Bears Travel East For Conference Opener
BERKELEY - Riding the momentum of a 2-0 shutout victory in its home opener against UC Davis, the California field hockey team flies east this week for its next three matches, including the America East Conference opener. The Golden Bears play Maine in the AE opener in a neutral-site contest at UMass-Lowell on Saturday, March 20, at 11:30 am PT. The next day, Cal plays UMass-Lowell at 9 a.m. PT. The Bears close out the road trip against Monmouth on Wednesday, March 24, at 10 a.m. PT.
"I think we're ready," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "We're still going to grow day-by-day, and learning as we grow. Getting out of Berkeley and the state of California is going to be exciting this time, given the circumstances. They've been so good and so compliant. They haven't visited families or anybody. They've all handled this so well and are sticking together through it all."
Bears Blank Aggies
• Sara Stone scored her first career goal and Brynn Zorilla deflected in an insurance goal to help Cal shut out UC Davis, 2-0, Friday night at Underhill Field in the Bears' 2021 spring home opener. Jane Onners earned an assist on Zorilla's tally. Cal put the pressure on throughout the match, outshooting the Aggies, 13-7, including a first-half margin of 8-1. Cato Knipping recorded her first career shutout when playing all 60 minutes.
Spread The Wealth
• Last Friday against UC Davis, Cal recorded 13 shots, six on goal. Eight different Bears combined to take those 13 shots, led by Brynn Zorilla for the second straight game with her three shots. Maddie Cleat, Megan Connors and Sara Stone also notched two shots each. Zorilla and Stone, who each scored, also garnered two shots on goal.
Bears All-Time Vs. This Week's Foes
• Cal is 3-3 all-time against Maine. The Black Bears picked up the most-recent win, eliminating the Bears from the 2018 America East Conference Tournament. Cal is 1-0 all-time against UMass-Lowell, defeating the River Hawks, 2-0, in 2015. The first-ever meeting with Monmouth was in the semifinals of the 2019 AE Tournament. The Bears led until the final minutes when Monmouth scored two quick goals and won, 4-3.
• Cal is 3-2 in its last five conference openers. In 2015, Cal upset No. 6 Stanford in overtime, and in 2017, Cal's most-recent win in a conference opener, the Bears defeated No. 24 Pacific, 4-1. Cal lost at Pacific in 2018 and at No. 16 Stanford last season in the last two America East openers.
• A total of eight of Cal's nine true freshmen have already been on the pitch through the first two matches of the season. Three of those eight Bears have started each game - Kiki de Bruijne, Sara Stone and Claire Hind. Stone scored her first career goal last Friday and de Bruijne has posted three shots, two on goal, thus far. Kaiden Stanley is the other freshman to earn a start this season.
• A program-record group of 17 Cal field hockey student-athletes honored with 2019 Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad laurels. In addition, Cato Knipping was recognized as Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I Scholars of Distinction, and the Bears were once again recipients of Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Academic Team honors.
America East Preseason Poll
• America East coaches predict a sixth-place overall finish and second among west teams for Cal in the America East preseason poll. The Golden Bears earned 29 votes. Monmouth was predicted to win the league with 60 votes and five first-place votes. Stanford led the three west coast schools with 46 votes and one first-place vote.
• Cal returns to Berkeley for the final time in the regular season. The Bears host UC Davis in a conference match on Saturday, April 3, at 6 p.m. and Stanford in a non-conference clash on Tuesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. Both matches will be held at Underhill Field.