Women’s soccer shows resiliency despite losses

UC Davis dropped to seventh in the Big West Conference after suffering losses to Hawai’i and Cal State Northridge this weekend.

Friday — Hawai’i 3, UC Davis 2

“It was a tale of two halves,” head coach MaryClaire Robinson said.

Hawai’i took the lead early and never let it go as they topped UC Davis 3-2 in Friday’s Big conference match.

The Rainbow Wahine came out firing and they managed to put away two goals in the first half. Sophomore Krystal Pascua was the first to find the back of the net, sneaking one into the lower right corner of the goal.

Three minutes later, fellow sophomore Tiana Fujimoto also found the lower right corner of the net to give Hawai’i an early 2-0 lead.

Hawai’i’s offense came out firing and managed to outshoot UC Davis 10 to one in the first half.

The Aggies trailed for the remainder of the first half as the offense struggled to put any opportunities together.

“We found ourselves in a hole early,” Robinson said.

However, UC Davis came out of halftime with a renewed vigor and sophomore Lexi Poppoff scored the Aggies’ first goal of the day three minutes into the first half.

“Lexi had a great finish to get us back into the game,” Robinson said.

The offenses were evenly matched in the second half and the score remained 2-1 until Hawai’i managed to intercept a pass between Aggie defenders and boot it into the lower left corner of the goal.

With the score at 3-1, the Aggie offense went on the attack and tried to tie it up in the remaining 15 minutes of regulation.

Junior Ashley Edwards made an unassisted score in the 86th minute to bring the score to 3-2, but the Aggies were unable to sneak in another goal and Hawai’i pulled away with the win.

“It took us a bit to get our legs. Hawai’i was on us early. We made some adjustments at halftime and did a much better job of creating chances and changing the momentum,” Robinson said. “I’m proud of how we came together as a team to battle in the second half.”

Sunday — Cal State Northridge 1, UC Davis 0

The Aggies headed to Cal State Northridge for another conference matchup against the Matadors.

Robinson wanted the Aggies to be more explosive from the start.

“The goal is to start Sunday’s game like we finished [Hawai’i],” Robinson said before the game.

Unfortunately, the Aggies were sluggish in the first half. The Matadors outshot UC Davis 9-3 in the first half.

The only goal of the match was scored in the 22nd minute when senior Melissa Fernandez found the left side of the net off a give and go pass.

CSU Northridge held the 1-0 lead to finish the first half.

The Aggie offense picked up their game in the second half and they had several good opportunities but their shots were either blocked by the Matador’s goalkeeper or bounced off the bar.

“Our focus, energy and productivity, particularly in the second half, were excellent,” Robinson said.

The late-game offensive barrage ultimately could not result in a goal and CSU Northridge pulled away with the win.

Despite the loss, there were positives to be taken away from this weekend.

“I’m proud of the work rate and mentality we brought,” Robinson said.

Robinson also praised Jern and juniors Mary Beth Mazurek and Hannah Hicks for their poise and work ethic.

“This team has shown such resiliency. What a show of character. I’m so proud of this group.”

UC Davis has two more conference matchups to play before concluding the season. While it’s unlikely that the Aggies will be making the conference championship, the team’s youth holds many promises for next season.

KIM CARR can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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