Rivalry in sports often brings out the best in both the players and their fans. The authenticity in each team’s fan base brings an atmosphere that can only be described as empowering. One well known rivalry in college sports is between Cal and Stanford, who faced each other this past Friday in field hockey.
Unfortunately for the Bears this long standing competitive history with Stanford was not enough to break their current losing streak. Cal executed great offense and had many chances to score but fell short against No. 16 Stanford’s defense. Stanford won 2-0, making this the Bears’ fifth consecutive loss this season.
The game started off slow with a tied first half. It was not until the third quarter that Stanford junior attacker Corrinne Zanolli scored the first goal off a penalty corner.
The Bears were quick to pick up the pace racking in six shots in the third quarter, three of which were on goal. Cal did not go down without a fight and finished the game with a total of 13 shots, seven of which were on goal, compared to Stanford who had only 10 shots, eight of which were on target. Freshman backfielder Megan Conors produced three of these on-target shots for the Bears.
With two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Cal surrendered another penalty corner. Stanford junior attacker Corrinne Zanolli made the most out of this opportunity, scoring her second goal the game. Zanolli currently leads the nation with 14 goals and 30 points. Unfortunately for Cal, this did not leave enough time to make a comeback.
Cal junior goalkeeper Natalie Dalton collected six saves this game, contributing to her current save percentage of 73.8. That mark is better than her 2018 percentage of 57.5, giving her a solid base for improvement the rest of the season.
Though Cal may be off to a rough start this season, Stanford has been playing strong with a record of six wins and three losses. They have won 14 of the last 16 games played against Cal field hockey dating back to 2012, and it was no surprise that they continued that dominance this season.
This weekend Cal heads to the east coast to play Penn State, Delaware, and Drexel. Delaware is currently ranked No. 12 with a 5-1 record. The Bears will attempt to be the team to stop Delaware’s current streak, as the Blue Hens have won all four of their home games this season. Cal may have a good chance against Penn State, who currently has a six game losing streak. Drexel is not far ahead with one win and six losses.
This defeat from Stanford may have contributed to Cal’s current 1-5 record, but this does not mean the hope for the Bears this season is gone. This weekend will be an opportunity for Cal to redeem themselves and rewrite their season.
Mara Redican covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected].