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Golden Medals: Cal Golf wins inaugural Big Match over rival Stanford

Field Hockey is back in the top 25 ranking for the first time in a long time.

The combine forces of Cal Men’s and Women’s Golf won the inaugural Big Match over Stanford
Cal Women’s Golf Twitter

Cal Golf wins Big Match

I don’t know why it took that long, but the Cal-Stanford rivalry has finally spilled over to the golf course. 2018 is the inaugural Big Match where the two schools play for the trophy below in match play format from Menlo Country Club on Thursday.

What is even more interesting is how the 6 matchups (why an even number here is weird) are often played by a combination of a men’s and women’s player. Nonetheless, it is great to have the two programs work together in this event.

For some reason, one less Cal Men’s Golfer played so one of the Cal pair is two women.

Here is the official format description and lineup:

Format: The Cal and Stanford teams will play six matches with one male and one female from each team taking part in each of the six matches with the winner of each hole dictated by the lowest score in each match. The winner of the most holes wins each individual match. One point will be awarded to the winner of each of the six individual matches.

Match 1 – Noon

Nate Menon/Kelsey Zen (S) vs. Sofia Lundell/Marianne Li (C)

Match 2 – 12:12 pm

Henry Shimp/Maddie Chou (S) vs. KK Limbhasut/Elena Arias (C)

Match 3 – 12:24 pm

Ashwin Arasu/Mika Liu (S) vs. Ben Doyle/Amina Wolf (C)

Match 4 – 12:36 pm

David Snyder/Ziyi Wang (S) vs. James Song/Katherine Zhu (C)

Match 5 – 12:48 pm

Brandon Wu/Albane Valenzuela (S) vs. Sebastian Crampton/Maria Herraez Galvez (C)

Match 6 – 1 pm

Isaiah Salinda/Andrea Lee (S) vs. Collin Morikawa/Cindy Oh (C)

Of course, having an even number of matches came back to haunt this event as it ended with a tie (actually, 2 of the matches ended in ties). The first Big Match has to go to the playoff holes, to be decided by the top tandems of both teams.

Bears won this one in the second playoff hole with Cindy Oh being the hero by making this birdie putt.

Here are the results of the individual matches:


Nate Menon / Kelsey Zeng (S) def. Sofia Lundell / Marianne Li (C) - 3 & 2

Henry Shimp / Maddie Chou (S) vs. KK Limbhasut / Elena Arias (C) - All Square

Ashwin Arasu / Mika Liu (S) vs. Ben Doyle / Amina Wolf (C) - All Square

James Song / Katherine Zhu (C) def. David Snyder / Ziyi Wang (S) - 4 & 3

Brandon Wu / Albane Valenzuela (S) def. Seb Crampton / Maria Herraez Galvez (C) - 3 & 2

Collin Morikawa / Cindy Oh (C) def. Isaiah Salinda / Andrea Lee (S) - 5 & 4

*Collin Morikawa and Cindy Oh defeated Isaiah Salinda and Andrea Lee in a two-hole playoff to decide the match.

It’s a fun event to have me noticing college golf this early, particularly since the Golden Bears are up 1-0 in the all-time series.


No.25 Cal Field Hockey (3-3) beats Yale to return to the rankings

Coming off a tough close loss at Louisville, Golden Bears bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Yale last Sunday. Sophomore superstar Megan Rodgers scored a brace (aka 2 goals) to lead the Golden Bears; she now has 6 goals on the year and the verge of breaking into the top 25 goal list in Cal history. Bears even played their backup goalie for a bit in this one.

While the Bears have been 0-3 against ranked teams so far (two of the losses came against top 5 ranked Maryland and North Carolina), they have played well enough to garner a top 25 ranking of their own.

The Bears are back on the road this weekend to defend that ranking, all the way to the suburb of Chicago. Bears will play two matches hosted by Northwestern against No.13 Iowa on Saturday at 9:30 AM PT and No.14 Northwestern on Sunday at 9 AM PT.

Conference (America East - western division) play starts the following week against Pacific. In conference, Bears will play twice against Pacific, UC Davis, and No.22 Stanford.

Cal Men’s Water Polo (9-1) is no longer perfect

Yes, Cal Men’s Water Polo lost a match to Harvard in OT, but it’s also their 3rd match in 22 hours period. It’s disappointing but the sky is not falling for one of most consistent program in Cal Athletics.

Bears started that 3 match gauntlet with a 9-6 win over Long Beach State in their home opener.

After a night of rest and a short trip to Davis, Bears defeated the 5th ranked Pacific for the 2nd time this year - this time via a 10-8 result. Few hours later, the Bears and the 9th ranked Crimson were tied at the end of regulation (Harvard equalized with 7 seconds left). After two more periods of OT where the two squads exchanged goals, Harvard would find a way to win in sudden death OT for a 15-14 win to give the Bears their first loss of the year.

Since that loss, Bears have already got back to their winning ways with a 16-9 Wednesday win over Santa Clara. Bears will host their 2nd home match this Saturday when San Jose State visits at 11 AM PT.

We are still about 3 weeks before the real challenges of facing the UCLA, USC, Stanford of the schedule.

Cal Women’s Soccer (4-3-1) to open Pac-12 play

Cal Bears wrapped their non-conference schedule with a 1-1 draw against UC Davis last weekend. With the team back to full strength, particularly the return of sophomore defender in Emily Smith, the Bears will open Pac-12 play this weekend when they host Arizona State at 1 pm PT on Saturday.

It’s been a bit of an uneven non-conference for the Bears. They lost two 4-1 and 3-1 to the ranked No. 19 Santa Clara and No.21 Oklahoma State on the road, respectively. Bears also have not been scoring goals as consistently despite having two experienced strikers in Miranda Nild (Thai national team member) and Abi Kim (USA U-20 national team member).

Still, the new goalkeeper Olivia Sekany has been solid for the most part. She also had an inexperienced defensive line in front of her, which became even more inexperienced when Emily Smith was out for a couple of weeks.

Even when they were one of the top 4 teams in the Pac, Cal Women’s Soccer has never been that consistent in winning all the matches that they were favored. Barring more injuries, Cal should be around the middle of Pac in the Pac-12 conference yet again. The hope is that the Cal youngsters continue to improve over the course of the season to lead the Bears, eventually, beyond another NCAA first round exit.

Cal Men’s Soccer (4-1-2) has one last non-conference match (at Santa Clara on Saturday)

Our new CGB writer Rick has been doing a great job covering Cal Men’s Soccer this year. I am sure he has more to say about the impressive draw between Cal and No.15 UMass-Lowell from last Sunday. Senior Shinya Kadono scored his team leading 7th goal in that match.

Bears will visit the Broncos on Saturday night at 7pm PT before starting the home-and-home conference matches agains the other 5 Pac-12 schools (Washington, Oregon State, UCLA, San Diego State, and Stanford).