Laura Schott returned to her goal-a-game pace as the Cal women’s soccer team shut out Fresno State, 2-0.
Schott, an All-American forward, scored both goals in the Golden Bears’ first home game at Edwards Stadium since completing a five-game road trip.
The win moved Cal’s record to 7-1, while Fresno State fell to 2-4.
The first goal, a penalty kick, came after Fresno State defender Kristi Nicholls fouled Brittany Kirk in the Bulldogs’ penalty area. Schott put the kick past Fresno State goalkeeper Mary-Tyler Wahl and into the lower-left corner of her net.
Kirk, a junior midfielder for Cal, definitely went down in the box, but whether it was worth a PK call was debatable.
“I got the ball and was trying to dribble around the girl and they came from both sides and hit me,” said Kirk, who claimed she collided with two Bulldogs. “It was definitely a foul. I don’t know if most refs would have called it. But it was a foul.”
“Any good forward understands when they get bumped when’s a good time to go down or not,” said Stacy Welp, Fresno State’s first-year coach. “I think it’s a questionable call. I think our player was trying to get position with her body. But that’s the way it goes. Referees don’t make or break a game. We do.”
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they were losing 2-0 at the half, thanks to another Kirk-Schott connection. Kirk got the ball in midfield and played what she thought was a bad ball to Schott just to her right. But Schott caught up to it, dribbled through the defenders, rounded the keeper and scored.
“The pass was off a few yards from where I wanted to play it, but she just came running out of nowhere,” Kirk said. “She made my ball look good.”
Both teams possessed the ball well in midfield, but Fresno State could not generate many scoring chances. They forced Cal freshman goalkeeper Mallory Moser into just two saves.
Through eight games now, Schott has eight goals and two assists, leading the Bears in scoring with 18 points. She’s slightly behind the pace she set last season, when she finished third in the nation with a 1.15 goals-per-game average.
Against Fresno State, Schott had six shots overall and three shots on goal. Schott had a great chance to score in the 87th minute, when a Moser punt was deflected by a Bulldog defender right into Schott’s path, but she tried to dribble the keeper and lost the ball.
“Sometimes she’s going to have to shoot before she dribbles the keeper,” Cal head coach Kevin Boyd laughed. “But her composure is outstanding. She gets in there and looks for the best chance she can take. She had a great game today.”