The Aggies won the games they were supposed to win, but not exactly in the fashion that everyone expected.
Saturday proved that the young and inexperienced Aggies had great depth, with 11 different players scoring in the two-game split.
On Sunday, junior Ashley Chandler and a true freshman Kaylee Miller each scored three goals on the day to lead the Aggies to another 1-1 day of surprising action.
“I was overall happy with the way we played,” said coach Jamey Wright. “But for everyone who has not been at our practices, I am sure our team was filled with surprises. The freshmen played with a lot of confidence and returners that did not have much experience did not show it.“
Saturday – No. 9 UC Davis 11, Pacific 6
The Aggies started their season off right, coming out with a dominating victory over Pacific.
Sophomore Lauren Seidemann, who only played in 19 games last season, scored two goals to lead the Aggies against a struggling Tigers team.
“I am really happily surprised,” Wright said. “Everybody came to play this weekend.“
Saturday – No. 4 Hawaii 11, No. 9 UC Davis 7
Hawaii came out strong in Saturday’s nightcap, opening the first quarter with a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Dakotah Mohr had an impressive weekend creating 6-on-5 opportunities for the Aggies, averaging five a game. She had a career-high six ejections drawn against Hawaii, giving the Aggies a number of opportunities to catch up to the Rainbow Wahine.
“Dakotah is by far our most physical player.” Wright said. “She knows how to use her body to get ejections and that is really going to help us this year.“
The Aggies could not score enough to erase the two-goal deficit, and fell to Hawaii 11-7.
Sunday – No. 9 UC Davis 10, No. 10 San Jose State 9
The Aggies looked to a familiar foe for their first game on Sunday.
The Spartans, who defeated the strong Aggies team twice last season, only graduated one player and promised a challenging game for the still-forming Aggies.
UC Davis dominated the first half, gaining a lead of 5-3 at the halftime break. But the team had a tough third quarter, as the Spartans outscored them 4-1 to take a one-goal advantage.
The Aggies took the fourth quarter with some great saves by junior goalkeeper Casey Hines, who tallied a total of nine saves on the game, helping a young UC Davis team to victory.
“I put in four freshman and two returners at the beginning of the fourth,” Wright said. “They were the group that was playing the best so we went with them, and it gave us the lead back.“
Ashley Chandler had two goals to lead the team, while eight other Aggies added one apiece to help give them the one-goal victory.
“This was a big win for us,” Wright said. “They are a really good team.“
Sunday – No. 5 California 9, No. 9 UC Davis 7
After only playing one minute in the San Jose State game, true freshman Carey Faber led the Aggies with two impressive goals to give the Golden Bears all that they could handle.
“The crowd was just in awe,” Wright said. “This girl can shoot the ball hard and accurate with a quick release.“
A fellow freshman, Kaylee Miller added two strikes to give her three goals on the day.
The Aggies came out playing great in the last game of the tournament against a high-quality opponent in the Golden Bears. Although UC Davis took the lead twice in the first quarter, the score remained even through one period of play.
The Bears came out roaring in the second quarter, scoring four consecutive goals in the eight minutes of play to push the lead to 7-3. The California attack forced Wright into a change in the net, as he put senior Diana Pivacek between the pipes in the second half. Pivacek had three saves and allowed two goals.
“I am really happy about how both our goalies played this weekend,” Wright said.
The Aggies fought back in the second half to cut the lead to two, but their two-for-eight performance on man-up opportunities was too much to overcome, as they fell for the second straight time in the nightcap, 9-7.
The Aggies return to action on Saturday at the Triton Invitational in San Diego.
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.