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Photo by Ben Stockwell/AmericaEast

Bears Advance To First America East Championship

November 3, 2023
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LOWELL, Mass. – After going down two goals early to the top seed in the tournament, the California field hockey team survived a double-overtime thriller thanks to a hat trick from forward Daniella Rhodes. Rhodes’ game winner came in the 73rd minute of the second overtime in a 3-2 win over No. 1 seed UMass-Lowell on the Wicked Blue Field on Friday afternoon. 

For the second consecutive game, the Golden Bears (11-7) were going up against a team looking for its first postseason win, and for the second game, Cal denied its opponent. The Bears won their seventh game in a row thanks to the incredible performance from Rhodes, who recorded her second hat trick of the season and fourth of her career.

“I keep telling the team, no matter the score line it's going to be a one-goal game,” Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead said. “I’m super proud of the fact that they came back from two goals down and never panicked. It was not the same feeling as yesterday. I felt like both teams were playing carefully in the first quarter, but we got it rolling after their first goal.

Cal finished the day with 20 shots, with 11 on goal. UMass-Lowell (14-4) countered with 11 shots and six on goal. Tina Jolly (11-7) was tremendous in the net for the Bears, finishing the day with four saves. She did not allow the River Hawks to score after their second goal early in the second quarter.

“The defense played great against a challenging system that UMass plays,” Onstead added. “Offensively, everyone did their part; the forwards were fantastic. Daniella was spectacular in recording the hat trick, but Kitty (Baccanello), Holly (Pears), and Bente (Baekers) all played well. In the back, Tina once again saved us with her play. But I’m also thrilled with how the midfield played. I thought Sophie Everett was really good today. Overall very pleased with our performance.”

UMass-Lowell dominated possession early and had a chance to put the game away in the first quarter. In the ninth minute, the River Hawks broke the scoreless tie when Isabelle Halters deflected a pass back into the net for her sixth goal of the season. Following the opening goal by Halters, UMass-Lowell appeared to score two more goals. However, both goals were called back, allowing the Bears to catch their breath as the first quarter ended.

Early in the second period, the River Hawks made it 2-0 on a goal by Madison Leeper in the 18th minute.

From there, Cal’s offense came to life. The Bears received shots on goal by Sophie Everett, Holly Pears, and Rhodes but just couldn’t find the back of the cage. Cal maintained the pressure, rarely letting the ball get back into its half. At the 23-minute mark, the Bears broke through. Rhodes scored her 17th of the year on a penalty corner, blasting a shot from the top of the circle. Cato Geusgens and Claire Hind were credited with assists.

Five minutes later Rhodes struck again. The all-conference player bounced the ball up to herself and sent a blistering shot to the lower left corner of the cage for her 18th goal of the season and tied the game at 2-2. After falling behind 2-0, the Bears outshot the Riverhawks 5-1 in the second quarter.

In the third period, Marie Oliemans (7-2) took over keeper duties for UMass-Lowell. Cal immediately tested her 50 seconds in the quarter with a shot on goal by Merel Hanssen. The River Hawks briefly took back the momentum in the third, outshooting Cal 5-3. In the fourth the Bears once again applied heavy pressure on the hosts, finishing with an 8-0 shot advantage. Pears was hunting for the game winner and had three shots late but couldn’t get one past Oliemans.

In the first overtime, the River Hawks had a good opportunity for the game winner, getting a penalty corner in the 66th minute. However, Cal’s defense was up to the task and did not allow UMass-Lowell to fire off a shot. A few minutes later Halters picked up a loose ball in the circle and sent a shot towards Jolly, who recorded the save.

With the score still knotted up 2-2 in the 73rd minute Rhodes struck again. She got a pass on the left side of the circle and beat two defenders before shooting from the right side of the wing past Oliemans to complete the hat trick.

“I am really happy that we put two complete games back-to-back,” Onstead said. “I’m looking forward to the day off tomorrow and ready to compete for a championship on Sunday.”

Cal will wait to see who it plays in the America East Tournament Championship on Sunday. They will play the winner of the game between No. 6 Maine and No. 2 UAlbany. The championship game is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. PT and will feature live video and stats for fans to follow.

Discussion from...

Bears Advance To First America East Championship

3,114 Views | 26 Replies | Last: 8 mo ago by ncbears
CalWSportsFan
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Bears are having a great season. Hope they can keep winning. The ACC awaits which should be good for both field hockey and lacrosse. Go Bears!
SFCALBear72
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Tied at 2 with Albany at the end of regulation. First overtime about to begin.
SFCALBear72
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Bears win!!! 3-2 in OT!!

America East Tournament Champions!!!

Roll on you Bears!!!
Bear8995
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Congratulations Bears!!
ncbears
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Champions! Time for Knowlton to hit the phones for funding for the future!
ncbears
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Note: Bears end season on an 8 game win streak.
Schroeder71
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Field Hockey vs UAlbany on 11/5/2023 - Box Score - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)

HC Shellie Onstead will have to rebuild the team using the same transfer portal strategy that she implemented for this championship season. The team will lose 9 and return 4 players that played regularly. Six highly touted transfers joined the team in 2023 plus the Bears returned three seniors.

