EVANSTON, Ill. – California was shutout for the first time this season in a 1-0 loss to Ohio at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field Saturday afternoon.
Cal now sits 3-3 on the season after a game in which the Bears were able to get just four shots off to Ohio’s eight despite both teams having five penalty corners in the game.
“It was a rough offensive weekend,” California head coach Shellie Onstead said. “As far as generating chances, that’s something we’ll have to focus on. I have a lot of confidence we’ll get it going, but we were exposed on that end this weekend. We had problems maintaining possession and linking passes.”
Ohio’s Jessie Jue scored the lone goal of the game in the 21st minute following the Bobcats’s second penalty corner of the game. It took the Bears time to adjust in the first half with their lone two shots coming in the final two minutes of the period, compared to six Bobcats shots in the half.
The second half saw a return of the Golden Bear defense that has been a solid unit this season with the backline of Allie Swartz, Clara Goni, Natalie Gibbens and Michaela Swensen limiting Ohio to just two shots in the final 35 minutes of action.
“Allie and Natalie are playing great defense,” Onstead said. “I was concerned about them moving into new positions and taking the load, but they’ve responded very well.”
The Bears controlled possession for much of the second half but could not find an equalizer. Junior goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson, who made three saves in the match, was pulled in the final two minutes of the game to put numbers into the attack, but the Bears were not able to capitalize with a shot as Ohio snuck away with the neutral site victory.
“We were complacent the first half and let them bring the game to us,” Onstead said. “I used that at halftime and the kids came out more purposeful. You can see that in the stats. Courtney made a save at the end of the game that both the opposing team and the referees said afterwards that they thought was amazing. She was just at the top of her game.”
California travels to rival Stanford next Friday for the NorPac opener. That game will air live at Stanford’s Varsity Field on the Pac-12 Networks at 2:30 p.m.