Big Kick quick recap
Stanford was triumphant at Edwards Stadium on Friday afternoon. After Stanford scored the first goal on a header, Golden Bears quickly answered with a sweet goal thanks to the combo of Ifeoma Onumonu and Arielle Ship. The match was knotted at 1-1 at the half.
Unfortunately, the 2nd half was all Stanford. Stanford struck first when Sullivan scored a goal for the Cardinal despite them being a woman down (a Stanford player was injured but there was not a stoppage in play for a substitution). Stanford put the match away when they were awarded a questionable penalty and converted. Stanford capped another Pac-12 winning season by scoring one last goal with a second left.
Golden Bears, a lock for the postseason again, will now await the NCAA bracket announcement on Monday afternoon.
Cal Women’s Soccer in Big Kick tonight
No.21 Golden Bears (13-3-2, 6-1-2 in Pac-12) host the Pac-12 leading No.3 Stanford Cardinal (16-1-1, 9-1-0 in Pac-12) at 3 pm PT this afternoon on the Pac-12 Networks to conclude regular season play. This edition of “Big Kick” can see the Bears play the role of the spoiler and deny Stanford the Pac-12 title (unfortunately, USC would stand to benefit from “SchadenFurd”...if they are able to beat UCLA).
While the Bears looked to be a strong Pac-12 contender few weeks ago after a successful LA trip that saw the Bears drew with UCLA 1-1 and shut out USC 1-0, double OT losses to Colorado and Arizona have sunk the Bears’ chance to take the Pac this year. Nevertheless, the Bears are again a lock for postseason play. A win over Stanford will solidify the Bears’ chance to again host a NCAA first round match.
Cal Women’s Soccer goalkeeper Emily Boyd is probably the front runner for Cal Female Athlete of the Fall Season.
Boyd matched her success from an year ago with 11 clean sheets on the year thus far (a tie for the program single season record - Boyd herself in 2015 and Karen Cook in 1996). The junior is a threat to earn a shutout in every match.
Speaking of Boyd, the Cal record for wins of 124 by former Cal Women’s Soccer head coach Kevin Boyd (now the head coach at ASU and no relation to Emily) was tied by current Cal Women’s Soccer Neil McGuire last weekend when the Bears defeated Boyd’s ASU by a 2-0 result. McGuire was not able to break the record against Arizona, but it would be surely be extra special should the Bears achieve the recording breaking victory against rival Stanford tonight.
Offensively, redshirt senior Ifeoma Onumonu and senior and reigning Pac-12 offensive Player of the Year Arielle Ship lead the Bears with 10 and 9 goals apiece. Ship has 6 assists to lead the Bears.
Stanford opened the year as the top team in the country. Their lone loss to USC came when three of their players, including their star goalie in Jane Campbell, were called up to the USWNT. Stanford’s Andi Sullivan leads them with 10 goals and 6 assists.
In 2015, the Bears and the Cardinal played to an 1-1 draw.
It should be a good match between two teams with high postseason aspirations.
Cal Men’s Swimming best Stanford in “Triple Distance Meet”
Head coach Dave Durden talks about the format in this preview video.
Basically, each swimmers is either swimming the 50, 100, and 200 of a stroke (back, fly, breast, and free), 100, 200, and 400 of IM, or 200, 400, 500 of free. The times for all three events are summed together with the winner being the swimmer that had the lowest total time through three distances.
It is a refreshing different format than the typical dual meet that makes the fall training more fun.
Of course, the meet was even more fun given how the Golden Bears came out triumphant. Bears won 4 events - Calympian senior Ryan Murphy won the backstroke as expected; senior Hunter Cobleigh edges teammate Connor Hoppe for the breaststroke; freshman Michael Jensen won the sprint freestyle; sophomore Andrew Seliskar won the IM. Justin Lynch came a close 2nd in fly, winning both 50 and 100 but got edged by Stanford’s Jimmy Yoder. Stanford also won the distance freestyle event (which has never been a strength for Cal). Golden Bears also won both relays - 200 medley with Murphy, Hoppe, Seliskar, and Jonathan Fiepke and 200 free with Lynch, Pawel Sendyk, Jensen, and Aukai Lileikis.
It is always fun to beat Stanford.
Cal Field Hockey in America East Tournament Play
After an uneven regular season that saw them go 4-12 (1-5 in conference play), the Bears will try to surprise by attempting to win 3 straight matches to take the American East crown from Stockton this weekend (yes, the America East tournament is taking place in Stockton, California this year...go figures).
Bears, 3rd seed (of 4) in the West, will face Maine (who the Bears defeated 3-1 in Maine this year) today at noon PT. Should the Bears prevail, they will face Stanford, who defeated UMass Lowell 3-2 on Thursday.
The following Golden Bears earned America East accolades:
A quintet of Bears picked up end-of-year honors at the America East's annual awards banquet before the championship event. Femke Delissen led the way with two honors -- a spot on the All-Rookie squad and the Fans' Choice Player of the Year Award with 507 votes from fans around the world. Katrina Carter joined Delissen as an All-Rookie recipient, and Mara Gutierrez and Janaye Sakkas were voted to the league's West Division All-Conference team. Kori Griswold, who owns a 3.72 cumulative GPA as an Art History and Media Studies double major, picked up an All-Academic nod. Every Bear except Griswold was a first-time award winner. Griswold was also an America East All-Academic selection last season.
Cal Cross Country (both men and women) finished 6th at the Pac-12 Championship
On the women’s side, junior Bethan Knight again lead the way for the Bears with the 7th overall finish - which earns her First Team All Pac-12 honor. Marissa Williams and Xochitl Navarrete finished 32nd and 35th.
On the men’s side, senior Trent Brendel placed 17th. Robert Brandt and Garrett Corcoran placed 21st and 29th.
Only the results from the top 3 finishers count for the team total.
Both the men and women are ranked around 6th in the region ahead of the NCAA Regional next week.
Quick Hits of the rest of Cal Fall Olympic Sports:
Cal Men’s Soccer (5-9-2) has this weekend off before the home leg of the Bay Area Derby against Stanford (Friday, November 11th at 1 pm PT on Pac-12 Networks). Golden Bears are coming off three straight one goal losses to San Diego State (0-1), Washington (1-2), and Oregon State (0-1) as their Pac-12 struggle continues.
Cal Volleyball (9-13, 3-9 in Pac-12) earned their 3rd Pac-12 win last Saturday over Washington State. Bears are visiting the Mountain schools this weekend with matches against Utah (7 pm PT tonight) and Colorado (11 am PT Sunday - Bears upset them in 4 sets in Berkeley for their 1st Pac-12 win earlier this year).
Cal Men’s Water Polo (15-3, 0-2 in MPSF) suffered back-to-back losses to open MPSF play. Bears dropped a tough decision to No.1 UCLA 6-7 at home two weekend ago. After bouncing back to beat Pacific 14-10, the Bears were flat down in LA last weekend - losing 6-10 to USC. Bears will play at UC Irvine and at Pepperdine this weekend ahead of the Big Splash next Saturday - 11 AM from Spiekers Aquatic Center and on the Pac-12 Networks.