Oct. 16, 2011
The No. 12 California Golden Bear field hockey team came up a goal short in its final home game of the year, falling 3-2 to the No. 9 Stanford Cardinal. Megan Shimojima and Erin Magill, two of four players honored pregame during Cal's senior day, each had an assist in the game.
The Cardinal put Cal in a 1-0 hole just under seven minutes into the game when they converted a penalty stroke. Sophomore forward Andrea Earle tied the game, 1-1, just over 24 minutes into the game. Earle, who leads the team with 14 goals and 33 points, took a hard shot at goal after senior defender Erin Magill set her up, smashing the ball into the back of the net.
The two teams were knotted 1-1 at the break.
"I think it was a typical Stanford game," said head coach Shellie Onstead. "Very even. A lot of emotion. They got it started early. And we had to answer back. It took us until the second half to sort of feel comfortable. I was really pleased with our second half play."
Cal had opportunities early in the second half, taking eight penalty corners in the first 11 minutes of the half, but they failed to score off the opportunities.
"I think our corner execution needs to get better," Onstead said. "Sometimes there is luck involved."
Stanford retook the advantage 17 minutes into the second half, knocking a loose ball into the net. Cal had
Four minutes later, senior Megan Shimojima got a breakaway, racing down the sideline. She zipped a pass to right in front of the goal where junior forward Rachelle Comeau was waiting to knock it home and tie the game, 2-2.
"We had a goal called back in the second half there, which was unfortunate," Onstead said. "That would have changed everything. But you could see the momentum shift once we did score."
The heartbreaking deciding goal came with just four minutes left in the game. Stanford took a shot on goal that was saved by senior goalkeeper Maddie Hand. The ball deflected off her pads after the save where Stanford's Emily Hendriksson came up with it and pushed it in to give Stanford the 3-2 lead. Cal called a timeout shortly after the goal, trying to draw up a plan for the final three minutes of play, but they never got a solid look at the goal, with Stanford holding on for the 3-2 victory.
"All in all, it was disappointing to the seniors, but they played well and contributed," Onstead said. "Erin was her typical 'rock in the back'. I think they were bothered enough that I think it will benefit us the next time we play them."
With the win, Stanford improves to 12-2, 5-0 in the NorPac and wraps up the regular season NorPac West title. Cal falls to 12-3, 3-2 in NorPac, with both losses coming against the Cardinal in games decided by a single goal.
The Bears have one final regular-season game on the schedule, playing at UC Davis on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m., a final tune-up for the NorPac Tournament, which will be played at Stanford this year, which will be held Nov. 3-5.