Cal takes on Northwestern and Ohio this weekend in Chicago.

Bears Head To Chicago For Pair of Games

Cal takes on #12 Northwestern and Ohio this weekend in Chicago.
By Cal Athletics on Wed, September 11, 2013

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MATCH 5: #12 NORTHWESTERN Wildcats (5-1)
Friday, Sept. 13 | 11 a.m.
Lakeside Field | Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats:

MATCH 6: OHIO Bobcats (1-3)
Saturday, Sept. 14 | 11 a.m.
Lakeside Field | Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats: None

“The girls are really excited about going on the road this weekend. They’ve talked about it since the final whistle blew on Sunday. It’s a good trip; a good weekend. This is the first time in years that we’ve scheduled a back-to-back (Friday and Saturday games). That will be interesting. They’ll have to really rebound.”

No. 12 Northwestern enters the weekend with a potent offense that is averaging three goals per game with a 5-1 record - the lone loss coming in the season opener in overtime at Providence. Since that loss, the Wildcats have outscored opponents 17-3 in five games, including a 4-2 win at then-No. 15 Northeastern and 4-1 win at then-No. 16 Boston University.. Eight different Wildcats have scored a goal this season, led by Caroline Troncelliti’s five and Nikki Parsley’s four. Maddy Carpenter has played every minute in goal with 19 saves and three shutouts. The Bears and Wildcats met in Berkeley last season, a 1-0 Northwestern win.

Ohio enters the weekend with a 1-3 record with a win over William & Mary last weekend. The Bobcats are led by senior Luli Gomez Teruel’s 10 points on five goals at an outstanding shooting percentage of .500. Gomez Teruel has scored five of Ohio’s seven goals, but the team has given up 17 goals and 11 assists for 45 points on the year for a goals against average of 4.25 between goalkeepers Brittany Walker and Lina Trucco. The Bears and Bobcats last met in the 2010 season when Cal took a 4-2 victory at Ohio.

Senior Andrea Earle was named the NorPac Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three goals and an assist for seven points in Cal’s home-opening wins over Dartmouth and Liberty. Earle scored the game-winner in both matches to move the Bears to 3-1 on the year. In Friday’s home opener, Earle scored two goals and an assist and to break an early 1-1 tie en route to Cal’s 4-2 win. Against Liberty, Earle scored the lone goal of the match in the 63rd minute. Overall, Earle shot .375 on the weekend with three goals on eight shots. She now leads the team with nine points on the year. She ranks 12th in the NCAA with an average of 1.00 goals per game.

California has relied on a trio of freshmen starters in Sydney Earle, Taylor Lee and Monica Marrazzo in the early going on the season - all three coming in at attacking and midfield positions. In addition, Nicole Henrikkson and Jamie Stankiewicz have seen extended minutes, giving the Bears a young lineup that has performed well thus far to lead Cal to a 3-1, just the second time in the last five seasons that the Bears started as strong.

Cal’s 3-1 record through four games matches the third-best start in the Shellie Onstead era of Cal field hockey - an amazing tidbit considering how the Bears have been one of the strongest programs in the nation in Onstead’s 13 seasons in Berkeley. Only twice have the Bears gone unbeaten through four games under Onstead - the 1999 NorPac Championship year and the 2011 NorPac Tournament Championship year.

Reigning NorPac West Offensive Player of the Year Lara Kruggel missed the opening four games due to injury, but the junior is hopeful for an early return. Last season, Kruggel led the Golden Bears with 18 goals and 44 points - both good for fifth in the Cal record book - and was second on the team with eight assists en route to also being named the NorPac West Offensive Player of the Year. She finised the season 11th in the nation in points per game at 2.20.

The California defense of Allie Swartz, Clara Goni, Natalie Gibbons and Michaela Swensen along with goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson has been solid in the early part of the season in limiting opponents the opportunity to score. The Golden Bear defense ranks 11th in the NCAA with a goals against average of 1.13 on the year.

The Bears travel to Stanford to take on their NorPac rivals on Sept. 20. That game is scheduled to air live on the Pac-12 Networks at 2:30 p.m.


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