal men's soccer team had a sweep of its Pac-10 opening weekend.

Two days after blowing out Oregon State 5-0, the No. 15 Bears beat the Huskies at Edwards Stadium by a matter of inches, 2-1 .

At a time when everything is going right for the Bears (9-2-1, 2-0 in the Pac-10), it was perhaps fitting that they beat the Huskies (3-5-3, 0-2) on a goal that didn't even hit the net.

The game's final shot came off the foot of midfielder Mike Munoz, who leads the team with seven goals.

"Scorer's bounce," Munoz said. "I'll take it any way I can get them."

Unlike Munoz's game-winner, the Bears' first goal was one of the season's most spectacular.

With the game scoreless in the 74th minute, midfielder Nick Hatzke took a loose ball in the center of the field and dribbled 20 yards downfield.

With no Washington player closing in on him, Hatzke blasted a shot from 25 yards out.

It flew into the upper right corner, past diving Huskies goal keeper Daniel Waltman.

"I think Nick was looking for a pass, but the guys on the bench were yelling 'have one,'" Cal coach Kevin Grimes said.

Instead of demoralizing Washington, the goal seemed to enliven the Huskies, and two minutes later they put in the equalizer.

"It definitely picked them up and they did get one," defender Troy Roberts said.

Washington's goal came from a floating free kick from the left sideline into the far side of the box.

Huskies defender Kevin Murray flicked it off the top of his head into the right lower corner.

"They kept sending players forward, trying to keep the momentum," Roberts said.

In a Friday matchup between two Pac-10 up-and-comers, Cal dismantled No. 18 Oregon State.

With midfielder Garrett Terracciano hobbled with a pulled hamstring and Hatzke sick with the flu, Cal got significant help from the bench.

Mike Hickman and Alex Martinez-players who have rarely seen action this season-scored goals.

Cal also got significant help from the Beavers goalkeeper. The Bears' first, second and fourth goals slipped right past OSU goalie Peter Billmeyer.

"He had some fumbles out there," Cal defender Kyle Navarro said.

Cal entered the locker room winning 4-0, but Grimes said he didn't feel the game was secure.

"We really felt we needed to go out for the first 20 minutes and score, and then once it was 5-0 it was pretty much over," Grimes said.

With their win over Washington the Bears have won eight in a row, tying the school record set in 1986.

But like a pitcher working on a no-hitter, the team says its not focusing on the streak.

"(Grimes) doesn't bring it up in practice," Roberts said. "He's really superstitious-he doesn't like talking about that kind of stuff."

With victories over top-20 OSU and traditional powerhouse Washington, Cal can expect to continue climbing in the rankings.

The Bears travel to Fresno State (3-5-3) next, for a 7 p.m. Friday night matchup.


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