BERKELEY – California dropped a 4-2 decision Sunday afternoon at Maxwell Family Field to Pacific in a game that saw two Bears earn their first goals of the season for a lineup playing without three of its regular starters.
Midfielders Lara Kruggel and Shannon Elmitt along with defender Clara Goni all missed Sunday afternoon’s game to injury, but the Bears (4-5, 1-2 NorPac) regrouped as a team and earned goals from redshirt sophomore Nicole Wallstedt and freshman Jamie Stankiewicz.
Pacific (3-7, 1-1 NorPac) – the designated home team Sunday – battled back from an early deficit to score four unanswered in the middle of the game to earn their first NorPac win of the season.
“It’s going to affect the game to lose that experience, but we consider ourselves a complete team,” California head coach Shellie Onstead said of losing three starters for the game, all of whom have been regular starters for the Bears since they joined the program as freshmen as many as four years ago. “It’s not any particular people, so I was confident coming out. We just didn’t get it done. Pacific played a great game. They had great goals, and we weren’t quite ready to match them today.”
Cal opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal by Wallstedt, who rebounded a shot of her own that was saved and put it back into the net at 19:41. It was the first goal of the season for Wallstedt, who has missed two games this year herself due to injury.
Pacific scored less than two minutes later when Emily Tregoning put one into the goal at 21:38 after dribbling down the left side of the field. The Tigers claimed their second with just 18 seconds remaining in the first half when they were awarded a penalty stroke that Paige Counsman scored for the 2-1 halftime lead.
The Tigers added their third in the 46th minute with a strike from Nicole Laskosky that Tregoning assisted. Cal was awarded its own penalty stroke in the 51st minute, but the attempt by Allie Swartz was saved by the goalkeeper. Pacific then claimed its fourth goal of the game in the 58th when Sidney Brooks scored her first of the year.
Less than a minute later, Stankiewicz earned her first career goal and moved Cal to within two at 4-2 by tapping in a cross from Andrea Earle at 58:41. Stankiewicz, who earned her third start of the year at midfield, played her most extensive minutes of the season Sunday.
“That’s somebody that had more minutes than she would have, and you can see that she is valuable,” Onstead said. “That’s why losing the spine a little bit was a bit of a problem, but I have confidence in the team as a whole. It just wasn’t our day.”
Cal travels to the east coast this weekend with games against No. 13 Duke (Friday, 3 p.m. PT) and No. 1 North Carolina (Sunday, 10 a.m. PT).