Thursday, April 24, at Stanford
4 p.m. PT – Cal (5-10, 3-5 MPSF) at No. 17 Stanford (12-3, 6-2 MPSF)
Maloney Field – Stanford, Calif.
Series Record: Stanford leads, 26-6
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks
BERKELEY – Playing its best lacrosse this season and riding a lot of momentum having won two of its last three and three of its last five, the California women’s lacrosse team looks to finish the 2014 season on a high note, taking on No. 17 Stanford Thursday afternoon on The Farm. The Bears and Cardinal will meet at 4 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal has history on its side having won 26 of the previous 32 meetings in the season series between the Bay Area rivals.
The Bears picked up a narrow 7-6 win at Colorado in the most-recent contest last Sunday. Cal also enjoyed a one-goal victory at Detroit, which snapped a six-game losing streak. It’s been a pair of freshmen who have helped turn things around for the Bears. True freshman Bella Huther leads the team in goals with 42 and points with 44. Since making the change at goalie, true freshman Katie Gutierrez has guided the Bears to three wins and a goals-against average of 9.63 in starting the past five games.
A Look at the 2014 Golden Bears
• According to head coach Ginger Miles, the Bears have been playing their best lacrosse in recent weeks. Enduring a six-game losing streak, Cal snapped the losing skid with an 11-10 win at Detroit. Despite losing the next game at Michigan in overtime, 13-12, Miles was still pleased with how hard and well the Bears played. Cal took care of business against Fresno State in the final home game of the regular season with an 11-7 win. Finally, the Bears picked up a huge road MPSF win at Colorado last Sunday, 7-6
• Prior to Cal’s trip to the state of Michigan, Miles and her coaching staff decided to make a change at goalie, switching the current goalie Helen Hansen with true freshman Katie Gutierrez, who joined the team just prior to the start of the season. Gutierrez has helped the Bears win three of their last five games, including some narrow one-goal victories. Miles has credited her with making huge game-saving stops to help Cal hang on and capture the close victories. A native of nearby San Bruno, Calif., Gutierrez is currently sporting a goals-against average of 9.63 and a save percentage of .441.
• Bella Huther is, and has been, Cal’s leader in goals all season, now with 42 on 44 points. Against USC, she became the fourth player in school history to score seven goals in a game, which also tied the school single-game record. Huther scored a goal on every shot she took. Her performance against SDSU led her to be named the MPSF Rookie of the Week on March 3. She also scored four times in the season opener against Saint Mary’s, at La Salle, at Detroit and at Michigan. Huther has recently been contributing defensively, as well, recording three ground balls at Colorado, and three draws and two caused turnovers at Denver.
• In order for Cal to earn a berth into the MPSF Tournament, the Bears need Fresno State to defeat San Diego State Wednesday night, and then Cal must beat Stanford on Thursday.
• Head coach Ginger Miles is in her third season as head coach at Cal. She previously coached Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for two seasons, leading CMS to NCAA Tournament second-round appearances both years. The Bears have been in the MPSF Tournament in both of her previous seasons at Cal, and Miles also guided former standout Megan Takacs to become the first All-American in the history of the program.
• No. 17 Stanford is currently 12-3, and the Cardinal had a four-game winning streak snapped at USC in its last game.
• Stanford’s leading scorers are Rachel Ozer (37 points - 25 goals, 12 assists) and Kelsey Murray (34 points - 22 goals, 12 assists).
• Defensively, Megan Lerner has 37 draws and 29 ground balls, while Hannah Farr has notched 34 draws and 25 ground balls
• Keeper Lyndsey Munoz has a save percentage of .388 and a goals-against average of 8.91.
Bears Pick Up Big MPSF Road Win at Colorado
Behind two goals from Gaby Christman and some big saves down the stretch from Katie Gutierrez, Cal picked up a big road victory Sunday afternoon at Colorado by the score of 7-6. Christman and Paige Gasparino each had two points to lead Cal. Christman tallied two goals while Gasparino notched a goal and an assist. Colorado struck first with a goal on a free-position shot in the game’s early minutes, but Cal would take a 2-1 lead with goals from Bird and Christman. With eight minutes left in the half, the Buffaloes evened the game up at two, but Cal took a 3-2 lead at the break when Christman scored her second goal with just under five minutes left before halftime. Cal took a two-goal lead shortly after halftime when Gasparino scored to make it 4-2, Cal. The Bears and Buffaloes traded goals for the rest of the second half. Colorado cut the Cal lead to one with 1:17 left in regulation, but Caroline Schlegel picked up a big draw control to secure the win for the Bears.
Cal Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary
Back on April 6, Cal lacrosse celebrated the 15-year anniversary of its program with a pregame tailgate event and a halftime on-field ceremony during the Bears’ contest against USC. In light of the historical day for the program, Cal also held its Senior Day pregame ceremony to honor its five seniors that day despite it not being the final home game of the season. Alumnae all the back to the first season of the program playing at the varsity level in 1999 attended the event, as well as members of the Cal’s lone MPSF Championship team that won the conference title back in 2004. Cal lost to USC that day, but it was still a tremendous day for Cal lacrosse.
Gaby Christman Does All The Little Things
Gaby Christman has been a consistent contributor offensively and defensively for Cal all year long. She leads the team in a number of categories, including draws (42), ground balls (30) and caused turnovers (38). In addition, she’s been scoring plenty for the Bears. The junior team captain has tallied two goals in the past five games. She ranks second on the team in points with 34 on 27 goals and 7 assists. The 27 goals also ranks second on her squad. She has collected a season-best four ground ball on three separate occasions.
Head coach Ginger Miles and Cal lacrosse student-athletes Casey Reid and Marissa O’Meally are blogging this year to give their fans some behind the scenes insight on the Cal lacrosse team. Miles’ blog is called “Mondays With Miles” while the player blog is called “Roll on With Ris and Reid.”
Follow the Bears on Twitter; Like the Bears on Facebook
Join the Bears on Facebook and Twitter. By liking Cal Lacrosse on Facebook, you can see photos, discuss the latest happenings with fellow fans and much more on the social networking site. Following @CalWLacrosse on Twitter means similar inside information, status updates of the Bears as well as up-to-date scoring information.
Photos are available for purchase through GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of the Cal Athletics Department, on their website at GoldenBearSports.com. You can also follow @GBSports on Twitter or Like the GoldenBearSports page on Facebook to get instant notifications when new albums and galleries are posted to the website. Visit twitter.com/gbsports to follow.