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Slumping Bears fall to No. 20 Washington

By Dean Caparaz Daily Planet Correspondent
Saturday October 20, 2001

Sixteenth-ranked Cal continued its inconsistent play in women’s soccer, losing to No. 20 Washington, 1-0, at Edwards Stadium on Friday afternoon.  

After bolting out to an 8-1-0 record to start the season, Cal has gone 2-2-1 over the last five games.  

The Bears record now stands at 10-3-1 (2-1 in the Pac-10). Washington improves to 8-2-1 (2-0).  

In the loss to the Huskies, second-half substitute Erin Otagaki took advantage of a Cal defensive miscue to score the lone goal. In the 60th minute, Washington’s Caroline Putz crossed the ball from the left flank into the Cal penalty area. Cal defender Lucy Brining tried to clear it, but her clearance trickled to Otagaki, who slotted it past Cal goalkeeper Mallory Moser.  

Cal outshot the Huskies, 13-5, but not even star striker Laura Schott could save the Bears against fellow Hermann Trophy candidate Hope Solo, who played a strong match. The Huskies goalkeeper made nine saves, none bigger than the one in the 86th minute. Cal defender Kim Stocklmeir played a through ball into the Washington penalty area, and both Schott and Solo converged on it. Schott managed a quick shot before she collided with Solo, who corralled the ball.  

Schott, who entered the match as the Pac-10’s scoring leader with 27 points from 12 goals and three assists, had to leave the field and the stadium with what appeared to be an injured jaw. After the game, Schott’s status for Sunday’s home game against Washington State was unknown. Solo couldn’t remember which part of her body collided with Schott.  

“I know my leg is dead, my pelvic bone felt like it got crushed, my ribs are all crushed,” Solo said.  

The performance of Solo, a junior All-American keeper with U.S. national team experience, contrasted sharply with that of Moser, a freshman. Moser often came off her goal line late for loose balls and did not communicate well with her defense.  

The score was 0-0 at halftime despite some good scoring chances for both teams in the first half. Six of Cal’s seven first-half shots were on goal, with Schott accounting for three shots on goal. But a combination of Washington’s stingy defense and Cal’s inability to get behind the Husky defenders meant many of Cal’s shots came from long range and were not dangerous.  

“I did not feel we were aggressive going to goal today,” Cal coach Kevin Boyd said. “It was like we were satisfied just possessing the ball.”  

Boyd added, “Without the whole group committing to where they’re going and what they want to do, we’re going to keep outshooting teams and losing close games. We’ll win more than we lose just on the mere fact that we’re more talented. But when it really comes down to a tight game, I don’t think we’re going to come out on the positive side all the time.”