California Routs Saint Mary's in Season Opener

MORAGA, Calif. California opened the Ginger Miles era and christened the new Saint Mary's field with an 18-6 victory over the Gaels on Sunday at Saint Mary's Recreation Field. Junior Melissa Humphrey posted nine points to tie a Golden Bear single-game record and collected six assists to set a new single-game record for 1-0 Cal, which also played its first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match of the 2012 season. Saint Mary's opened at 0-1 (0-1 in the MPSF).

"It felt great getting out there and finally getting the first game under our belts," said Miles, Cal's first-year head coach. "We've been beating ourselves up for the past five weeks, and it's good to play against some outside competition to see if what we've been working on really works against someone else. I'm really happy to see today that all the things we've been talking about spreading the love around on the attack, getting the ball around, we had seven goalscorers today, which was awesome, and staunch, disciplined defense all showed up today. It was awesome. I'm really proud of the effort."

Junior attacker Alexa Rozelle scored a game and career-high six goals, the most a Bear has scored in a match since 2009, when former Bear Alyse Kennedy scored six times also against Saint Mary's.

"Mel and Lex really took the scoring challenge on themselves today," Miles said. "It's really great to see Mel step up into that role as a feeder for us and put a couple of balls in the back of the net herself. Mel came back from Christmas break a different player really dedicated, committed and determined to make a difference this season. She really stepped up today."

The Bears outshot Saint Mary's, 37-19, and had an 18-8 advantage in draw controls. They edged the Gaels, 15-12, in ground balls.

The Bears raced out to a 7-0 lead thanks in large part to Humphrey. The midfielder scored Cal's first goal of 2012 just 1:16 into the first half and set up goals by junior midfielder Megan Takacs (at 10:02), Rozelle (10:22) and sophomore midfielder Hayley Olson (17:42), whose goal gave Cal a 5-0 lead. Olson off a Paige Gasparino assist had scored to make the score 2-0 at 8:36. Rozelle converted an eight-meter goal (14:44) and senior midfielder Vail Horn scored unassisted at 15:06 to cap the run.

Amanda Cross scored at 18:26 to put the Gaels on the scoreboard and make the score 7-1. But Rozelle notched two more goals (20:10 and 22:52) the latter coming after a nice run through the Saint Mary's defense and the Gaels added one more to give Cal a 9-2 halftime lead.

In the second half, the two teams scored four goals apiece to make the score 13-6, with Cal leading. Among those goals were two by senior midfielder Emily Abbood, who was playing in her first game since 2010.

With Cal leading by seven, Miles called timeout, and the Bears came back with a vengeance, scoring the final five goals of the game. At 38:14, less than a minute after the timeout, Humphrey scored her second of the game off an Abbood assist to give Cal an 18-6 lead.

Humphrey completed her hat trick when she scored an eight-meter goal at 56:42 to give the Bears a 17-6 lead. She tied former Cal star Colleen O'Mara who scored nine points in a game against Le Moyne in 2004 for the school's single-game scoring record.

"We've been trying a new attack with me behind, and it comes down to a lot of feeding," Humphrey said. "I've got to give it up to my attackers. So many people made so many good cuts, and it was easy for me find them. Props to my teammates for allowing me to get those stats today."

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2012-02-20



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