Bears Get All Better With Home Cooking





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Dare I say it? These girls are NorPacular.

The No. 20 Cal field hockey team humiliated St. Louis in a 7-1 victory to remain undefeated in conference play and distance themselves from a disappointing weekend performance.

"It's very nice to be home, it's been a while," Cal coach Shellie Onstead said. "It's always great to be home, and good to get the ball in the net."

After Cal (9-6, 4-0 in NorPac) fumbled away two penalty corner opportunities early on, co-captain Nora Feddersen faked a quick shot and flipped the ball over the outstretched goalie to open the scoring.

A one-timer in the 27th minute from Anita Reyes made it 2-0. Then Feddersen scored again three minutes later with a show of brute strength.

Coming from the right corner, Feddersen wound up and sent a huge blast into the net that knocked her to the floor.

All the while, goalkeeper Kelly Knapp stood at her post alone. With the offense controlling the ball so effectively, she seemed lonely, even outright bored, at times.

The Billikens (1-14, 0-6 NorPac) didn't get a shot off the entire half.

"There was a major improvement, we really played together," Knapp said. "It was my role to talk to the team, keep things positive and organize the field."

Walking off the field with a 3-0 lead at the half, Cal didn't have much to improve.

"There wasn't much to say. We just wanted to work on specifics and look at new positions," Onstead said. "And I was happy to be able to play everybody and give experience to some of our players."

Experimenting on new formations, Cal managed to pour in four more goals and stretch the lead to seven, the final two coming from first-time scorers.

In the 63rd minute, Jessica Bird flew one past the keeper for her first goal of the season, while Kiely Schmidt earned her first on a penalty shot to cap the scoring for the Bears.

With less than a minute remaining, St. Louis spoiled the shutout, breaking through with a goal of its own. And by the looks of their celebration, it seemed as if they thought it was worth eight.

Cal could have used a few of those last week, when it was outscored 11-1 in three games against Harvard, Northeastern and Boston.

"We just sat, talked and figured things out," Knapp said. "The trip was an eye-opener for what we needed to get straight."

After experiencing a spell of offensive infertility, the Bears really came through and spread the scoring around in the process.

The team's largest offensive outburst of the season gives Cal reason to believe this is an improved team.

"I think we left from the road trip as a better team," Onstead said. "Some lessons are a little harder."

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