Bears Score Twice But It Is Not Enough
DURHAM, N.H. – The Cal field hockey team scored a pair of goals and took the momentum of the game into the fourth quarter. However, trailing by a goal, Bears could not score the equalizer while host New Hampshire scored a pair of goals late in the contest to win 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field in Durham.
The Bears (3-8, 2-3 AE) had their opportunities throughout the contest, but could not capitalize. Cal finished the afternoon with 21 shots, 12 on goal. Meanwhile, New Hampshire (6-6, 2-2 AE) finished with 19 shots, 11 of which were on goal. The difference today was UNH's Nicole Poulakis who finished the day with three goals, two coming in the first 25 minutes of the game.
"It's a conference game, everything is in play," said the Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead. "A lot of back and forth out there today. When we were good in our possession in terms of pass selection and decision making we were dangerous. We struggled in some baseline defense today, that's something we are going to have to work on when we get back. I just felt like we were in it to the end. I told the team, I feel like we are getting better, it may not look like it, but I feel like we are. I saw a lot of pretty good performances out there today, I really like the way Caoimhe (Byrne) has been playing, she played a lot of minutes, lots of hard play, and scored another goal for us. Sydney Decher played a utility role for us today, playing a lot of different positions and I thought she did a great job for us this afternoon."
For the second consecutive game, the Golden Bears conceded an early goal to the home team. Poulakis broke the scoreless tie with a goal in the fifth minute.
Less than 30 seconds later, the Wildcats looked poised to add to their lead when New Hampshire was awarded a penalty stroke, however, senior keeper Cato Knipping was up to the task and recorded a huge save, knocking away the attempt to keep the game 1-0 in favor of the home team.
Late in the opening period, the Bears began to turn the momentum. A series of shots kept the pressure on the Wildcats, Cal eventually tied the game at 1-1 in the 12th minute when Olivia Sharratt scored her first collegiate goal on a corner.
The first quarter ended with New Hampshire owning a 6-4 advantage in shots, however, the Bears took advantage of their opportunities, owning a 3-2 edge in shots on goal.
Midway through the second quarter, New Hampshire was able to regain the lead. A costly turnover in the Bears' half of the field led to a quick pass from Tasmin Cookman to Leah Glidden who was all alone in front of the goal and sent a shot low and to the left past Knipping in the 22nd minute.
Three minutes later, New Hampshire's Poulaskis notched her second goal of the game to give the Wildcats a 3-1 advantage just before the intermission.
In the third period, it was Caoimhe Byrne who swung the momentum back in the Golden Bears' favor. The junior from Dublin, Ireland scored her second goal in as many games on a corner in the 36th minute to bring the Bears within one. Cal had all the momentum in the third period, outshooting New Hampshire 7-1.
Early in the fourth, New Hampshire regained control of the contest. Tamera Cookman took the feed from Tasmin Cookman and Jaiden Wittle to score the game's fourth goal for the Wildcats. Poulakis put the game away with her third goal of the afternoon in the 53rd minute.
Cal returns to the Bay Area for a showdown against rival Stanford next week at Stanford. The Bears and Cardinal are slated for a 6:05 p.m. start time on Friday, Oct. 14. Friday's contest will be televised on Pac-12 Bay Area.
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