The Cal field hockey team has been forced to play with out-of-the-box tactics for the past two weeks as it attempts to cope with goalie injuries. The Bears have effectively played with a kicking back, suited up a field player and added a former player to the roster.
This weekend, freshman backup goalie Danielle Mentink, who recently recovered from a sprained ankle, was finally able to fill the net. The presence of a trained goalie, however, did not necessarily change the Bears’ fate.
Cal (4-12) suffered another two-loss weekend as it fell to both UC Davis (5-12) and Pacific (14-4) in its final weekend of conference play. The Bears were shut out both times, unable to score against the fierce defense of the tournament-ready opponents.
On Friday in Davis, Cal fell 2-0, despite logging an impressive number of shots with 21. UC Davis’s Kayla Wigney scored two goals early in the first half of the game, and although they had many chances, the Bears were unable to close the gap. That being said, there were still a few Bears who were particularly active on offense, including sophomore Melina Moore and senior Monica Marrazzo, who both logged four shots each against the Aggies. Cal led the game in most statistics, including shots, saves and penalty corners.
Penalty corners are some of the most important scoring opportunities that are presented in a field hockey game. The Bears’ inability to convert corners, combined with the switches to the lineup, may have cost them the game.
“We wanted to make sure to give everyone extra playing time to make sure that there weren’t any changes that should be made to the starting lineup,” said Cal head coach Shellie Onstead. “I am disappointed by the overall performance of the team. It did not create any momentum going into (Sunday’s) game.”
Cal faced another tough loss against Pacific on the Underhill turf Sunday afternoon, allowing four different Tigers to score goals, ending the game at 4-0. The extra wetness added to the field because of the rain made play especially quick and shots abundant.
This game was a little less even than Friday’s as Pacific recorded nearly twice the number of shots as Cal with 13 and six, respectively.
At the half, the Tigers were already leading 2-0 and did not let up. By the end of the game, the Cal defense was tired and allowed Pacific’s Marguerite van Wyk to dribble into the semicircle and score. The Bears especially need to focus on tight marking near their goal to be successful in upcoming games.
“We gave up two unfortunate goals in the first half, but I wasn’t too concerned about it.The third goal was kind of a back breaker,” Onstead said. “We let them play to their strength a little bit. We know they are very strong on the backhand shot.”
Going into the America East tournament this weekend, Cal is 1-5 in conference play, which means they will have to defy statistics to make it past the first rounds.
Lucy Schaefer covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected]