A depleted Cal women’s soccer team fell to 10th-ranked Texas, 2-1, Friday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. The Texas win avenged a 2-1 loss to Cal in Austin last year.
The Golden Bears played their second straight game without All-American forward Laura Schott and Kim Stocklmeir, arguably the best defender on the Cal team. The latter is out with a broken collarbone sustained in the season-opening win over Ohio State. Schott missed the Texas game and will likely miss the Texas A&M game on Sunday due to a sprained MCL in her right knee, which she suffered Wednesday in practice.
Against the Longhorns, Cal started freshman Sierra Garthwaite in place of Stocklmeir and freshman Tracy Hamm, Cal’s leading scorer this year with two goals, in place of Schott.
But the game’s brightest star was Texas forward Kelly Wilson, who scored twice. The first goal came in the 53rd minute when Texas defender Laura Kram launched a free kick from near midfield into the Cal penalty area. The ball glanced off of a Golden Bear defender and fell at the feet of Wilson, who scored past Cal goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio.
Wilson scored her second in the 75th minute, running onto a long pass as Cal defender Lucy Brining challenged her. Wilson shed Brining and slid the ball past an onrushing Sulprizio to make the score 2-0.
While Cal was unlucky to lose its big-time goalscorer for yet another game, Texas was glad to have Wilson back. The young All-American missed the Longhorns’ wins over New Mexico and Duke last week because she was helping the U.S. under-19 national team win the U-19 World Championship in Canada.
“We’re so happy to have Kelly back,” Texas coach Chris Petrucelli said. “She saved us. We didn’t play very well. We were fortunate to win. But when you have a great player like that, she gets two chances and she scores two goals.”
Cal pulled a goal back in the 86th minute, when a handball in the Texas penalty area led to a Bears penalty kick. Midfielder Carly Fuller easily converted the PK to cut the lead in half, but Cal soon ran out of time.
The absence of Schott was glaring, as Cal outshot Texas, 10-5, with seven shots on goal. But the only shot the Bears could finish was the penalty kick.
Texas goalkeeper Alex Gagarin made five saves, though none were that difficult.
“We didn’t put any away that we needed to put away,” Cal coach Kevin Boyd said. “We just didn’t put any good chances on goal. Most of our strikes went right at the keeper, so that she didn’t even have to move. She just had to hold the ball.”
Boyd said he isn’t sure if Schott will be available for next weekend’s games against Santa Clara and at St. Mary’s. Schott, who needs just six goals and 24 points to become Cal’s all-time goalscorer and scorer, respectively, has played just 70 minutes this season. All those minutes came against Ohio State, against whom she also received a red card. The ensuing one-game suspension kept her out of the last Sunday’s win over Purdue.
Stocklmeir’s return date is also unclear. She will miss at least six weeks and may return sometime in October. If the senior can’t return this year, she may redshirt and come back next season as a fifth-year senior.
“If I’m strong and able to come back and know that I can contribute to the team in the NCAA tournament this year, then I’ll definitely do it,” Stocklmeir said. “If not, if I need to take some time, then I’ll definitely wait till next year.”
“Either way, Stock out, Laura out, I think we outplayed them,” Boyd said. “It got ugly for a while there, but it had to. We were down 2-0 and we had to catch the game. We had to just launch numbers forward. It’s early in the season. If we can correct those little mistakes, we’ll be okay down the line.”
The Bears face No. 3 Texas A&M on Sunday at Edwards Stadium. The game will follow the men’s match, which will start at 1 p.m.