Cal Conquers Rain to Defeat Gaels

Photo: Senior midfielder Chapin Jackson scored one of Cal's 14 goals in Saturday's win over Sain Mary's.
Eugene Lau/Staff
Senior midfielder Chapin Jackson scored one of Cal's 14 goals in Saturday's win over Sain Mary's.

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Between continuous rain and a powerful opposing goalie, the Cal lacrosse team simply couldn't find a way to score in the first half on Saturday.

The slippery field, combined with the ability of St. Mary's goalie Kathleen Worsdale to fill the box, limited the Bears to only two goals through the first 30 minutes of play.

But neither rain, nor cold, nor the Gaels could stop Cal from scoring in the second half as the Bears overcame the stormy weather to a 14-6 win at Witter Field.

Cal (2-1, 2-0 in the MPSF) managed to outshoot the Gaels (0-1, 0-1) during the first half, but Worsdale made six of her game-high 10 saves to keep her team in the hunt.

The wet conditions of the field made it difficult for either team to hold onto the ball. The game saw a total of 77 ground balls, almost double the previous two games combined. The Bears had as many shots as turnovers in the first half (15) and the teams turned the ball over a combined 65 times throughout the game.

"Our execution was off, and we struggled in the first half," Cal coach Theresa Sherry said. "A good team finds a way to win, even if it's having a bad day. We figured it out in the second half."

At the beginning of the second half, the Bears took control of the game with six consecutive goals from five different players. Junior midfielder Vail Horn scored two of her three goals during the run.

"At halftime we talked about a couple of things tactically, about how their goalkeeper was good and had good presence in the cage," Sherry said. "We had to shoot off the feed instead of just driving in, to change the point of attack and shoot off the pass in the second half more to get her moving."

Heeding her coach's words, sophomore attacker Alexa Rozelle scored five points - a hat trick and two assists - in the second half to lead Cal to its second straight victory.

"I'm proud of her coming in off the bench and having a big impact," Sherry said. "It's nice to see someone listen, take advice to heart and finish. She did a great job."

Mariah Walk tried her best to keep the game within reach for St. Mary's, ending the Bears' 6-0 run with her third goal to make the score 8-3. But that was as close as the Gaels would get for the remainder of the game.

The rest of the Bears' goals were scored by underclassmen contributing off the bench, including the first of the season for sophomore midfielder Ana Cyr and the first career goals for freshmen Teresa Li and Paige Gasparino.

Even with storm clouds filling the sky after Saturday's game, the thoroughly soaked lacrosse team was only positive after the win.

After all, as coach Sherry noted: "A lot of our competitors on the East Coast are having to deal with snow."


Jennifer Hansen covers lacrosse. Contact her at [email protected]

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