UC Davis knew the result of its final regular season game against Pacific would set the tone as it enters the Nor Pac Conference Tournament on Thursday.
Through a strong display of offensive strength, UC Davis powered to a 4-1 victory over the Tigers, building necessary momentum as it continues play this week in Stanford.
UC Davis struck early on Pacific’s home field and continued that offensive pressure through the rest of the game.
Junior Casey Wollbrinck scored on a penalty corner less than two minutes into play, taking control of the game for the Aggies early on.
“[Wollbrink] really did a lot in starting the attack,” said coach Vianney Campos. “She really gets the energy going for our team … we love seeing that from her.”
Though Pacific was able to retaliate with a goal of their own, the Aggies scored twice more on plays by sophomore Cloey Lemmon and senior Kristen Lopez before the end of the first half — pulling ahead with a solid 3-1 lead.
UC Davis continued to control the game in the second half, holding Pacific scoreless through a strong defense led by Aggie goalkeeper Conley Craven’s six saves. Junior Nadia Namdari extended the UC Davis lead with a goal in the final ten minutes of play, resulting in a final score of 4-1.
“We’ve been really focusing on playing a controlled game and I think we showed that today,” Campos said. “We got some momentum going and the defense slowed [Pacific] down.”
The win improved the Aggies’ record to 4-11 overall and 2-4 in the NorPac conference, securing the number three seed in the NorPac tournament that begins on Wednesday.
The victory and higher seed could be a critical advantage in UC Davis’ first game of the tournament.
“You always want to go in higher because it creates momentum,” Campos explained.
Saturday’s win coupled with the improvement that the team exhibited in recent games against California and Stanford provides optimism for the Aggies as they begin tournament play.
“We’re happy that we’re playing well,” said Campos. “We’re going in with a lot of momentum.”
The Aggies will face Davidson on Thursday in their first game of the NorPac tournament.
KAITLYN ZUFALL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.