This weekend, the UC Davis women’s water polo team swept the Davis Challenge at home, defeating Cal Lutheran, Cal State Bakersfield, Sonoma State University and Pacific in the span of two days. Without a doubt, the Aggies performed superbly and were able to sustain their energy and momentum throughout the course of the four grueling matchups.
On Saturday, the 14th-ranked Aggies beat Cal Lutheran 16-3 and CSU Bakersfield 12-7. With that, UC Davis has improved to 5-5 for the season, breaking a five-game skid that included two losses against top-ranked Stanford.
Senior Carmen Eggert stole the show on Saturday with three goals on each end. Sophomore Jillian Wilding performed in her first meet on Saturday as an Aggie and did not disappoint in the least. Wilding posted seven huge saves against the Regals, then proceeded to match her career high of 12 against the Roadrunners. In the fourth quarter against CSUB, she stopped seven shots, including a 6-on-5 attempt.
Senior Alex Rawlinson and sophomore Elsie Fullerton both posted their first career hat tricks in the opener against Cal Lutheran. Senior Jessica Dunn and junior Hannah Curran chipped in with two tallies each. Eggert’s three goals were enough to overwhelm the Roadrunners and secure the win.
Sophomore Keelia Houston netted two goals in the first quarter, while senior Kathryn Bailey did the same in the second. Junior Erin Schlueter hit goals in each of the first and third frames.
The Aggies did not face much of a challenge against Cal Lutheran. The Aggies started off on a 3-0 start relatively early, as Dunn scored on a counterattack and assisted Eggert on a goal. Six different UC Davis players scored six goals in the second to take a halftime lead of 10-1.
Similarly, UC Davis never trailed in the win over CSU Bakersfield, with Houston’s two goals in the first quarter.
In addition, Eggert pushed the lead up to 11-6 in the final second of the third quarter on a short lob. As the clock winded down, freshman Courtney Weddle secured the win with a 6-on-5 strike from the weak side.
On Sunday, Houston scored six total goals, including a career-high four against 18th-ranked Pacific. In the afternoon, the Aggies defeated the Tigers 12-5 and Sonoma State 8-6.
Eggert scored two goals in each contest and Dunn totaled three goals and six assists. Schlueter netted a goal in each of the contests. With the Aggies’ goalkeepers sidelined, Wilding played every minute of the two games for the second straight day. Her performance was phenomenal, as she posted nine saves against the Tigers and seven against the Seawolves.
The Aggies were able to pull away from a tight 4-3 battle against Pacific. Dunn scored back-to-back goals in the fourth to help secure the victory.
However, in the game against the Seawolves, the Aggies took control very early on, only to see their lead diminish in the final period. Eggert and Houston each hit two first-half goals to put the Aggies up 6-3 at the halftime.
UC Davis held onto its lead despite three Sonoma State goals in the last quarter to maintain an undefeated record through the Davis Challenge.
The Aggies will play again this weekend at the UC Irvine Invitational where it will match up with several teams ranked nationally in the top 10.
— Veena Bansal