2023 Field Hockey Roster - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)

Soph Tina Jolly developed into a solid goalkeeper and frosh Holly Pears scored the winning goal in overtime.

Cal Wins America East Tournament - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)
ncbears
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Schroeder71 said:

Field Hockey vs UAlbany on 11/5/2023 - Box Score - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)

HC Shellie Onstead will have to rebuild the team using the same transfer portal strategy that she implemented for this championship season. The team will lose 9 and return 4 players that played regularly. Six highly touted transfers joined the team in 2023 plus the Bears returned three seniors.

2023 Field Hockey Roster - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)

Soph Tina Jolly developed into a solid goalkeeper and frosh Holly Pears scored the winning goal in overtime.

Cal Wins America East Tournament - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)
14 of the 28 players on the roster are from outside the US. (UK (3), Netherlands (5), Argentina (1), Spain (1), South Africa (2), Australia (1), Germany (1)
CalWSportsFan
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I assume it's on to NCAA tourney now. Should be an automatic berth. Go Bears! The ACC should offer good competition next season and hopefully recruiting will be helped by the team's success this season.
ncbears
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CalWSportsFan said:

I assume it's on to NCAA tourney now. Should be an automatic berth. Go Bears! The ACC should offer good competition next season and hopefully recruiting will be helped by the team's success this season.
Bears play Miami of Ohio in first round on November 8 at noon pacific. Winner faces host and second seed Northwestern. Cal lost to Miami of Ohio 2-0 but that was the first game of the season (after two exhibitions). Cal is playing a little better now!
Note: the four lowest seeded automatic qualifiers play November 8 - um, that's Cal (America East) and Miami (Ohio) (Mid-American) , William & Mary (CAA), Sacred Heart (Northeast)

Bracket here:
NCAA FIELD HOCKEY BRACKET
CalWSportsFan
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Well, I am glad Cal and Harvard are in opposite brackets. I can root for both to reach the finals (I played goalie for Harvard field hockey many moons ago so have dual allegiances :-) ).
ncbears
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5 ACC teams in the tournament.
Schroeder71
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Cal Field Hockey Earns NCAA Tournament Berth - California Golden Bears Athletics (calbears.com)

Cal lost to Miami of Ohio is opening game of the season. Bears are a different team now. GO BEARS!
CalWSportsFan
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Yeah, my point exactly about Cal Field Hockey going forward...the ACC is going to offer great competition (and recruiting benefits) as it will for women's lacrosse.
ncbears
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CalWSportsFan said:

Yeah, my point exactly about Cal Field Hockey going forward...the ACC is going to offer great competition (and recruiting benefits) as it will for women's lacrosse.
Assuming Cal does not cut the sport....
We are a long way from watching the team play on that field next to (former) Barrows Hall.
CalWSportsFan
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Well I'd assume there's some incentive if Cal is supposedly a true member of the ACC cutting sports like FH and lax would not be looked on favorably. They're not exactly budget busters either, compared to others. Maybe we'll get a men's lax team too…it's a rapidly expanding sport for both sexes…

" On the collegiate level, the NCAA said that between 2003 and 2018, Division I lacrosse grew by 61 percent among men and a whopping 97 percent among women. Since 1982, the number of college lacrosse programs in the U.S. has increased by more than 60 percent. Today, lacrosse is an NCAA staple with 127 Division I women's programs and 75 Division I men's programs." - https://sportsplanningguide.com/lacrosse-is-growing/

Chabbear
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Lacrosse is not much of western sport.

Men: Air Force, Denver and Utah are the only colleges: https://www.ncsasports.org/mens-lacrosse/division-1-colleges

Women's: Arizona St, San Diego St, Stanford, Cal, UC Davis, Colorado, Denver, Oregon, USC: https://www.ncsasports.org/womens-lacrosse/division-1-colleges




ncbears
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Lacrosse and Field Hockey help a lot with Title 9 - 28 Field Hockey players and 32 Lacrosse.
Lacrosse has not been very successful, but they have young head coach going into her second year.
Jeff82
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They're not going to be cut because of Title IX, because of the imbroglio over the field several years ago, and because the coach's salary is endowed by a donor.
DavisBear
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The Bears NCAA game against Miami is being streamed on the Big10 network right now! I don't know the rules, but it has been fun to watch. Bears are trailing 1-0 at the end of 1
ncbears
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https://www.bigtenplus.com/en-int/livestream/ncaa-opening-round-miami-oh-vs-california/1667221
DavisBear
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Bears down 1-0 at the half
Intuit
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Cal now down 2 - 0
Harborview
DavisBear
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Bears fell 3-0. Just couldn't put the ball in the net. 0-7 on corners
smh
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ncbears said:

https://www.bigtenplus.com/en-int/livestream/ncaa-opening-round-miami-oh-vs-california/1667221
thanks for the link ncbears
ncbears
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Still a heck of year for the Bears.
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