STANFORD, Calif. – The California field hockey team came within nine minutes of getting the upset victory, but No. 18 Delaware was able to force overtime and took a 3-2 win at Stanford’s Varsity Field Monday afternoon.
The Bears (1-1), playing in their second overtime game of the weekend, had goals from seniors Lara Kruggel and Andrea Earle, but a late Delaware (2-1) goal forced the extra period, and Blue Hen sophomore Esmee Peet scored her second of the game to give Delaware the victory.
“I was pretty confident all day long,” California head coach Shellie Onstead said. “I felt good about the way we were playing. I thought we would pull it out, but unfortunately overtime can go either way. I’m pretty happy to have a split on the weekend, and it’s disappointing to have that one get away.”
California senior goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson registered 10 saves on a day that saw Delaware attempt 20 shots overall. Redshirt sophomore Michaela Swensen also picked up a defensive save after leading the Bears in the category last season with five.
The Blue Hens struck first at 16:48 when Peet struck off of a penalty corner – the first of four goals on the day to come on a penalty corner attempt.
The Bears evened the score just seven minutes later when Lara Kruggel notched her 34th career goal at 23:34 with an assist from freshman Paula Seibt’s penalty corner. With the goal, Kruggel moves into a tie for No. 5 on the California all-time goals scored list and gives her 84 points in her career in 55 games played.
“I was just happy to be able to play with the team again,” Kruggel said after an injury kept her out of Friday’s season opener one year after also missing five games due to injury. “It felt great being out there with the team, and the team played really well. It was just nice to be a part of it finally.”
“Lara was approved for short minutes, so we made use of that time,” Onstead said. “She has a really deadly shot, so that was a real bonus.”
With the teams tied at halftime, the Bears raced out to a quick 2-1 lead in the second half when Earle redirected a shot into the goal off of another penalty corner at 36:50. Assisted by Clara Goni and Natalie Gibbens, the goal was the first of the year for Earle and moves her into a tie for No. 9 on the California all-time goals scored list with 26 in her career.
The Golden Bears held onto the lead for 25 minutes, but the Blue Hens were able to equalize at 61:31 with the fourth goal scored from a penalty corner, this time by Michaela Patzner, to force overtime.
In overtime, Delaware took the win with Peet’s goal at 72:43.
On the weekend, California scored four goals and picked up 14 saves while going 1-1 against Fairfield and No. 18 Delaware. Freshman Alie Zimmer scored two goals in Friday’s game, and the senior duo of Earle and Kruggel scored goals today, while the assists on Monday were spread out between a freshman and a pair of juniors.
“That’s a good mix,” Onstead said. “The freshman are doing well, and the older players are starting to lead. That bodes well for the future. The team is going to come together great.”
The Bears travel to Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend with games scheduled against Indiana and Ohio.