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Cal men take down No. 7 UCLA

By Tim Haran Daily Planet Correspondent
Saturday October 21, 2000

Home is where the wins are for the Cal men’s soccer team this season. Playing at Edwards Stadium for the first time in more than a month, the struggling Bears upset No. 7 UCLA 1-0 Friday. 

The victory ended a month-long winless streak in which Cal lost six of its seven games—the only bright spot being a tie with Oregon State on Oct. 6—while being outscored 20 to 2. 

Cal’s record improves to 3-9-1 on the year (1-2-1 Pac-10), and the Bears have won each of the three games the team has played in Berkeley. The Bruins, meanwhile, after being ranked No. 1 earlier in the season, lost its second straight game and dropped to 9-3 (1-3 Pac-10). 

Bears’ forward Austin Ripmaster scored the game’s only goal at the 85th minute on an assist from Chris Roner. Ripmaster’s lined up from 25 yards out and sent a strike past a diving UCLA keeper D.J. Countess and into the left corner of the net to record his first goal of the season. 

The goal ended Cal’s two-game scoreless streak and also marked the Bears’ first shutout since its season-opener victory over UC Santa Cruz.  

“We’re searching for things to work for,” said Cal keeper Brian Walker, who recorded five saves against UCLA. “We have a goal of upsetting top teams and that’s what we did today.” 

Walker said that Cal’s ball control and time of possession contributed to the win. In previous outings, the Bears routinely played a solid first half only to squander opportunities in the second period.  

“We’ve been inching our way closer to a great performance,” said Cal coach Kevin Grimes. “Sunday versus Stanford we played an outstanding first half. Today we turned 45 minutes of magic into 90 minutes of magic.” 

Heading into Friday’s game against the Bruins, Cal had been outscored 34 goals to nine this year, including 10 unanswered goals prior to Ripmaster’s shot. 

“I’d be happy to win games 1-0 all the time,” Ripmaster said. “We’ve been here before with the nation’s elite and we have no doubt that we can play with them.” 

The Bears’ defense frustrated UCLA attacks throughout the game, but especially in the first half when the Bruins were denied repeatedly when they held the ball inside Cal territory. 

“We finally got everyone healthy,” defender Leo Krupnik said. “It seems that after the team scores their first goal we lose it. Today we got the break we deserved.” 

Grimes said he reminded his players at halftime that they’d been in the same situation before where they’d lost the game in the second half.  

“It seems like every second half we come on the wrong end of a W,” he said. “At halftime each guy had something to say and we were able to walk the walk.” 

“Coach promised us that if we gave our full effort in the second half we’d come out on top,” Ripmaster said. “And that’s what happened.” 

Following Sunday’s contest at St. Mary’s, Cal returns to Edwards Stadium for five of the team’s last six games of the season.  

“It’s nice to be home,” Walker said. “All the other teams look at us now and even though we’re 3-9, we’ve beaten UCLA so teams know anything can happen.”