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Practice pays off for Simmonds as Cal beats OSU 2-0

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Saturday October 28, 2000

Practice makes perfect. 

After an intensive week of staying after the Cal men’s soccer team’s regular practices to work on his shooting, forward Kendall Simmonds made his extra work pay off by scoring both of his team’s goal in Friday’s 2-0 win over Oregon State. 

“My coaches had me out there for an hour every day to work on my shooting,” Simmonds said after the game. “I guess they really helped me out, and it showed today.” 

The win puts the Bears back in contention for the Pac-10 title at 2-2-1 in conference play with leader Stanford coming into Berkeley to play on Sunday. A win in that game would put Cal within a half-game of the Pac-10 lead. 

“We’re definitely in the picture right now,” Simmonds said. “We’re as good as any team in this league.” 

Simmonds scored both of his goals in the second half, despite taking a hard fall that injured his shoulder and ribs. 

The first goal came off of a pass from forward Austin Ripmaster in the 68th minute. Simmonds got the ball clear of two OSU defenders, then slotted the ball past goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer for his fourth goal of the season. 

Rather than being happy with a one-goal lead, the Bears continued to play the ball forward to Ripmaster and Simmonds. The attacking style paid off again six minutes later, as Simmonds trapped a high ball, dribbled across the top of the goal box and feathered a shot over Billmeyer, who had come off of his line. Ripmaster was credited with his second assist of the game on the play. 

“It was a composure shot. He drew the ’keeper out and then put the ball right over him,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “He was definitely the man of the match today.” 

Simmonds now lead the Bears with 11 points for the season. 

The victory continued the team’s three-game winning streak, which was started by a win over highly-ranked UCLA. It also gives the Bears a 4-1 record when playing at Edwards Stadium this year, while they have yet to win away from home. 

“I think at home, our guys are more comfortable,” Grimes said. “When we’re here, we can make life miserable for our opponents, and that’s what we’re going to keep trying to do.” 

Simmonds agreed with his coach. 

“This is Bear territory, baby,” the senior said. “We can beat anybody on our home turf.”