BURLINGTON, Vt – The Cal field hockey team dropped a heartbreaker to visiting Vermont on Sunday afternoon, falling 4-3 in overtime at Moulton Winder Field. The Catamounts (13-4, 5-3 America East) scored the equalizer on an untimed penalty corner at the end of regulation and scored the game-winner less than 30 seconds into overtime on Sophie Lefranc’s goal.
Playing for their postseason lives, the Golden Bears (4-10, 3-5 AE) expected Claire Hind to score the game-winning goal in the fourth and came up with several defensive stops but couldn’t get the big stop. last game in regulation.
“A really tough way to end the season after an outstanding performance by my team,” Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead said. “Those strokes were surprising, but I was really happy for my team’s effort and resilience. Starting with this morning’s warm-up game, I felt like this was going to be the day we put it all together, and it really was our best effort.” We lost Abbey in the middle of the game and the team picked her. We changed some things tactically and the team figured out these adjustments on the fly. I was really looking forward to carrying today’s effort forward and I felt like I was in a good place. So we’re really disappointed not to be able to carry that into the tournament.”
Overall, Cal had a strong game on the offensive end with 12 shots, 11 on goal. In the fourth quarter alone, the Bears had momentum as they took seven shots, all on goal. They didn’t get the insurance goal, though, thanks to Catamount goalie Sierra Espeland, who had eight saves on the afternoon.
Vermont countered with 17 shots, including 10 on goal. In overtime, Vermont attacked early and Cato Knipping knocked it down for her sixth save of the day. However, the Catamounts recovered the loose ball and Lefranc sent a shot past Knipping from the right side of the circle for the game winner.
In the opening 30 minutes, neither side achieved much on the attacking end. Cal had the early momentum with three shots in the first quarter. The Bears had two shots in the first period and dominated possession, with the best look at goal coming after seven minutes when Luzi Persiehl fired from the left side of the circle into a blocked penalty corner.
The Catamounts returned serve in the second quarter and nearly took the lead just before halftime when a Golden Bear turnover led to an open look at the goal, however Knipping was up to the task and turned away the charge for her second save of the day. to preserve the tie.
After the break, Cal took an early lead thanks to Persiehl and Monica Arteaga. Persiehl took the ball almost the length of the court and on the left side of the circle threw a pass to Arteaga, who beat the Catamount goalie to score in the 32nd minute.n.d minute.
Not long after that, the Catamounts also got a penalty shot by Haley Buffenbarger, which was awarded after a costly turnover in the Bears’ circle in the 36th.Thursday minute.
The wild third quarter continued, at 40Thursday minute Rachel Buttinger scored her fifth goal of the year when she took a pass from Persiehl between the hoops and sent the ball into the back of the cage. But again, the Bears’ lead didn’t last long, as Vermont was down at the 44.Thursday minute. Alina Gerke was able to tie Knipping just before the end of the quarter.
The wild second half continued into the fourth quarter. The drama began with the Bears taking the lead in the 56thThursday minute thanks to Hindova’s shorthanded goal, her first of the season.
Cal’s defense was tremendous down the stretch, denying the Catamounts multiple attempts to tie the game. However, as time expired at the end of regulation, Vermont was awarded an untimed penalty corner and Maddie Moran scored the equalizer to send the game into overtime.
Knipping’s six saves give her 86 on the year and 251 for her career. Buttinger finished the season with a career-best five goals to lead the Bears, giving her 11 for her career. Persiehl’s two assists give her five on the year, finishing the season with two goals and five assists for 13 points, tied for second on the team.
“I feel like the seniors performed the way you want your seniors to perform in a key game,” added Onstead. “I told them they don’t have to play their best game, just be great seniors and lead by example. There was a lot of comforting to do, but they were tremendous.”
The Bears’ season comes to an end thanks to Stanford’s 3-0 win over New Hampshire. The Cardinal and Bobcats will take the final two spots in the America East Tournament, which begins next week in Orono, Maine.
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