Women’s soccer preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton; UC Riverside

Records: Aggies, 7-8-2 (2-4-1); Titans, 8-8-0 (5-2-0); Highlanders, 6-9-3 (1-5-1)
Where: Aggie Soccer Stadium
When:  Friday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Who to watch: The women’s soccer team’s offense has been plagued with sluggish first halves lately. UC Davis has been falling behind early and playing catch up for most of their games. In order to be first on the scoreboard the Aggies will need senior Allison Kelly to connect early and often.

The Sacramento, Calif. native was the Aggies’ most productive offensive player last year. This season she’s still among the top scorers for UC Davis. These two home games could be her last as an Aggie and she will need to utilize her speed and footwork to ensure a pair of victories.

Did you know? UC Davis kicks off the weekend against Cal State Fullerton. The TItans are fresh off their big win over top-ranked Cal Poly. The Mustangs were undefeated until their trip to Southern California resulted in a 0-4 loss to Fullerton.

Preview: UC Davis is playing for pride. Their seventh place ranking means they will most likely not be invited to play in the Big West Conference championship tournament. However, this is a young squad and these games are crucial for setting the tone for next season.

Kicking off against Fullerton will be a challenge. The Titans are ranked fourth in the conference and they will be desperate to hold their top-four ranking so they can make the conference championship.

Fullerton’s offense had a field day against Cal Poly last Sunday and it will prove to be a challenge for the Aggie defense.

The Aggie offense also needs to find their legs early. They have struggled to produce in the first half, which has dug them into some holes they could not score their way out of later on.

Head Coach MaryClaire Robinson is aware of the consequences of these slow starts.

“[In past games] it took us a bit to get our legs and we found ourselves in [holes] early.”

UC Riverside will also be a tough game to win. Highlander goalkeeper Jessica White was named conference Defensive

Player of the Week for her incredible performances in last week’s tie against Cal Poly and 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara.

The Highlanders are also playing for pride as they close out the season. Sunday’s match against the Aggies will likely be both teams’ last game of the season and neither will want to close it out on a loss.

These games will be determined by which team is willing to fight harder. The Aggies have plenty of resiliency and hopefully the home crowd will give them the extra boost of energy they will need to close out the weekend with two wins.

— Kim Carr

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