BOSTON – Early pressure by Boston University allowed the Terriers to score three quick goals, and a goal by California freshman Sydney Earle wasn’t enough as Cal (5-10) dropped a 3-1 decision Friday afternoon in field hockey action at New Balance Field.
Boston (11-5) scored three goals in a three and a half minute span to take a 3-0 lead just 18 minutes into the game. Earle put the Golden Bears on the board a minute later, but the Bears couldn’t find a second or third goal in the final 50 minutes of the game as Boston took the victory.
“They got us under pressure early and got early corners and converted,” California head coach Shellie Onstead said. “After we settled down we played a really good game. We’re adjusting our system, which is generating a lot more in the attack. I feel like we’re moving forward and improving. We’ve had issues playing a lesser second half than the first, so it was good to put it together today. It will be great to get everybody back and healthy. We’re keeping our spirits up and moving ahead.”
The Terriers scored the first two goals off penalty corners with Ysi Schieb scoring at 13:56 and Sofi Laurito scoring at 16:37. A California mis-stroke led to a Boston being awarded a penalty stroke at 17:59 which Hester van der Laan converted to give Boston the 3-0 lead.
One minute later, Earle scored her third goal of the season for the Golden Bears on a shot at 18:33 that was assisted by Lara Kruggel.
“It was very athletic,” Onstead said of Earle’s goal. “It showed her hand eye coordination because it came in the circle in the air and she corralled it, took a really high bounce and sort of bunted it into the goal. It was really nice.”
Neither team was able to generate much in the attack in the final 35 minutes. California junior Courtney Hendrickson made 10 saves before Onstead pulled her in the 65th minute to take advantage of a yellow card on Boston’s Bea Baumberger Altirriba. The two-player swing didn’t yield a goal as the Golden Bears took the 3-1 loss.
“Boston called a timeout with six minutes to go so we pulled the goalie which caught them by surprise,” Onstead said of the tactics after Boston’s yellow card. “We decided to go up by two players and got great pressure on them, but couldn’t get any goals or corners.”
California takes on Maine Sunday afternoon in Boston to round out the road trip. The Bears then return home to face No. 11 Stanford on Thursday, October 31 at Maxwell Family Field in the season finale.
“Players are engaged and looking forward to Sunday instead of hanging their heads, so that is all good news,” Onstead said. “Even the discussion after the game had a lot to do with a couple of adjustments to make. I think the system will work really well. We look forward to Maine on Sunday.”