The Dons tied 0-0 after two overtime periods last Sunday, Sept. 16 against a very well matched Bay Area rival, the California Golden Bears. The sunny afternoon game at Edwards Stadium in Berkley was a close, competitive match throughout all 90 minutes of regulation play as well as the 20 minutes of overtime.
The Dons had a slight edge over the Bears in shots, totaling 17 to Cal’s 15. San Francisco led by a wider margin than that throughout most of the match, particularly in the second half in which USF took nine shots on goal.
“We had a couple close chances; we had a ball cleared off the line by Cal’s goalkeeper. We just needed to be more lethal with our attack,” senior goalkeeper Brendan Roslund said.
Roslund’s seven saves led to the second shutout of the year for the 6’6” senior from Denver, Colo.
“It was a pretty straightforward game. My team did a lot of the work for me, I didn’t have to do that much,” Roslund said.
The Dons narrowly missed a scoring opportunity in the second half, when at the 65th minute junior forward Michael Shaddock, a new transfer from Cal, got around the Bear’s center back and took a shot that went just wide to the right of the goal. Another shot by the Dons went wide right in the second overtime, set up by sophomore forward Miguel Aguilar and taken by sophomore defender David Romney.
“We need to be a lot more lethal on scoring chances, moving forward into conference,”
Head Coach Erik Visser said, according to usfdons.com.
Yet overall, Visser was pleased with the team’s performance.
“To come to Edward’s Stadium for 110 minutes, we competed at a high level and outplayed a very good Cal team. In my tenure as a head coach, this was the most convincing performance that we’ve had at Cal.”
Roslund agreed that although USF didn’t come out with a win, the game was a high point for the team.
“Obviously we would have liked to come out with a win, but a 0-0 draw against a good opponent away is okay. It is definitely something to build on.”
“In a game like that, it’s just about which team is going to make the one mistake, and neither team did.”
San Francisco will have another chance to fine-tune their performance and possibly pick up a road win before beginning WCC play.
“I feel that as a team we are still pretty young, we are still trying to figure out who we are as a team and yesterday helped. A win would have defined us, but we have another good opportunity for that this weekend against Boston College,” Roslund said.
The Dons face Boston College on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Boston, Mass. They begin WCC conference play the following weekend with a Pacific Northwest road trip, opening against the University of Portland Pilots on Friday, Sept. 21 and then heading to Spokane to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Sunday, Sept. 30. The Dons return to Negoesco Stadium on Friday, Oct. 5 to play St. Mary’s of Moraga, Calif. at 7pm.