Lara Kruggel Surpasses 100 Points in Cal’s 4-1 NorPac Win
DAVIS, Calif. – California senior Lara Kruggel scored two goals and became just the third Golden Bear to surpass 100 points in a career as she led Cal to a 4-1 win at UC Davis Friday afternoon at the Aggie Field Hockey Facility.
“It feels really good but I don’t think I could have done it without the team,” Kruggel said of surpassing 100 career points. “We got out really strong today. I had good practices last week and I’m glad I scored today, but I couldn’t have done it without the coaches and team behind me.”
The Bears scored three first half goals and added a fourth in the 49th minute to claim the season sweep over the Aggies. In addition to Kruggel, Monica Marrazzo scored her second of the season and Clara Goni added her third to take the 4-1 win. UC Davis scored in the 38th minute with a goal by Stephie Sabraw.
“We took this game as a stepping stone having played pretty well last week,” Onstead said. “We wanted to make sure we kept the momentum moving forward. We had a little rough patch in the middle but picked it back up, so I’m happy with the result.”
The win improves California (7-5) to 2-1 in NorPac play with one conference game remaining against conference-leader Stanford, a team that sits 2-0 with two NorPac games remaining. The Aggies fall to 3-9 and 0-3 in NorPac play
“We feel good, but we can’t rely on that,” Kruggel said of Cal being in position to earn at least a share of the NorPac West division with a win at rival Stanford. “We have a lot to look at in the video to see what mistakes we made today. UC Davis was really good today too, so we need to see what we can do better and build on that. We have practices coming up, so I’m sure the coaches will tell us where we can improve and what we can work on.”
California came out as the aggressors in the game with two shot attempts by Kruggel in the opening five minutes, although Golden Bear goalkeeper Courtney Hendrickson was the first stopper forced to make a save in the game with a diving stick save to her right in the seventh minute.
UC Davis was awarded the first penalty corner of the game in the 10th minute, but the set play would end up being beneficial to the Bears instead. After the Aggies were unable to get a shot attempt off, California immediately ran on a counter attack with Nicole Wallstedt feeding Alie Zimmer down the left side of the field. Zimmer centered the ball to Kruggel who circled the goalkeeper and slotted it into the back of the cage at 10:15 for the 1-0 lead on a goal that moved her to 101 career points.
“That’s awesome,” Onstead said of Kruggel’s achievement. “Good for her. She’s able to get into situations to put the ball into the net. She’s had to play here where we needed her, but to let her loose upfront is great, and you can see it works great for her.”
Kruggel nearly added her second eight minutes later off of a California penalty corner, but the tally was called off due to a foul. Andrea Earle attempted to get on the scoreboard but found her shot from another penalty corner in the 28th minute hit the left post.
The Golden Bears remained on the attack, however, and Marrazzo scored her second of the season at 29:11 with an unassisted goal to make it 2-0 California.
Just 45 seconds later, Kruggel added another goal at 29:56 to make it a quick 3-0 California lead that the Bears would take into halftime. The goal marked Kruggel’s 103rd career point, moving her into a tie for second on the California all-time points list with Nora Feddersen.
“Shellie told us before the game that we ended to come out strong and that it would be a fight out there,” Kruggel said. “We just tried to take it as just another game, and we came out strong trying to push through. Everyone worked really hard on the field.”
The Aggies were able to prevent the shutout in the 38th minute when Sabraw found herself in a near 1v1 opportunity that she flawlessly executed for a goal to cut the Cal lead to 3-1. UC Davis attempted to keep the momentum and tested new goalkeeper Kori Griswold with two back-to-back shots in the 40th minute that required solid saves from the redshirt freshman before Onstead called a timeout to rally her team.
Five minutes later, Cal added the final goal from another penalty corner after Marrazzo’s insertion was stopped by Natalie Gibbens and rifled into the cage by Goni for the 4-1 lead at 48:16.
In total, five Golden Bears combined for Cal’s five assists – Zimmer, Wallstedt, Mara Gutierrez, Gibbens and Marrazzo.
“That’s good to hear,” Onstead said of the distribution. “We wanted to make sure we created opportunities all around the attacking 30. To do that means they’re listening, and we’ll keep getting better.”
California held a 5-2 advantage in penalty corners in the game while the teams tied with 16 shots each. The Bears collected seven saves with three each coming from Hendrickson and Griswold while Michaela Swensen registered her third defensive save of the season.
“It’s nice to have them both playing well,” Onstead said of her goalkeepers. “The (UC Davis) goal against was a beautiful goal, and Kori had to step up and make two great saves after that. I’m happy with both of them, and they’re working very well together.”
The Bears leave the state of California for the last time next weekend with a trip to Louisville, Ky., to take on Louisville and Boston College on Saturday and Sunday.