They say all good things must come to an end, but do we really ever know when the end is?
In 2010, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the first time since 1954. Fans from all over did now know how this moment could be topped. Within the next 4 years, the Giants were able to win two more World Series, making for some of the most memorable years in their history. When you are in the moment, you think nothing greater will come than what is already there. But sure enough, something more iconic is just around the corner.
This remains true for Cal field hockey as the Bears’ season officially ends and the senior players turn in their gear. Their last few games, however, were not ones to be forgotten, as Cal preserved against higher ranking teams during the American East tournament. Both games were decided by a single goal in dramatic fashion.
On Thursday, the Bears played their first matchup of the tournament against New Hampshire. The momentum took almost a full period to build as both teams waded into the game. New Hampshire was the first to gain some speed when junior midfielder Bloem van den Brekel was able to break away from the pack and go one-on-one against Cal freshman goalkeeper Cato Knipping. Brekel was able to lure Knipping out of the net for a clear shot into the open cage, giving New Hampshire a 1-0 lead until the fourth quarter.
The Bears used the little bit of energy they had saved in the last few minutes of the match to quickly speed past New Hampshire. Cal senior backfielder Femke Delissen helped senior midfielder Lindsay Mathison score on a penalty corner, tying the game. Junior forward Megan Rodgers then used this leverage only a few seconds later to secure a lead for the Bears, scoring the game-winning goal. Mathison dished the assist to Rodgers and picked up her third point of the match.
This win raised Cal’s record to 8-10 on the season as it advanced to the next round in the American East tournament for the first time since 2016.
On Friday, the Bears faced the host of the tournament, No. 20 Monmouth. Having beaten a ranked opponent earlier in the season, Cal knew what needed to be done to secure a victory.
Monmouth freshman forward Yasmin Pratt scored within 30 seconds of the start, serving as a reminder of what the Bears were facing. The first 15 minutes were used efficiently by both teams. Monmouth squeezed in another goal, and Cal scored two of its own. The Bears’ second goal came from redshirt senior Katrina Carter on a penalty stroke, tying the game 2-2 and earning Carter her 10th goal this season.
The scoring continued for Cal in the second period when junior forward Maddie Cleat touched the back of the net off a rebound. Monmouth took its time to respond, waiting until the final minutes of the regulation to come back and tie the match 3-3.
As the clock shifted from minutes to seconds, the crowd was preparing for an overtime period. Monmouth sophomore forward Annick van Lange had a different agenda, however, earning the winning goal with just 50 seconds left on the clock. The final score of 4-3 allowed Monmouth to progress into the last round of the tournament and left Cal at the end of its season.
This season, Rodgers led the pack with 13 goals and 30 points, followed by Carter with 10 goals and 22 points. Knipping ended her freshman season on a high note with seven saves in the game against Monmouth. The Bears finished the year with a record of 8-11.
For each end, a beginning follows. The seniors’ time may be over with Cal field hockey but their future will hold nothing short of promise and opportunity.
Mara Redican covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected].