Big victory for Cal field hockey team

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OCTOBER 06, 2014

Though temperatures ran upward of 94 degrees, the Cal field hockey team remained cool and collected while claiming the victory in Sunday’s 1 p.m. matchup.

While Pacific relied heavily on star player Ali Campos, Cal was able to utilize its roster much more effectively. By distributing minutes evenly among the team, the Bears were able to take a 2-1 win over the Tigers, with both offensive and defensive players adding points to the scoreboard.

With just about 10 minutes left in the first half, junior defender Clara Goni made a long run toward the Tigers goal and as Pacific goalkeeper Laura Pujade came out to meet her, Goni flipped the ball over Pujade, and it collided with back of the net.

While a break at the half provided Pacific a much-needed chance to regroup after the Bears’ 1-0 first-half lead, they were unable to mentally capitalize. Shortly after the start to the second half, Pujade faced another challenge, this time from Nicole Wallstedt as Paula Seibt played a long ball toward the goal. A wide-open Wallstedt tapped it in past Pujade.

The Bears’ 2-0 lead was a mark of their increased preparation for the conference matchup.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult day today, and my biggest concern in getting prepared was just making sure the team was in a really good place mentally,” said head coach Shellie Onstead. “I thought they really showed up in a good way, as much on the mental side as on the physical side.”

The physical side ended up being an overwhelming part of the game, with both teams receiving multiple penalties throughout the game. When asked if there were more penalties than usual, Onstead conceded that that was definitely the case.

“Yeah, that’s a lot of cards,” Onstead said. “That’s more than you typically see in a game, but that just means both teams are going hard and competing and it’s a little bit physical.”

And while the physical play ultimately resulted in positive outcome for the Bears, it also provided Pacific with a potential turning point in the second half. In a breakaway, Pacific’s leading goal-scorer Campos was taken down from behind by Goni. Because the foul interfered with a scoring opportunity, Pacific received the first and only penalty shot of the game.

Campos’ shot went toward the left side of the goal and sailed into the net, seemingly off the stick of Bears’ goalkeeper, Courtney Hendrickson. With a little more than 16 minutes remaining, Onstead called a timeout in order to settle down her team.

“At that moment, I brought the team together and talked about how we were going to finish the game, and said exactly that: ‘This is the turning point. You guys could let this turn in their favor, or you could take it back right now,’ ” Onstead said.

The Bears were able to do just that. With their continued pressure on Campos and the Pacific offense, Cal was able to prevent any further goals from the Tigers in order to maintain their 2-1 lead. This win is a much-anticipated victory for the Bears, who have been unsuccessful in the past three games despite their mostly solid play. When asked how the team would celebrate, Onstead chuckled.

“How are they going to celebrate it?” Onstead responded. “Probably with an ice bath and some good sleep.”

Jessi McDonald covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected].

OCTOBER 06, 2014

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