The Aggies did not have the homecoming they were hoping for, but head coach MaryClaire Robinson was still proud of her squad.
“The result sucks but the process is there,” Robinson said. “The level of play was awesome, it just comes down to the finishing.”
After the weekend games, the Aggies stand at a respectable 7-6-2 overall and 2-2-1 in conference.
Friday — Long Beach State 2, UC Davis 0
UC Davis kicked off against Long Beach State on Friday afternoon and the offensive shootout that ensued had fans on the edge of their seats for the whole game.
The Aggie defense was thoroughly tested by the explosive 49er offense. Long Beach State managed 13 shot attempts through the course of the game, but they could not manage to find the back of the Aggie net until late in the first half.
Junior Eileen Maes scored the lone goal of the day in the 77th minute to give the 49er’s their 1-0 lead.
UC Davis’ offense took 10 attempts in the second half, most of them occurring during the last 13 minutes of play.
There were several moments where UC Davis had the 49er defense on the ropes, but the Aggies were unable to finish any of their attempts.
After the loss Robinson commended the offensive effort.
“We had the best chances of the day. Once we start putting those away consistently we will win more games,” she said.
The loss against Long Beach dropped the Aggies in the rankings, but it left them hungry for a win against UC Irvine.
Sunday — UC Irvine 1, UC Davis 1 (2 OT)
The Anteaters came to town on Sunday and Aggie Soccer Field played host to another slugfest.
UC Davis started the show when junior Ashley Edwards scored off an assist from sophomore Lexi Poppoff in the third minute of play.
The goal gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead that they managed to hold for most of the game, despite the continued efforts of a determined Anteater offense.
The UC Irvine offense was relentless, forcing freshman goalkeeper Taylor Jern to tally six saves against her one goal allowed.
The Aggies were met with another late game heartbreaker as junior Zoya Farzaneh scored the Anteater’s first goal of the day, bringing the score to a 1-1 tie in the 79th minute to steal victory out of the hands of UC Davis.
The game went into double overtime but both squads struggled to get shots off and neither offense managed to earn the game-winner for their team.
The Aggies played a strenuous match on Friday and followed it up with another physical game on Sunday. Robinson has lauded their level of fitness in the past, but they struggled to hold it on Sunday.
“We went at them early and I felt there were waves when we had our legs and waves when we didn’t,” Robinson said.
UC Davis is now ranked sixth in conference which means the team has some work to do if it hopes to make the conference championship. Still, Robinson remains positive about their chances.
“These are great games. It’s very hard to get a [Big West] win but we’re fit and we’re getting excellent chances.”
The Aggies are now 7-6-2 on the season and 2-2-1 in conference play. They head to Hawaii this weekend to kick off the first of four straight conference games.
Hawai’i is currently ranked eighth in conference but they are a strong team that is hungry to prove they belong in the Big West.
UC Davis will focus on finishing strong this week and they are hoping to leave Honolulu with a win.
KIM CARR can be reached at email@example.com.