Event: Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships
Teams: UC Davis vs. Oregon; TBD; TBD
Records: Aggies, 6-10 (1-4); Ducks, 11-6 (2-3)
Where: Memorial Stadium – Berkeley, Calif.
When: Today at 1 p.m.; Thursday at TBD; Friday or Saturday at TBD
Who to watch: Save a 17-6 victory over Long Island, all of UC Davis’ wins this season have come by a score differential of two goals or less.
In those tight games, it is defense that typically separates a win from a loss, and Apr. 20 was no exception.
Senior Ranessa Santos was the difference maker, leading all defenders with five ground balls, three caused turnovers and a drawn charge in a 14-13 edging over St. Mary’s. The victory sealed the fifth seed for the Aggies in the league tournament, with the Gaels taking the sixth seed.
Did you know? Since joining the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2002, UC Davis has had only one postseason matchup with Oregon.
The outcome proved well for the Aggies, who shot down the Ducks, 7-6, on May 5, 2005. Still on the team as seniors, Katie McGovern and Katie McMahon each scored twice to lead UC Davis.
Preview: After finishing the regular season in most dramatic fashion with the one-goal win over St. Mary’s, UC Davis will conclude its 2008 campaign in Berkeley at the MPSF Championships.
It will face in the opening round fourth-seeded Oregon for what will be the second matchup this season between the two teams. In their first meeting, the Aggies fell 15-5 in the season opener Feb. 10.
If the UC Davis seniors have any say, Oregon will have its hands full the second time around.
“There are seven of us, and we are not going to go down without a fight,” McMahon said. “We have a couple of defense and Hilary [Harkins] in the cage. We are going to look to carry the team and show the freshmen how it is done. We are not going to remember the first Oregon game – I don’t even remember the score. I know that it left a bad taste in my mouth, but I am not going to leave Davis with that feeling.”
In the first meeting, the team was trailing only 8-5 with 20:55 left in the game before the Ducks scored seven-straight to put away the Aggies. For the game, six different Oregon players scored twice, while junior goalkeeper Anna Poponyak stopped 11 of 16 UC Davis shots for the game.
“When you lose your first game, you always wish you could have that game back or play that team again,” said Aggies head coach Elaine Jones. “Now we have another chance against Oregon, an opportunity to redeem ourselves. It will take a total team effort of playing hard for 60 minutes. We’re not the same team they saw in February, and I think our players are excited for the chance to show what we can do.”
On the season, Oregon is led offensively by junior attacker Ilsa van den Berg. The Reisterstown, Md. native leads the Ducks with 39 goals and is second on the squad with 16 assists