Belding Nets Goal As Women's Soccer Falls To #17 Cal

San Jose, Calif. - In just her second game of Division I women's soccer, San Jose State University junior Emmy Belding found the back of the net for her, and the team’s, first goal of the season, but the Spartans ultimately fell to the #17 California Bears, 3-1.

With the loss the Spartans drop to 0-2-0 on the season, while California wins their season opener to go 1-0-0.

Spartan freshman goalkeeper, Jordan-Michelle Santos, had a pair of early saves including a shot that she deflected into the crossbar, which ended up on the foot of Bear player, Nikki Schrey. Schrey blasted a point blank shot that Santos smothered to preserve the 0-0 tie in the seventh minute.

Four minutes later, California opened the scoring when forward Alex Morgan’s shot was blocked, but the rebound came right to Lisa Kevorkian who put the ball into the left corner of the net to give the Bears a 1-0 lead at the 10:34 mark.

In the 44th minute, California midfielder, Katrin Omarsdottir got free in front of the net with the ball and looked like she would give the Bears a 2-0 advantage, but Santos again stopped a point blank shot and the half ended with California holding a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans tied the match in the 51st minute after Belding stole the ball and ripped a shot into the upper left corner to square the match 1-1.

“Scoring that goal was super exciting,” said Belding. “I just went in there and attacked. The goalie tried to clear the ball, but I trapped it and saw the open net. Two defenders came at me, but I was able to spin away from them and put the ball in the net.

“Tying the game really gave us a big boost. We played much better from that point on. Opening the season with Santa Clara and California has been a big test, but that goal showed us that we can compete and gave us a lot of confidence.”

Eight minutes later the Bears struck back. Lisa Kevorkian notched her second score of the game, a shot into the roof at the left post, from a cross off the foot of Alex Morgan. Katherine Daiss was also credited with an assist on the goal and at the 58:43 mark, California lead 2-1.

The last goal of the match came when Cal’s Alex Morgan took a through ball from Natasha Richardson and put it past a diving Santos to give the Bears a 3-1 lead in the 77th minute.

The Spartans had one last chance. In the 88th minute, Katie Bonadies stole the ball on the left wing and put it on Beldings foot. Belding’s shot was stopped by Cal goalkeeper Gina Pellegrini, but the rebound came to freshman Shanelle Furner whose own shot sailed high over the crossbar.

“What I am pleased about is how much of a better team we are today versus last Thursday,” said head coach Jeff Leightman. “We took giant steps forward this weekend, but we need to keep taking giant steps forward. We have probably just played the two toughest teams we will face all season. Now is the time for us to get a lot better and to keep improving as a team.

“We got fatigued in the second half, but gutted our way through it and our mentality is starting to build into what we want it to be. Building a championship mentality is more than just about winning. It is about gutting through and never giving up. I don’t think for one moment in either of these two games that we got down on ourselves and gave up. That is what I am really pleased with. That is the foundation for our future success.

“Emmy’s goal was very important. It is a stepping stone for us as a team. We are taking giant leaps forward every time we play. Now we set our sights on UC Davis. It is time to go get a result. If we play at this intensity next weekend and I think success will come. If we do the little things right success will come.

“Our keeper, Jordan-Michelle Santos, had a fantastic match. In certain spots she kept us in it. She made some fantastic saves, but hopefully in the future we are not asking her to be as busy.

“As a team the athletes are coming together. They are a close-knit group, and have a created a family atmosphere which is critical. I think that is something that has been lacking in the past. It is something that is a big focus for us. In women’s athletics the closer the team is, the more you are going to battle for the person next to you. A family culture builds into a championship mentality and that is what we are doing.”

The Spartan offense was led by Emmy Belding who had four shots, all on goal, with one making it to the back of the net. Shanelle Furner had two shots. Katie Bonadies and freshman Lauren Sanchez had one apiece.

California was led by Lisa Kevorkian who took four shots all on goal and netted two. Alex Morgan had three on goal in seven attempts with a goal and two assists. Katherine Daiss and Natasha Richardson each tallied an assist.

The Spartans return to action on Friday, August 29, when they travel to UC Davis to take on the Aggies at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday, August 31, San Jose State returns to Spartan Stadium to host Seattle University. The match is scheduled to kick-off at 1:00 p.m.

California (1-0-0) 1 2 -- 3
San Jose State (0-2-0) 0 1 -- 1

Cal Lisa Kevorkian (1) (Alex Morgan), 10:34
SJSU Emmy Belding (1) (unassisted), 50:09
Cal Lisa Kevorkian (2) (Alex Morgan, Katherine Daiss), 58:43
Cal Alex Morgan (1) (Natasha Richardson), 76:44

Cal 33

Goalkeeper Saves
Cal 3 (Gina Pellegrini-3)
SJSU 11 (Jordan-Michelle Santos-11)

Corner Kicks
Cal 5

Cal 14
SJSU - 6