BERKELEY, Calif. -- No. 3 Washington passed another major test, earning a 1-1 draw at No. 1 California to stay unbeaten. The Dawgs (7-0-3, 1-0-1) got a late Taylor Peay goal to earn a huge Pac-12 road point against the top-ranked Golden Bears (7-0-2, 1-0-1).
“I thought we showed a lot of character,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “It really was a tail of two halves. I thought particularly after giving up a goal, we really played well in the second half. Still, they were dangerous on set pieces and counter-attacks so it was just a good game for both teams.”
California took a first-half lead, scoring in the 21st minute. Conor Hallisey took a free kick from the right side, just outside the 18-yard box. Hallisey bent a ball towards the far post where several Cal players and Husky defenders leaped for the ball. However, the ball was just over the heads of the intended parties and instead bounced inside the far post for a goal. Husky goalkeeper Ryan Herman who readied to play the header, seemed to be blocked from the ball that got through and was unable to react to make the save.
It was an excellent ball off the free kick, but a bit unlucky for the Dawgs as Herman was blocked from making what could have been a routine save.
For the half, Cal outshot the Dawgs, 6-2. Herman made two saves to keep the margin just a single goal, which would prove critical as momentum would change after the break.
Down a goal, Washington looked like a different team after halftime. The Dawgs would go onto a 11-2 margin in shots in the second half and a 19-5 including both overtime periods.
Darwin Jones was again dangerous with the ball at his feet, totaling nine shots for the game and forcing the Cal goalkeeper into three saves. In all, Cal made seven saves for the game, two more coming off shots from UW substitution Steven Wright.
The equalizer came in the 85th minute when Peay headed home a goal off a corner kick. The Washington senior has been fantastic on set pieces, coming forward from his central defense position to be dangerous in the box. Sunday was no different as James Moberg sent a perfect corner to the back of the six-yard box where Peay had wiggled free to bang home a header.
“The opposition is always marking Taylor with their best defender,” said Clark. “It’s amazing because if he can just create a just half yard of space he can turn that into a goal.”
It is the sixth goal on the season already for Peay, despite the limited offensive chances due to his defensive position. It was also Moberg’s sixth assist as he continues to be Washington’s main playmaker in the middle of the field and on set pieces.
After Peay’s goal, both teams were in desperation mode for the remainder of regulation and the overtimes. Both sides had a lot of tired legs, but the effort was still there as each team created chances.
The Dawgs took a total of eight shots in the two overtimes, but were unable to get the game-winner. Instead, they settled for the result on the road and finished the difficult Bay Area swing with a win and a tie.
“It’s way too early to look at conference position,” said Clark. “You can pick up two losses any weekend in this conference, so ask me after eight games where I think we are at.”
Next up for Washington is a quick turnaround for a Tuesday game at Seattle U. The Redhawks will host UW for the first ever night game at Championship Field at 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be an opportunity for some guys to see increased minutes,” said Clark. “Playing three games in six days is really tough, so we just can’t ask some of the guys to go the full 90 again. We have guys who have been excellent when asked to step up and they will have their opportunities on Tuesday night.”