A loss in sports goes beyond just numbers on a sheet of paper — it can play with the minds of both players and coaches. After a long string of losses, the Cal field hockey team received some much needed motivation, winning two out of its three games this past weekend.
In last week’s matchup against Penn State, the Bears fought hard for a 4-3 overtime win. While both teams showed perseverance throughout the game, the Bears’ effort in the second half led them to tie up a 3-1 deficit. This performance carried into overtime, where they only needed two shots on goal to secure the win.
In the first quarter, Cal senior midfielder Fionna Jenson scored her first goal this season. Not long after, Penn State’s sophomore forward Grace Wallis scored off of a rebound from the Bears’ junior goalkeeper Natalie Dalton. Dalton managed to perform much stronger in the second half where she saved six out of eight shots from the opposition, as well as a stop on a penalty stroke. This tied Dalton for ninth all-time with 18 career saves for Cal.
The third quarter seemed to be the turning point for the Bears. Cal scored two more goals before the end of the fourth, tying the game at 3-3 where they continued into overtime. The Bears’ sophomore midfielder Brynn Zorilla scored off of a penalty corner in the first period of overtime, breaking Cal’s five-game losing streak.
Friday’s matchup against No. 12 Delaware brought the same challenges that arose against Penn State. Cal came out of the gates fueled by its previous night’s win — lasting long enough to keep their play strong through the first half. It slowly disappeared, however, and Delaware pulled away in the second half, ultimately winning 4-1.
The game remained scoreless until the second quarter when the Bears’ redshirt senior forward Katrina Carter scored a tap-in from five yards out with the help of Cal’s senior backfielder Femke Delissen. Carter is now one of the three leading goalscorers on the team, with three goals so far this season.
Delissen taped down her fourth assist in the last two games, three of which came from Cal’s overtime win against Penn State. After this weekend, Delissen is tied for tenth in school history with 18 career assists.
The Bears finished off their third game of the week against Drexel in Philadelphia on a hot Sunday afternoon.
The less-than-ideal weather did not seem to bother Cal junior midfielder/forward Maddie Cleat or junior forward Megan Rodgers, as they were quite the dynamic duo — both rounding up a goal and an assist, respectively. Rodgers scored just over a minute into the game off of a corner, bring her career points total to 71, ranking 10th all-time for Cal.
Drexel’s senior backfielder Katie Bagdon evened things out, earning her third goal of the season. Cleat’s goal at the start of the fourth quarter won the game for the Bears, closing out the weekend with a 2-1 win. Cal’s wins brought its record to an improved 3-6.
This weekend may not have been a sweep for Cal, but these two wins just may be enough fuel for the Bears to reverse the fate of the rest of their season.
Cal will be staying home this weekend after a lengthy road trip. The team is scheduled to play Syracuse this Friday, a team on a two-game winning streak after a massive double overtime win this past weekend against No. 2 Duke. Central Michigan comes to town Sunday, carrying an eight-game losing streak. Cal is 2-0 all-time against Central Michigan.
Both matchups begin at 3 p.m.
Mara Redican covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected].