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Four-goal second half leads Huskies past Golden Bears for 11th straight win

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Four-goal second half leads Huskies past Golden Bears for 11th straight win

Nick Scardina celebrates his goal during the Washington's match against Seattle University on Sept. 20 at Championship Field Stadium. The UW won its 11th straight game when it defeated Cal 4-0 on Oct. 10.

Following a scoreless opening 45 minutes, it would be hard to imagine what unfolded in the second half for the No. 2 Washington men’s soccer team against Cal.

Washington sparked to life and put the Cal defense to the sword after the restart, scoring four second half goals en route to a 4-0 win.

Imanol Rosales, who scored a rocket to give the UW a late win against UCLA, provided a moment of magic yet again to break open the match. Just five minutes into the second half, the Huskies (11-0-0, 4-0-0 Pac-12) were presented with a freekick, 20 yards from goal. Rosales stepped up to curl the ball over the wall and into the top left corner past the diving Cal goalkeeper. The sophomore from Mexico now has three goals this season; only redshirt senior Ryan Sailor has more.

Despite their poor run of form leading up to Sunday’s match, the Golden Bears (2-8-1, 0-5-0 Pac-12) proved to be tough to break down in the first half, shutting out the Huskies during the first 45 minutes. Washington came close on a few occasions but struggled to take hold of the match as they’ve done much of the season, allowing a big chance for Cal which Jack Singer couldn’t direct into the net from six yards out.

The Huskies came out of the locker room with intent, immediately putting the Golden Bears under pressure. Junior forward Dylan Teves found openings down the channels, putting in several dangerous crosses into the area. Washington would end the game with 13 shots, five of which hit the target.

The eventual breakthrough from Rosales would be followed up four minutes later by Sailor. The UW center back has found his scoring touch, profiting off of set pieces this season. Sailor’s goal on Sunday would improve his tally to a team-high four goals. The goal came after a scramble following a corner, with Sailor getting the final touch as the Huskies took a commanding 2-0 lead.

Sophomore Nick Scardina would, in effect, seal the UW victory, winning a 50-50 ball, leaving the Cal goalkeeper in no man’s land before calmly rolling the ball into the net. The goal came in the 63rd minute and was Scardina’s third strike this season.

The finishing touches on a comprehensive victory would be provided by freshman Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, who burst the back of the net seconds before the final whistle. The UW midfielder showed some flare, using a roulette to create some space before placing his shot into the right-hand side of the goal. 

Head coach Jamie Clark opted for a changed lineup on Sunday, starting four freshmen. The Huskies would find their spark from their substitutes, with Rosales and Scardina both scoring after starting on the bench. 

In its next match, Washington will travel to Spokane to take on Gonzaga in a non-conference matchup on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Reach senior staff reporter Luka Kučan at Twitter: @luka_kucan

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