Cal Falls To No. 2 North Carolina
BERKELEY – After the opening 15 minutes, the Cal field hockey team stood even with the second-ranked team in the nation. However, in the second period, North Carolina took advantage of its opportunities and put the game away thanks to five second-quarter goals. Cal had their chances to put points on the board in the second half, but ultimately fell 7-0 on Friday afternoon at Underhill Field.
After the first quarter, North Carolina (5-0) put consistent pressure on Cal's (1-4) defense. The Tar Heels finished the afternoon with 24 shots and 19 penalty corners. However, a bulk of that came in the second quarter when UNC tallied 10 corners and 12 shots.
"You schedule this game because you are going to have to go through a team like this to climb the ladder," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "I got everything I wanted out of the game, we got everything we wanted out of the game. Tonight was sort of similar to how we have been playing where we have a good start, we have a struggle in the second quarter, and this game just sort of magnified it and will help us to solve it."
Out of the intermission, with the Bears trailing 5-0 and UNC already taking a pair of early corners, Cal's intensity picked up. The Bears held North Carolina to just five shots from the middle of the third to the end of the contest.
Offensively, the Bears also found their rhythm late in the contest. Cal notched two corners in the fourth and put three blistering shots on goal that were narrowly turned away. Rachel Buttinger's attempt midway through the fourth was saved at the last second by UNC defender Kelly Smith. Jane Onners and Sabine Hommes also had shots for the Bears on Friday.
"I'm very proud of the way our team was able to reset in the second half," added Onstead. "Because there was a moment in the third when the game could have really gone south. At halftime it was just about what can we do going forward right now, and what can we do to get on track, I'm pretty happy with the second half. We've got a ton to learn and we are going to apply it Sunday and we are going to look to get a win on Sunday."
Cal will play the final game of a season-long four-game homestand on Sunday when the 18th-ranked Demon Deacons come to Underhill Field. Cal and Wake Forest are slated for a 1:00 p.m. start. Sunday's match will feature live stats and a live stream. Admission to Sunday's game is free.
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