Bears Fail to Exorcise Demons; Lose to Wake Forest 5-1

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The Bears came roaring into Kentner Stadium on Sunday, emboldened by a thrilling overtime victory over UC Davis the week before. Unfortunately, No. 9 Wake Forest muffled the Cal field hockey team in a 5-1 victory that ended a four-game slide.

The Bears (5-5, 4-0 in NorPac), who were at a disadvantage because of the absence of a key player due to a family emergency, kept the Demon Deacons (7-5) on their heels early in the game. However, after two quick shots by Megan Shimojima and Erin Magill in the tenth minute, Wake Forest was spurred into action.

"Early on our gameplan went really well. We were able to get good pressure on them in the back. We just weren't able to capitalize on our opportunities and they were, which allowed the team to loosen up," Cal head coach Shellie Onstead said. "It's just one of those things where if we maybe had gotten on the board first it would have been a different game."

Lauren Greenwald scored on a penalty corner in the 21st minute to break a nil-nil tie. The Deacons' next three goals came in rapid succession; the offense quickly followed up each score on a penalty corner with a goal within the next few minutes.

Junior Faith Adams, who tallied two goals and one assist in the first half alone, was critical to Wake Forest's imposing 4-0 lead heading into the break.

Two forwards ensured that Cal would not suffer a shutout defeat. Megan Shimojima, who opened the scoring for the Bears against UC Davis, scored a fast-break goal on a cross from the right side by Jordan O'Reilly.

"I think the entire team picked up the intensity," Shimojima described. "We just won the 50-50 balls and worked harder for each other. "

"We asked our midfield to not be quite as soft," Onstead said. "We won some balls in the midfield and got our forwards loose and they were executing well in that situation."

Shimojima's lone goal would be it for Cal. In total, Cal managed only five shots to Wake Forest's 14, and the Deacons out-cornered the Bears 8-3. However, the final score was not indicative of the quality of Cal's play.

"I think we forced them to score good goals, and even the UNC coach thought that it was a closer game than the score indicated," Onstead said. "It's just one of those games you're going to learn from. You'll need to pick it up and go forward tomorrow."

The defeat snapped the Bears' three-game winning streak, while the Demon Deacons rebounded from a 5-1 loss to ACC rival North Carolina on Saturday.

Despite Sunday's loss, Onstead found positives to draw on.

"I was proud of their resilience. I think they actually never gave up. They played hard all the way through and I'm happy with that. I just think we have to put 70 minutes together instead of having some down time at certain times. It's about being consistent."


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

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