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Field Hockey Opens 2013 With Tough Slate

Aug 29, 2013

MATCH 1: MICHIGAN STATE Spartans (0-0)
Friday, Aug. 30 | 7 p.m.
Varsity Field Hockey Turf | Stanford, Calif.
Live Blog:

MATCH 2: #4 CONNECTICUT Huskies (0-0)
Sunday, Sept. 1 | 12 p.m.
Varsity Field Hockey Turf | Stanford, Calif.
Live Stats:

California opens up the 2013 season on Labor Day weekend with a pair of east coast teams in neutral site games. The Bears take on Michigan State Friday at 7 p.m. before competing Sunday against No. 4 Connecticut at noon. Both games will be played at Varsity Field Hockey Turf on the campus of Stanford, University. Sunday’s matchup is scheduled to be aired live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Onstead On The Weekend
“We know that we’ll have big opening weekends because that is the only time the east coast teams can travel out here. We see it as an opportunity, and we’re super excited.”

“There’s something neat about the first games of the year because there is no prep. There’s no scouting. You’re too busy with your own team. It’s the purest game of the year. You just throw the ball out and play.”

Opening Strong
Over the past 10 season, the Golden Bears are 6-4 in season-openers. The six wins include a trio over ranked teams including 2011’s 3-1 victory over No. 16 Louisville, a 3-2 victory over No. 8 Iowa in 2002, and a 4-3 victory decided on penalty shots over No. 6 American in 2006. Shellie Onstead is 11-7 overall in season openers at Cal.

Golden Accolades
Two Bears return from NFHCA All-West Region years in junior Lara Kruggel and senior Shannon Elmitt. Kruggel led the Golden Bears with 18 goals and 44 points - both good for fifth in the Cal record book - and was second on the team with eight assists en route to also being named the NorPac West Offensive Player of the Year. She finised the season 11th in the nation in points per game at 2.20. Elmitt was named to the All-West second team for the second year in a row and was the assist leader for the Bears with nine.

The Elder Earle Returns
Senior Andrea Earle played only two end of the season games in 2012 due to injury after a successful 2011 campaign that saw her become the 11th player in Cal Field Hockey history to earn All-American honors. Earle was second in the NorPac Conference in goals per game (.80, 24th in the NCAA) and points per game (1.85, 31st NCAA) in 2011 but returns at full force this season.

Seven New Bears Join In 2013
Coach Shellie Onstead added seven freshman in the spring with all of the new Golden Bears hailing from the state of California. Two of the freshman may seem familiar - Sydney Earle will join her older sister Andrea who is currently a senior on the team, and Kori Griswold is the younger sister of Katie and Kelly Knoche, a pair of ‘09 graduates.

New Assistant Coaches
Head coach Shellie Onstead announced in August the addition of two new coaches to her staff after Andy Smith departed to become the new head coach at Pacific. For 2013, Onstead has added former U.S. Men’s National Team member Malachi Mahan as an assistant coach and welcomes former U.S. Women’s National Team member Jill Dedman back to Berkeley as a volunteer assistant coach specializing with the goalkeepers.

On the Horizon
The Bears host Dartmouth at Maxwell Family Field on Friday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. in a game that will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.