Two Late Goals The Difference; Bears Fall To Ohio
ATHENS, Ohio – The California field hockey team had a statistical advantage in almost every offensive category. However, a pair of late fourth-quarter goals were the difference as the Golden Bears fell to host Ohio 3-1 on Sunday morning at Pruitt Field.
Cal (0-2) finished the day with 19 shots, seven on goal. Ohio (1-0) countered with 15 shots and only five on goal. In the third period, the Bears' attack was particularly impressive tallying 10 shots with five on goal – including the equalizer by Sara Stone in the 38th minute.
Penalties were the difference for the Bobcats in the win. Two of their three goals followed a penalty attempt, including the game-winning goal in the 48th minute by Anouk Plaehn who corralled a rebound and beat Cato Knipping for the unassisted goal.
Ohio added an insurance goal by Meela Koop prior to the end of regulation on a penalty. For the contest, Ohio finished with five corners and scored on two of them. The Bears meanwhile attempted seven corners.
"It was another even match," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "It kind of varied who was in control. We had a really good first quarter, we generated 10 shots in the third quarter which is typically enough, we have got to work on finishing it up. I think their team was slightly better at handling the pressure than ours, but I think that's something we can address in training next week."
In the opening period, the Bears attack had the advantage early with three shots coming from Kiki de Bruijne, Rachel Buttinger, and Luzi Persiehl. However, all three times Cal was turned away.
Late in the first quarter, it was Ohio's turn to put the pressure on the Bears' defense. The Bobcats earned two corners in the final minute of the first and both times Cal's defense was up to the task and the two sides ended the first with a scoreless tie.
Buttinger had a busy day recording three shots and had the assist on Stone's goal. Overall, the Bears had six players attempt two or more shots. Jane Onners and Stone led Cal with four shots apiece.
Neither team could muster much offense in the second quarter and the two sides went into the intermission tied 0-0.
Out of the break, the Bears conceded the game's opening goal when Ohio's Mijntje Ligtenberg took a pass from Katelyn Whittle and sent a shot past Knipping.
"That goal early in the third was really unlucky," said Onstead. "We played the rest of the third perfectly. A mental error just not being ready on the whistle and that's something we've got to sort out on training. Sometimes it's just youth or whatever, but that's not good enough moving forward.
"Overall a really great weekend for learning, and for understanding what it means to go on the road and what you've got to do to be ready to compete. There was a lot of learning, just looking forward to next weekend and a couple of home games."
The Bears will return to action on Friday, September 2 when they play the first of four-straight home contests at Underhill Field. Cal will host Bellarmine at 6:00 p.m. Live stats and video will be available for that contest.
For complete coverage of Cal field hockey, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalFieldHockey), Instagram (@CalFieldHockey), and Facebook (/CalFH/).