No. 1 California 1, Stanford 0
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Steve Birnbaum scored in dramatic fashion -- pouncing on the rebound of his missed penalty kick and putting the ball in the back of the net in the 86th minute -- to lift No. 1 California to a 1-0 victory against Stanford on Sunday afternoon on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Golden Bears’ record improved to 10-0-2 (4-0-1 in the Pac-12) after their third consecutive victory, while the Cardinal fell to 6-4-2 (1-3-1 Pac-12).
The goal was the Pac-12 Conference-leading eighth of the season for Birnbaum.
The referee called for a penalty kick when he judged that a Stanford player fouled Cal's Nick Lima in the Cardinal's box. Cardinal goalkeeper Drew Hutchins saved Birnbaum’s ensuing penalty kick, but Birnbaum made no mistake on the rebound.
Before that point, the rivals were deadlocked on the scoreboard at 0-0, in shots at 13-13, in saves with six apiece, and even in fouls with 10 each. The Bears did have a 6-2 corner-kick advantage.
“It was a great game [Sunday] by two super, high-quality teams,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “Both teams played with a lot of determination and desire. It was a great game for the fans to watch. We’re real pleased with our performance and with the outcome [Sunday].”
It was 0-0 at halftime despite some good scoring chances in the first 45 minutes. Stanford’s Jordan Morris’ took a close-range shot that Justin Taillole saved at 7:05 and Lima hit the woodwork with a shot at 41:40.
At 63:25, the Cardinal produced one of its better chances when Eric Verso set up Zach Batteer for a long-range shot that went just high of Cal’s crossbar. The Bears produced a similar effort at 81:23, when Christian Thierjung’s shot just cleared the Stanford crossbar.
The Cardinal had one last chance, but Verso’s shot with 8 seconds left went wide.
Taillole made six saves in 90 minutes, while Hutchins wound up with seven.
No. 6 Coastal Carolina 1, Radford 0
CONWAY, S.C. -- Ricky Garbanzo scored in the 31st minute of play and sixth-ranked Coastal Carolina made the lone goal hold up the rest of the way to prevail with a 1-0 victory against Radford in a Sunday matinee at the CCU Soccer Field.
The win marked the 10th consecutive for the Chanticleers and improved the squad to 11-2-0 overall and a 6-0-0 in Big South play. The 10-game winning streak is the longest current streak in the nation and Coastal's third 10-plus match win streak in the past three seasons. In addition, the win pushed CCU's current Big South regular-season unbeaten stretch to 26 games (25-0-1).
Radford dropped to 4-5-3 (2-3-1 Big South) with the loss.
Garbanzo found the game's single goal at the 30:50 mark in the first half. Pedro Ribeiro received a pass on the left flank and drove toward the left corner of the 18-yard before shaking a Highlander defender and centering a waist-high cross across the goal mouth. Garbanzo, who had made a great run through the midfield, finished Ribeiro's cross past the diving keeper. The goal was Garbanzo's team-leading seventh of the season and his fifth in the past four games. Moreover, of the junior's seven goals this year, four have proven to be game-winners. The assist was Ribeiro's fourth of the campaign and third on a goal by Garbanzo.
Justin Portillo had a great look to give the Chants a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute as his shot appeared to beat Radford's Dane Wilson. However, the ball deflected off Wilson and into the air then ricocheted off a Chanticleer out of play.
After exchanging segments of possession in the first half, the Chanticleer took control of the possession game in the second period and racked up 11 shots to the Highlanders' three. The Radford defense held fast against the CCU attack, not allowing the Chants to find quality shots inside the '18 during the final 45 minutes of play.
"This was a good win against a quality opponent," 16th-year head coach Shaun Docking said. "We played good soccer [Sunday], we still need to work on finishing opportunities, but overall I am pleased with [Sunday's] performance."
Coastal, who was led on the day by Le Bras' five shots, ended the match with an 18-10 lead in shots, including an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal. CCU also held a 7-2 edge in corner kicks.
Chanticleer keeper Devin Cook turned in a three-save performance to earn his seventh shutout of the season. Cook's seven clean sheets this season move him into a tie for fifth on the all-time CCU single season list, while his 0.79 goal against average is best in the Big South.