Berkeley, Calif - The 2010 Brown University men's soccer season came to an end in Berkeley this afternoon when No. 6 California defeated Brown 2-0 on Goldman Field during the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears finished the season with a 12-4-4 overall record and made its 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament, including its fifth in the last six years.
"First I want to congratulate California," said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. "They're an outstanding team and showed it today. I think their goalkeeper was excellent and he really made a big difference in the game."
The game was a defensive battle, as goalkeepers Paul Grandstrand (Orono, MN) and David Bingham, who combined for 14 saves in today's game, kept a flurry of shots fired from both teams out of the net early on.
However, California was able to light up the scoreboard 29:47 into the game and carry the momentum with them for the remainder of the game. John Fitzpatrick, who led the Cal offense with four shots, including three on goal, headed in a Davis Paul corner kick to the high right corner of the net to earn his sixth goal of the season and give Cal a 1-0 edge.
"It was a good ball," said sophomore defender Ryan McDuff about the goal. "It kind of went between our two guys in the zone, and he did well putting it in. You can defend it a little bit better, but it was just a good goal. Well put."
Brown sophomore Thomas McNamara (West Nyack NY) nearly scored the equalizer just three minutes after Cal's goal when he blasted a shot from the left side right inside the box, but the ball went straight at Bingham who made the save in net.
Sophomore Austin Mandel (Tarzana, CA) followed with another shot for Brown that was saved by Bingham, and junior forward Sean Rosa (Montreal, Quebec) snuck one by the Cal defense but sent the ball sailing high and over the net with 22 minutes left in the half.
California had a couple more chances, as Fitzpatrick tried another header off a corner kick, but Grandstrand remained steady and strong and earned the save. After a Cal foul with 16:46 remaining in the first, junior Jay Hayward (Acton, MA) almost put in a free kick in the high right corner of the net, but Bingham remained to keep the Bears scoreless after the first 45 minutes.
Bingham recorded five saves in net in the first half, as Grandstrand tallied four to keep the Bears within striking distance entering the second half.
Cal came out after the half and took a few early shots toward the net, but Brown's back line shut down their chances and sent the ball down the field. Soon after, two Cal strikers charged the net as the ball bounced inside the goal box, and a defensive miscue on the clear led to an own-goal at the 52:13 mark to increase Cal's lead to 2-0.
Rosa tallied his fourth shot of the game with 27 remaining in the game when beat two Cal defenders, as well as the goalie, and sent a shot toward an open net. However, Bingham recovered quickly and came from behind and dove in front of the ball to make the save.
"I think that anyone who saw the game today, you saw that we like to attack," added Laughlin. "We outshot the opponent and outcornered the opponent. We really went for it in the second half. I'm very proud of these guys for going for it and that chance and taking those risks. They've been outstanding all year."
The Bears could have easily become discouraged, especially after freshman defender Eric Robertson (San Antonio, TX) was sidelined after receiving his second yellow card of the game. Playing shorthanded for the remaining 26 minutes, the Bears still continued to penetrate the Cal defense, including two shots from T.J. Popolizio (Rexford, NY) and senior captain David Walls (Leeds, England), while keeping the Golden Bears off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.