Sept. 3, 2010
BERKELEY - For the second straight week, the California field hockey team suffered a 4-3 defeat. This time it was against seventh-ranked Michigan State Friday afternoon at Maxwell Family Field. The Spartans fought off two one-goal leads by the Golden Bears and emerged victorious.
"We scored three times on them, but it just wasn't enough," head coach Shellie Onstead said. "That was a heartbreaker at the end. This was a huge improvement from last week. It's hard sometimes to see a loss as a plus, but if there's such a thing as a good loss, this was a good loss. Their coach complimented me after the game, and told me about how well we played and that they couldn't stop us. It was a nice gesture by him."
After holding off two shots on goal and three penalty corners from Michigan State in the opening minutes, the Bears came down the field and scored on their first shot of the game. Sophomore Rachelle Comeau took a pass from sophomore Megan Shimojima all the way down the field, into the circle, and was able to sneak a shot past the Spartan keeper in the bottom left corner of the cage.
"Shimo made a really nice pass down line, and I was just going in for the circle and I shot it far post and it went in," Comeau said.
The Spartans scored twice in the first half to take a 2-1 lead at halftime. Both MSU goals were scored by Jantine Steinmetz. Her first goal came in the 26th minute when she took a pass from Holly Sherman and smacked a shot past Cal keeper Maddie Hand in the upper left corner of the cage. Her second score came just 30 seconds before halftime. Steinmetz was in front of the cage and knocked in a rebound from a previous shot.
Cal's second goal came in a similar fashion. Sophomore Claire Dougherty tipped a pass from Shimojima into the cage in the 43rd minute. It was Shimojima's second assist on the afternoon, and she now leads the team on the season in the category with two.
About 90 seconds later, junior Erin Magill gave the Bears a 3-2 lead when she converted on a penalty stroke. It was Magill's first goal of 2010, and Cal's second score off of a penalty stroke this season. Megan Psyllos tallied the first against Miami of Ohio last Friday.
The Spartans tied the match at three when Sabine van den Assem notched her third goal of the season on a converted penalty corner in the 47th minute. MSU then scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 69th minute when Katherine Jamieson knocked in a loose ball off of a blocked shot. The blocked shot was due to a defensive save from sophomore Deanna Kennedy.
"I thought we were right in it," Comeau said. "I felt like we had a better team chemistry than we had before. It was really intense. We were right there, and next time, we know it's going to be a win. Now we know that we can play with this high-level of competition."
Despite allowing the four goals, Hand recorded seven saves, and was under pressure a lot from the Spartan offense. MSU outshot the Bears, 9-1, in the first half and, 17-6, for the game.
Cal returns to action Sunday, Sept. 5, when it faces UC Davis in the NorPac Conference opener at 1 p.m. at Maxwell.