Cal field hockey set to battle UC Davis on Sunday

Alice Langford/File

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Riding the great spirits from its film session to debrief its game against No. 14 Wake Forest last Sunday, the Cal field hockey team is looking to show off its newfound skills Sunday against UC Davis.

The Bears were more satisfied with their loss against the Demon Deacons than their victory over Appalachian State last weekend. Against Wake Forest, they logged more scoring chances than their opponent with 12 but were only able to finish two.

At the film session, the Bears mainly replayed goal-scoring opportunities where a player made it into the circle but couldn’t convert the goal or find an open teammate. Cal head coach Shellie Onstead stressed the importance of supporting teammates by getting in goal-scoring positions near the stroke mark and back post.

Although its weekend record was 1-1, Cal felt it improved its half-field press techniques and offensive pressure.

“Our consecutive losses are hard on a team, and just being able to perform and seeing the passion in the game is what will inspire and keep us going,” said senior captain Monica Marrazzo.

The upcoming game against the Aggies is extremely important because after weeks of nonconference play that mainly served as a warmup for the actual season, Cal will be playing its first conference game.

So far this season UC Davis is 3-6. The Aggies suffered many early season losses and share mutual losses to Northeastern and Drexel with Cal.

Solely considering records, the Sunday game should be very evenly matched. For the most part, it seems like Cal and UC Davis experience similar defects — they both have had problems getting shots off against highly ranked teams and general difficulty finishing those shots.

Onstead reflected on what will be necessary to get an edge on the Aggies in the upcoming game.

“Continue to build on what we just did. I am looking at it like a pyramid,” Onstead said. “Focus a lot less on Davis and more on (the Bears) getting the positive reinforcement that they need, and I think the score will reflect that.”

The Cal captains echoed that outside of the technicalities, the game really comes down to passion and which team visibly wants it more.

“Just seeing the way we can play and knowing that this is only the first half of our season makes us have so much room to grow and improve for the actual season,” said sophomore Janaye Sakkas.

Lucy Schaefer covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected]