Pacific Women’s Soccer Faces #16 Cal on Sunday
The Pacific women's soccer team plays its fourth and final non-conference match against a Pac-10 team this season as the Tigers travel to Berkeley to meet No. 16 California at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Edwards Stadium.
Pacific is 2-4-1 on the season, with three losses against the nation's elite. The Tigers have played three of their last four matches against ranked teams including a pair of top 10 opponents.
"We feel like we've gotten better in this stretch," head coach Keith Coleman said. "When you play this type of competition, you really find out a lot about yourself and your team. It's really positive to see the team playing better."
"The frustrating part is that a lack of focus at times has led to us not taking advantage of these opportunities against ranked teams."
Against No. 9 Santa Clara, the Tigers were lock-step with the Broncos for virtually the entire match. The Tigers nearly grabbed the lead twice in the match, as senior defender Kylee Ah Choy and sophomore midfielder Maricela Padilla each beat Bianca Henninger, the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. U-20 National Team, only to hit the frame. In the 39th minute, with the game scoreless, Ah Choy's shot struck the crossbar. Tied at 1-1 in the 65th minute, Padilla's shot from the left curved over Henninger and was ticketed for the upper 90, but ringed off the post.
Thus far, Pacific has been credited with hitting the post four times, with another shot off the cross bar (not counting shots deflected by the goalkeeper or defender before hitting the frame).
Cal enters the match at 5-0-2 on the season and is firing on all cylinders with 18 goals in their last three matches.
"We're spending more time on creating offensive opportunities and pressuring on offense so we have to defend a little less," Coleman continued. "If their backline is comfortable, they'll dictate play."
"It's about us playing well, and trying to create more offense and be a little smarter on defense. We're absolutely going there to win, not just figure things out. The want to win, badly. We need to get a win now. We're capable."
Following Pacific's match at Cal, the Tigers will return home on Friday, Sept. 24 to face Montana at Stagg Memorial Stadium on Latino Sports Heroes night. At halftime of the 7 p.m. match, Latino student-athletes, including women's soccer players Padilla and Angelica Figueroa (Mexico) and Laura Hernandez (Columbia), will be recognized.