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Cal falls to No. 1 Stanford, moves on to Aggie Invite

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FEBRUARY 07, 2023

Disappointment consumes the Bears as they fall to No. 1 Stanford for the second time this season. Cal traveled to Avery Aquatic Center this past weekend to face Stanford, along with Arizona State and Michigan, in the Stanford Invitational. The Bears were victorious the first day of this tournament, but then they had to face their most fierce competition — the Cardinal.

First, Cal took on the maize and blue in a morning game versus Michigan. The Bears were ultimately crowned winners in the match with a high final score of 15-12.

Cal trailed Michigan in the first quarter after scoring the first goal, but the Wolverines answered back with three of their own. Cal regrouped and entered halftime up 6-4 thanks to major stops from goalie Isabel Williams.

Junior Reagan Whitney put up three goals in the fourth quarter to seal the deal, and the Bears moved on to face Arizona State. According to Whitney, the team’s bus broke down on the way to the pool, so they had to warm up rapidly and get ready to play with little preparation.

Ranked No. 10, the Sun Devils also made the long haul out to California for the Stanford Invitational. The Bears showed one of their best defensive performances this season, holding the Sun Devils to only 3 goals, while they tallied up 15 with clinical efficiency on the other end.

Williams had eight saves and denied all three 5-meter penalty goals that were shot her way. 10 blue and gold players scored against Arizona State. with five of them scoring at least twice during the game. The Bears secured two wins on the first day and looked on to the next big thing — a rematch versus Stanford.

The highly anticipated game versus the Cardinal was the second duel between the two rivals this season. Last seen in Bear Territory at the California Cup, the Bears fell to Stanford 6-9 in a close contest as both teams were scoring goals back and forth trying to secure the lead.

After their last match, Coach Coralie Simmons talked about points of improvement for the Bears. In order to beat a team like Stanford, they must take advantage of successful offensive drives early in the game.

“Stanford, at times, does a pretty good job on their early offense,” Simmons said. “We would like to also get our looks for early offense, so that is something we would like to improve upon.”

Hoping to not repeat past mistakes, Cal went up quickly in the first quarter with two quick goals; and yet the Cardinal fought back to tie up the game, ending the first quarter 2-2.

After scoring goals back and forth throughout the second period, Stanford pulled away in the third. It scored 7 goals in the third quarter, whereas the Bears only found the back of the goal one time. They managed to slow the Cardinal down in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough. The Bears lost 8-14 with only six saves from Williams compared to the ten saves of the Stanford goalie.

Still, the Bears move forward and only see these tough battles versus Stanford as opportunities to keep growing as a team.

“We always get excited for rival games,” Williams said. “We just have to make sure that we are working hard to keep that energy up throughout the whole game because they are a strong opponent. They definitely give us a challenge.”

This weekend, the Bears will travel to UC Davis for the Aggie Invite, where the competition will be less challenging; they will enter as the team to beat with the highest ranking. Cal will first face California Baptist and then UC Davis later that same day for a one-day tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Contact Devon Byrne at 


FEBRUARY 07, 2023