Bears Score Early, Beat UAlbany, 3-1
ALBANY, NY - The California field hockey team wasted no time starting its three-game east coast road trip on the right foot. The Golden Bears scored twice in the first five minutes of the match and defeated the University of Albany, 3-1, Thursday afternoon in rainy weather from Alumni Turf on the UAlbany campus.
Cal improved to 3-6, 2-4 on the year, as the Bears continue to fight to move up to fourth place in the America East Conference standings and clinch a spot in next week's conference tournament. Cal entered the day seventh in the conference standings.
"This was huge, we're still alive," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "I put a lot of emphasis on not saving anything. We were going to break the quarters into eight periods in order to keep their intensity up. It seemed to work. Per usual this season, we had a very strong start with a lot of ball possession. I was really proud of the offensive effort."
Maddie Cleat scored the game's first goal 90 seconds into the match with an assist to Sara Stone. It was the second goal of the year for Cleat.
Brynn Zorilla made it 2-0, Bears, with her first tally of the match two minutes later in the opening quarter. Zorilla's goal came on a short corner with Megan Connors and Yvie Lock garnering assists on the scoring play.
Zorilla scored again in the third quarter, giving her a two-goal day for the first time in her career. Zorilla is the team leader in goals and points this season now, as well, with three and seven, respectively. Cleat earned an assist on Cal's third goal, giving her a three-point day.
In the cage, Cato Knipping made seven saves after making 20 combined saves in the two meetings against No. 18 Stanford last week. The seven stops on Thursday are her third most this season.
Cal held off lots of offensive pressure by UAlbany, as the Great Danes out shot the Bears, 21-5, and earned 17 short corners to five for Cal.
The Bears continue the east coast trip with a neutral-site contest against New Hampshire at Vermont on Saturday at noon PT. The regular season concludes on Sunday, April 18, at 11 a.m. PT against Vermont.