Dougherty's Goal Upsets Cardinal in Cal Upset

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The Cal field hockey team entered the weekend seeking retribution for last season's 4-2 loss to Stanford, and got it. A 2009 defeat denied Cal its first top seed in the NorPac tournament in four years.

On Sunday, the Bears toppled the No. 16 Cardinal, 2-1, at Varsity Turf in Stanford.

In a contest between two high-scoring offenses, Cal (4-4, 3-0 in the NorPac) matched Stanford shot for shot and out-cornered the Cardinal (5-2, 2-1) 6-1 in the first half, but neither found the cage until a few minutes before halftime.

Stanford tested Bears keeper Maddie Hand early, recording three shots on goal within the first three minutes.

After the opening minutes, however, play bogged down. Fouls committed by each team picked up; Cal and the Cardinal tallied a total of 16 fouls in the first half alone.

Six minutes before halftime, Stanford's Courtney Haldeman ended the scoreless struggle with her second goal of the year by firing home a loose ball.

The 1-0 lead was short-lived. Forward Lauren Livingston scored her second goal of the season to tie the game 1-1 going into the break.

The second half was even more foul-ridden than the first. Both squads committed 11 and 12 fouls, respectively, and both managed only four shots each.

Despite the number of fouls called, the Bears continued to work toward the elusive tiebreaking goal.

"We made it a point not to let officiating get in the way," Cal head coach Shellie Onstead said.

With only ten minutes left, Onstead's team earned a corner that would prove to be the turning point of the game.

Freshman Shannon Elmitt dished the penalty stroke to Deanna Kennedy, who assisted Claire Dougherty for the game-winning goal. Dougherty tapped Kennedy's cross in from the left side of the cage giving her sole possession of first place on the team with six scores.

Stanford's powerful offense would not go down quietly. With two minutes remaining, Becky Dru, the Cardinal's team leading scorer, attempted a last-gasp shot, but sophomore Haleh Nourani made the save to preserve the win.

The Bears look ahead to next week's match at UC Davis hoping to secure a winning record for the first time this season. Cal defeated Davis, 5-1, on Sept. 5, but now it must play on the Aggies' slow, long-blade turf.

"We'll approach it like any conference game," Onstead said. "We have to go to their house and do well under a pretty unique surface and conditions in Davis ... They're coming off three wins on a road trip, so it'll be a good match."

Tags: SHELLIE ONSTEAD, CAL FIELD HOCKEY, SHANNON ELMITT


Catherine Nguyen covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected]



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