They were that close.
Two questionable calls from the referee resulted in two Pacific goals, ending UC Davis‘ chance of making the Big West Conference Tournament for the first time in program history.
The Aggies held the Tigers scoreless for 64 minutes until a free kick turned into a bouncing header by Kristina Wavomba to put Pacific on top 1-0.
The Tigers‘ second goal came in similar fashion, as Sammi Teramae headed in another free kick to push things to the eventual 2-0 margin.
“This ref had done our games before,“ senior captain Brianna Tsui said. “We all knew that it was going to be tough from the beginning because she is just a terrible ref.“
The loss puts the wraps on the UC Davis careers of five seniors: Tsui and fellow captains Gabina Bohlman and Molly Scott, as well as Danielle Contro and Stephanie Schmidt.
Scott, a defender who played every minute of every game this season for the Aggies, switched to offense after the Tigers scored their first goal to give the team an extra boost.
But it was not enough to push the Aggies into the postseason.
UC Davis put itself in position to move on with a couple of late-season wins, including an impressive victory over then first-place Cal Poly on Oct. 26.
The Tigers‘ win over the Aggies pushed them into the playoffs, earning them the conference tournament‘s fourth and final seed. Pacific will face Long Beach State in the first round; UC Santa Barbara hosts Cal Poly in the other matchup.
UC Davis finishes the campaign with a 2-5-1 record in Big West play and a 7-7-3 record overall. The team of close friends left the field proud having come so close to qualifying for the tournament.
“This is such a great group of girls,“ Scott said. “From the freshmen to all the seniors, we‘re all best friends. I am just so glad we all got to experience this together.“
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.