Cal hosted three teams in its home territory at the California Cup on Saturday and Sunday. The Bears first defeated San Jose State and then faced Stanford the next morning. They ultimately fell to Stanford 6-9 in a grueling battle. To finish off the invitational, Cal secured a win against UC Davis with a final score of 14-7.
The highly anticipated game versus Stanford was the first clash between the two rivals this season. It was a close contest, as both teams were scoring goals back and forth trying to secure the lead.
Head coach Coralie Simmons believes that, despite the loss, the Cardinal did not outplay the Bears — Cal’s mistakes sabotaged its game.
“In the end we kind of beat ourselves with the errors we made late on in the stretch. But it’s a good start for us,” Simmons said. “There is a lot of disappointment in terms of — I don’t know if Stanford beat us, but I think we beat ourselves. Those games always come down to who gets new scores on the other’s mistakes. Stanford took advantage of some of our mistakes better than we did.”
Many wondered if the refereeing swayed the outcome of the game. It seemed that Cal had more ejections than the Cardinal, leading to greater power plays and man-up possessions for Stanford. In the end, though, the way the team reacts may be more important.
“We need to capitalize on the calls we get and we have to fight through the bad ones that are going to come and go,” Simmons said. “We handled that form of adversity the first half and didn’t handle it as well in the third and into the fourth.”
Overall, the Bears showed a valiant effort with few mistakes. Both Simmons and goalie Isabel Williams spoke positively about the game, and they look forward to improving the gaps in their play. In particular, the team is looking to sharpen communication.
The blue and gold now move on to the next fixture of their schedule: They will face Stanford again this weekend at the Stanford Invitational. Along with a rematch versus the Cardinal, Cal will face Michigan and Arizona State. The Bears will take this week to rest and rebuild for the big game this weekend.
“Any time we play Stanford, it is always a battle and always a fight,” Simmons said. “How much we can grow this week into that game on Sunday is going to determine what we get in the immediate and then in the long term.”
Simmons expressed eagerness, looking for a second chance at taking down the Cardinal. The stakes and passion always run high between these two teams, and the players are always ready for a shot at redemption.
After this weekend, the Bears will travel to UC Davis for the Aggie Invite, where the competition will be less intense; they will enter as the team to beat with the highest ranking.