Young Bears adapt to new environment

[SAN FRANCISCO-CALIFORNIA] Starting two freshmen, four sophomores and five juniors, No. 20 California got its rebuilding campaign off to a winning start thanks to a 1-0 win before 1,990 fans at San Francisco in the the Bay Area Classic.

“It’s always a very tough game playing your local rivalries and local derbies like with USF,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “USF is in the same circumstances as we are -- we both have a lot of new players. It was a great game tonight; both teams played very well, and we were very happy to come away with a 1-0 victory.”

Junior midfielder Tony Salciccia set up John Fitzpatrick for the lone goal for the Golden Bears, which had five players taken in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and then lose goalie David Bingham to the MLS lottery.

“It feels great,” Fitzpatrick said. “We were all pushing forward, imposing ourselves on the other team. Salciccia played a great ball. He beat his defender and whipped it far post, and I was just fortunate enough to get a head on it.”

A pair of freshmen from the Cal's highly rated first-year class -- defender Christian Dean and midfielder Seth Casiple -- started, as did redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Robby Gogatz, who last started in 2009. Cal's only senior, captain Ted Jones, is red-shirting.

“All the young guys did exceptionally well,” Grimes said. “This is not an easy place to play. There are lots of fans right on top of you. There was a great atmosphere here tonight. The older guys are used to this, and it was great for the younger guys to experience a big crowd. Playing in a difficult environment and getting a good result was extra special for them tonight. That’s a great way to start your college career.”

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