Bears Fall To No. 24 Miami In Season Opener
OXFORD, Ohio – A late goal by Luzi Persiehl briefly swung the momentum back in the favor of the Bears. Unfortunately, it would not be enough as California field hockey fell to No. 24 Miami 3-1 at Miami Field Hockey Complex on Friday afternoon.
The two sides were remarkably even statistically. Miami (1-0) owned a 13-10 advantage in shots, the difference came in the third period when the Redhawks were able to capitalize on two of their corners. The Bears (0-1) tallied seven corners on the day but could only convert one.
Transfer Luzi Persiehl notched the first goal of the season for the Bears when she scored on a corner midway through the fourth period. Fellow defender Sydney Decher set up Persiehl with the goal, it was Decher's first career assist. Persiehl finished with two shots on the day. Junior Kiki di Bruijne led the Bears with three shots, two of which were on goal. Freshman Olivia Sharratt had a pair of shots in her collegiate debut.
"Good first game, "said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "There's a bit of a learning curve being on the road to start the season, I think everyone put in a good effort. The stats show that it was a pretty even game, so it's just us tuning up some details. Finishing opportunities, working on the defense in the circle. It's pretty clear what we need to work on and I'm pretty confident we can take a better team onto the pitch on Sunday. But it was a good start to the season."
In the opening period, the Bears tallied three shots with one on goal. Persiehl took the first shot of the season for Cal that was blocked by the Redhawks defense. Jane Onners also saw her first-quarter attempt blocked by Miami's defense.
Miami broke the scoreless tie just before the end of the first quarter when strike Claudia Negrete Garcia took the pass from Luli Rosso and slipped the shot past keeper Cato Knipping at the 14:45 mark. Carlie Serris and Paula Pena Martinez had the other goals for the Redhawks.
Knipping had a strong debut to the 2022 season. The senior made her 30th career start for the Golden Bears and finished the afternoon with five saves on 13 shots faced.
"I told them before the game wherever we fall on the scale, whether it was terrible or fantastic we were going to get better," added Onstead. "We stayed in it, got a late goal that almost sparked us to fight back in the game, and in hockey that can happen pretty quickly. We were never out of it."
The Bears will return to action on Sunday when they travel to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio at Pruitt Field. Sunday's contest is slated for a 9:00 a.m. PT start and will feature live stats and live video. Both can be accessed on the field hockey schedule page.