Google Translate is a helpful tool when it comes to understanding different interpretations. For example, if you ask to translate the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to Luxembourgish, Google returns with “one is dirt bag, another is the treasure.” If you ask it for the Māori translation, it will say “one is dollar dust and another is human resource.” But if you ask Google for a translation for Cal field hockey, the result might be “one team’s loss means a spot in the American East Conference tournament.”
The Bears were unsure of their standings in the American East Conference, or AEC, after losing a close battle to UC Davis 2-1 Wednesday. This win for Davis gave them another shot to advance and put Cal out of the postseason running if it could collect a win against No.17 Stanford. The uncertainty for Cal was lifted eventually, as Davis dropped its final game of the season to Stanford 5-0, giving Cal the No. 5 seed in the AEC tournament.
Before the good news came, however, the Bears had a stress-filled week beginning with their loss to Davis. Both teams faced the potential for elimination before the matchup started, which meant both teams were bringing everything they had to save their respective seasons.
Ten minutes into the game, Davis was the first to make a move when junior midfielder Madison Theodore scored on her fourth shot of the match. This lead remained secure until the second half when Cal junior forward Megan Rodgers tied the game with a flip shot over Davis’ goalie.
For the second time this season, the Bears and the Aggies went frantically into overtime. In their first meeting in October, Cal outlasted Davis 3-2 in the first overtime period. This time around, both teams couldn’t seal the deal in two overtime periods, forcing the Bears’ first shootout decider of the season.
Rodgers and redshirt senior forward Katrina Carter gained a 2-0 edge for Cal early in the shootout. When it came time for Davis’ turn, they were able to gather an extra goal, winning the shootout 3-2. Rodgers now ranks fifth in school history with 85 career points and fourth with 42 career goals.
The game was no walk in the park for Cal. There were few substitutions throughout the game, leaving the responsibility of victory up to the more seasoned veterans. One player who seemed to never leave the field was senior backfielder Femke Delissen, who ended the game with 80 minutes of playing time.
One major substitution that did take place was between junior goalkeeper Natalie Dalton and freshman goalkeeper Cato Knipping when Dalton suffered an injury. After being thrown into the game with little time to prepare, Knipping followed through with a strong performance making three saves and a crucial double save in overtime for the Bears.
The loss for Cal may have postponed the celebrations for a spot in the AEC tournament, but the reward was well worth the wait. Stanford finished the season in the No. 1 position for the AEC west division, and the Bears have the No. 3 spot secured. Both teams will be traveling to the east coast this coming week to begin tournament games. Cal will face New Hampshire on Thursday to begin the AEC tournament.