Zorilla's Goal Guides Cal Past Vermont, 1-0
BURLINGTON, VT - Brynn Zorilla's goal combined with a shutout effort by goalkeeper Cato Knipping was all the California field hockey team needed to defeat Vermont, 1-0, on Sunday from Moulton Winder Field.
The Golden Bears finish the 2021 spring season with an overall record of 5-6 and 4-4 in the America East. Cal finished the season in fifth place in the conference standings, and the Bears needed to crack the top four in order to advance to next weekend's conference tournament.
But the season ended on a very positive note. The Bears completed a three-match east coast winning streak on Sunday.
"We had a fantastic week with three wins," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "There are great things ahead. We managed to get the whole way through since January 6 without any problems with COVID. No positives, nothing. We stayed in-tact the whole time, which I think is an amazing accomplishment. That speaks to the commitment and the culture of this program right now."
After a scoreless first half, Zorilla posted the only tally of the day in the 35th minute in the third quarter. Zorilla ends the campaign tied with Maddie Cleat for the team lead in goals (4) and points (10).
"I knew this would be a hard battle because we were on their home field for their Senior Day," Onstead said. "The conference is really tight. So many games are decided by one goal. You can't take any of them lightly. You have to play good hockey for 60 minutes, and we talk about that a lot. We did a better job of playing consistently, not panicking and just staying on our game."
Knipping notched her second shutout of the season, the other coming in the home opener against UC Davis. In addition, a week after making a combined 20 saves in two matches against No. 18 Stanford, Knipping only allowed two goals during the three matches this weekend. Knipping was in the cage every contest this season. She ends the campaign with a 1.68 goals-against average.
Sunday's game was also the final match for Cal's seniors Sara Deck and Yvie Lock.
"Sara came in and did exactly what you would hope from a senior," Onstead said. "Leading by example and doing whatever was best for the team. She did great and I'm super proud of her. Yvie, from the first minute she got here, she played absolutely 100 percent every time she was on the field, and she had another stellar game today. She provides so much energy for the team. She plays with so much passion. Today is a sad day for them, but for a change, they can end it with a win."