Bears Continue Hot Stretch With 2-0 Win At UC Davis
DAVIS - The California field hockey team clinched a berth in the America East Conference Tournament with a 2-0 win at UC Davis, Sunday afternoon on the Aggie campus.
The Golden Bears (8-4, 4-1) have won four of their last five games in America East Conference play. Sunday's shutout victory marked the fifth time this season that the Bears have kept their opponents off the score sheet.
"It was a really close first half, and a close game overall," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "We started off a little over excited in the first quarter. By halftime, we played decently, and then in the second half, we came out with a little more purpose to take care of the ball."
After Cal fought off a penalty corner by UC Davis in the final minute of the first quarter, Cato Knipping made her presence felt at the start of the second quarter when she stopped back-to-back point-blank shots. Knipping earned her fifth shutout of the season - eighth of her career. She made three saves on the day.
Onstead credited Knipping with having a strong game from the two critical saves in the second quarter to making numerous smart decisions throughout the contest.
Megan Connors scored the game's first goal in the third quarter. Connors slapped home a loose ball off of a rebound following a Cal shot on a penalty corner. It was Connors' first goal of the season.
Jane Onners scored in the fourth quarter to give the Bears a valuable insurance goal when she converted on a penalty corner. Connors earned her third point of the day as she and Kiki de Bruijne garnered assists on the goal. It was Onners' third goal of the season and de Bruijne's team-leading fourth assist in the campaign.
"You can kind of call plays to match up with their defense," Onstead said. "We spent a lot of time trying to get the best opportunities, so we almost kind of planned on the loose ball to be there. That was pretty cool."
Cal out shot UC Davis, 15-12, but 11 of the Bears' shots were on goal, while only three Aggie shot attempts made it to the cage. The Bears also earned five corners to four for UC Davis.
Cal hosts Stanford next for Senior Night and Pack The Stands on Friday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. from Underhill Field.