Since November 12, 2010, the final game that Alex Morgan would ever play in a Bears uniform, many predicted (you know who you are) that the Cal women’s soccer team would be mediocre at best without their stunning offensive player.

Morgan — who became a soccer star with her fantastic play with the U.S. national team at this summer’s Women’s World Cup — led the team in scoring in each of her four years and is third all-time in points (107) and goals (45) in school history. During her final season in 2010, she played in only 12 games but still scored 14 goals. The second leading-scorer on the team, Lauren Battung, had seven goals in 18 games played. Therefore, the feeling of skepticism wasn’t completely uncalled for.

The Bears, however, determined to make fans out of the naysayers, have started the season strong – only losing their first game while dominating (and we mean dominating) the next eight. Cal (8-1) is now only one win shy of last seasons win total with 11 games left in the regular season.

Led by senior co-captain Katie Benz (who earlier this month was chosen Pac – 12 player of the week, has 10 goals this season after scoring a total of three in her first three years and showed off her amazing singing voice on the Cal Sports Report) the Bears have earned themselves a No. 17 national ranking and are in third place in the Pac-12.

Not bad for a team who was chosen to finish sixth in their conference.

The real fun/challenge began only yesterday when they opened up Pac-12 play with a 1-0 shut-out against Arizona State University (4-5). Tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 25, the Bears take on Bay Area rivals Santa Clara University (4-1-4) so as an extra incentive to win that game, we would like to remind the women’s team that for the first time ever, Forbes ranked Santa Clara University above Cal in their yearly Best College in America list. And while winning a soccer match won’t really change anything in Forbes eyes, it’ll make us here at the Clog feel just a smidge better about the situation.

Cal travels to Santa Clara for a 12:00 p.m. game on Sunday.

Image source: michaelgoodin under Creative Commons

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