Nov. 28, 2010
BERKELEY – John Fitzpatrick headed in the first goal and sixth-seeded California collected an own goal for the second in the Golden Bears’ 2-0 victory over Brown on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament’s third round at Edwards Stadium. Cal moves on to play at Akron in the quarterfinal round. The Golden Bears improved their record to 12-4-4, while the Brown Bears ended their season with a 12-4-4 record.
Cal plays against Akron at Lee R. Jackson Soccer Field at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 4, in Akron, Ohio. Reaching the quarterfinal round matches Cal’s best NCAA Tournament run, as the 2005 squad also reached the final eight.
“It was a great game today,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “Brown and Cal both played with everything that they had, and I think both teams should be commended for a great performance.”
Fitzpatrick, a sophomore forward, scored the eventual game-winning goal against Brown at the 29:47 mark of the first half. Senior forward Davis Paul took a corner kick that found Fitzpatrick, who headed in his sixth goal and third gamewinner of the season. The play also added to Paul’s single-season school record of 14 assists this season.
“It was a great ball by Davis Paul, and [I was] just in the right place at the right time,” Fitzpatrick said. “It just happened to come to me, and I put it in.”
“There are so many guys that can score at any given moment, so many guys that are good in the air,” Paul said. “If you think about it, I probably have the easiest job on our team – I put it in the way of some these guys, and they do the rest. I’ve just been fortunate to be able to be the one to knock that ball in front of them.”
Cal took its 1-0 lead into halftime. It was a relatively even first half, as Brown outshot Cal, 8-6, but the home team recorded the only goal.
In the second half, Paul was again involved in a score. At 52:13, he crossed the ball into the penalty area, and it deflected off of Brown defender Eric Robertson, past goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand and into the net.
Brown had a good chance to score with Cal junior goalkeeper David Bingham away from his goalline in the second half, but sophomore defender Steve Birnbaum blocked Brown’s shot.
“I initially thought it was going to go in,” Grimes said, “and then Steve made a great play and made the difference in keeping the game 2-0.”
Bingham was outstanding in goal and made nine saves for Cal, as Brown outshot the Golden Bears for the game, 15-13. Grandstrand made five saves for Brown.
The quarterfinal match will feature the first meeting between Cal and Akron. The Zips are the NCAA Tournament’s third seed and dispatched 14th-seeded Indiana, 2-1, in the NCAA third round on Sunday in Akron, Ohio, to advance to the quarterfinal round.