A wise man once said that history repeats itself. While they probably weren’t talking about the Cal field hockey team, the Bears experienced a repeat of last weekend with a shutout win over UC Davis and another 3-2 loss to Stanford.
In last week’s matchup with UC Davis, Cal took a season-high 25 shots, but converted just three into goals. The story on Friday was similar, as the Bears put just one of their 16 attempts into the back of the net.
UC Davis set the tempo early. The Aggies got a shot off in the fourth minute and played with a sense of urgency, making six substitutions in the first eight minutes to get fresh legs in the game and maintain their fast pace.
In response, Cal head coach Shellie Onstead turned to her bench as well. The Bears matched UC Davis’s frenzied substitutions with a deep rotation of their own, as 17 players saw action in the first half.
After 35 minutes, though, the contest remained scoreless, as the Bears weathered the Aggies’ aggressive attack but were unable to get into a rhythm on offense.
The second half brought even more intensity. Sophomore forward Megan Rodgers came out firing, taking four shots in the first 15 minutes and putting pressure on the Aggie defense. Emotions were high as well, as players on both teams were issued green cards early in the second period.
Cal eventually did settle in. Onstead’s message at halftime to her team was to play at their own pace, and instead of constantly making substitutions to keep up with the Aggies, the Bears started to dictate their own tempo. Rodgers was able to get solid looks, and Cal’s defense didn’t allow a shot in the first 20 minutes of the half.
In the 54th minute, the Bears finally broke through. On a penalty corner, junior Femke Delissen attacked instead of shooting right away, and after evading the first set of defenders, she flipped a backhand to the far post to score the go-ahead goal, and lead Cal to its second shutout victory over UC Davis in as many games.
Sunday’s matchup against Stanford was even more eerily similar to last week’s, as the sequence and timing of goals were essentially identical. Stanford kicked off the game with an early goal, getting on the board in the first five minutes again. The rest of the first half was another back-and-forth struggle, and the Cardinal struck again late in the first half for a 2-0 lead.
Senior Katrina Carter put the Bears on the board a few minutes before halftime, and the second period brought a familiar story. Cal outshot Stanford 13-8, but the Cardinal found a way to score and push their lead back up to two.
Just like last week, the Bears scored in the 67th minute, bringing them within a one goal with time winding down. Once again, though, Cal couldn’t complete the comeback, ultimately falling 3-2.
Stanford’s Corinne Zanolli continued her scoring dominance, adding two goals again on Sunday, and goalkeeper Kelsey Bing made 11 saves.
They say that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and though memories from last week’s matchups with UC Davis and Stanford are still fresh, it was truly déjà vu this weekend for the Cal field hockey team.
Tim Sun covers field hockey. Contact him at