As the greatest rivalry in Stanford athletics since 1892, the Big Game brings anticipation, school spirit and a wave of long-standing traditions each fall. But while the annual football game usually draws the most attention and excitement, it’s not the only Bears-Cardinal matchup to watch.
The Big Game extends beyond football, with nearly every sport having its own game. Each year in events such as the Big Splash (men’s water polo), the Big Match (men’s and women’s golf) and the Big Spike (women’s volleyball), different track and field teams square off against Cal. Every game brings excitement and anticipation to beat the Bears and, most importantly, set a winning precedent for the Big Game.
Looking back at the various matchups between Berkeley and Stanford this past season, the Cardinal’s winning record bodes for an exciting football game this Saturday.
Women’s soccer (16-0-4, 8-0-3 Pac-12) earned an upset victory during its Big Game on Nov. 4.
With sophomore Jasmine Ikey leading the way with a hat trick, the Cardinal beat Cal 4-0. Not only was Aikey’s hat trick instrumental in the Big Game win, but it also marked the senior night celebration. Fifth-year Maya Domes was able to secure the fourth and final goal of both the game and her final regular season game.
Women’s volleyball (22-3, 15-1 Pac-12) continued the tradition of dominating the Bears with their sweep in September.
In the last six meetings with Cal, the Cardinal won each time. Senior Sammy Francis led the Cardinal with nine kills to capture her sixth straight victory. Sophomore standout Elijah Rubin finished the game with a career-high 19 points, paving the way for an incredible game for the Cardinal. Once again, the Cardinal Women beat the Bears in impressive fashion.
Men’s soccer (9-3-5, 3-2-5 Pac-12) faced Berkeley last Saturday and came home with a thrilling 2-1 win. Starting slowly in the first half and piling up a goal deficit, the Cardinal headed into the final 45 minutes of play with determination. Sophomore Dylan Hooper did the trick when he kicked a field goal with just one touch. Not only did Hooper wow the crowd, but redshirt senior midfielder Mark Fisher also continued the trend with a bicycle kick goal to secure the victory. With two beautiful goals, Stanford men’s soccer was able to win the big game.
Men’s and women’s golf join forces each fall for the Big Match against the respective Berkeley men’s and women’s teams.
After winning the 2022 Big Match Trophy, the Cardinal looked to repeat but fell short, losing in a tight match 3-4. Junior Caroline Sturdza and graduate student Barclay Brown led the way early, earning the first point for the Cardinal. Sturza had five birdies while Brown had seven.
Freshmen Paula Martin Sampedro and Kush Arora kept Stanford on top with a second-game win. After trailing the Bears for the first six holes, the duo came back in impressive fashion, especially with Martin Sampedro’s eagle on the 17th hole. The final winning pair of the day, senior Sadie Engleman and sophomore Shawn-Karl Dobson, led throughout the sixth game.
Men’s water polo
Men’s water polo (14-7, 2-4 MPSF) faced the Bears three different times this season, finishing with a close 2-1 record.
After falling to the Bears for the first time at the MPSF Invitational in September, the Cardinal showed incredible tenacity, taking Cal to double overtime.
After a tough loss, the Cardinal bounced back for their game on October 14, where they led the offense to a 9-8 overtime win. Senior Jackson Painter scored an impressive four goals throughout the win, while senior standouts Ethan Parrish and Riley Pittman each had two. Stanford never trailed thanks to the hitting of sophomore goaltender Griffen Price, who recorded 10 saves — including a breathtaking one-on-one save in the third.
Finally, for the Big Splash trophy, the Card faced the Bears one last time, falling 8-12 due to California’s strong offensive presence. Battling in a three-part series, the Cardinal showed tenacity through overtime losses, regular-time wins and an impressive senior performance.
Women’s field hockey
Women’s Field Hockey (4-11, 1-7 America East) played a pair of games on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 against the Bears.
After falling to Cal on Friday night (1-5), Stanford field hockey battled back to pick up a 4-3 win on Senior Day. Freshman Starr Horlock scored her first career multi-goal game after trailing 3-1 in the first half. Scoring two consecutive goals in the second half, Horlock put the Cardinal back in sight of victory. One of only two graduating seniors, Haley Mosmer shined scoring the game-winning goal to bring home the Big Game victory.