BERKELEY – It was a family affair in Friday night’s home opener at Maxwell Family Field as sisters Andrea and Sydney Earle helped push California to a 4-2 victory over Dartmouth with a combined three goals and an assist.
Andrea Earle, an All-American who missed all of 2012 due to injury, continued her strong return to the pitch with two goals and an assist while younger sister Sydney tallied the first goal of the day for the Bears. Junior Jordan O’Reilly scored Cal’s third goal to move the Bears to 2-1 on the year. Dartmouth falls to 0-1 with the season opening loss for the Big Green.
“It felt amazing, especially to be back out there with the team again,” Andrea Earle said. “It was a great game. We had to dig deep. We didn’t have many subs so it was a team effort today. It was definitely a team win, and it feels great to be back out here.”
The Big Green struck first when Olivia Quaglia scored off a penalty corner in the 10th minute to give Dartmouth the early 1-0 lead. However, Cal would go on to score four unanswered goals – two coming in each half – to secure the home opening win.
“They were very excited to be home,” California head coach Shellie Onstead said. “It took them a little while to calm down. At least we had Nikki back on the front line, which was helpful to have experience there. Overall as the game went on we lost a couple of players to little injuries so everyone had to dig in, and I had some players out of position. I’m really proud of the response of the whole team to come out with four goals.”
Sydney Earle tied the game at 19:46 with a goal assisted by Allie Swartz. Less than eight minutes later, Andrea Earle hit the game-winner when she rebounded her own shot and sent it back into the far corner of the goal for the 2-1 lead at 27:16.
After the halftime break, Andrea Earle connected with O’Reilly at 40:56 to give Cal a 3-1 cushion on what was O’Reilly’s second goal of the season. Andrea then had a hand in a third straight Golden Bear’s goal by scoring an unassisted strike at 60:42 to give Cal the 4-2 advantage.
“You can see what a playmaker she is,” Onstead said of Andrea Earle. “The team has confidence in her. She has enough experience that she listens well. She helps with the press. It’s not just the offensive output. She’s a significant player all over the field.”
Dartmouth’s Maggie Scanlon finished the scoring in the 69th minute for the decisive 4-2 final tally. Junior goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson had eight saves for the Bears.
“It was such a relief,” Andrea Earle said of playing at Maxwell Family Field for the first time in two years. “It’s so nice to have a home field advantage and to be where we practice everyday. I am so excited for the game on Sunday to be back at Maxwell.”
California returns to Maxwell Family Field with a Sunday afternoon game against Liberty that is scheduled for 2 p.m.