Teams: No. 11 UC Davis vs. No. 19 Maryland; No. 6 San Diego State
Records: Aggies, 14-6; Terrapins, 8-6; Aztecs, 14-3
Where: Schaal Aquatic Center
When: Saturday at 11 a.m.; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: Coming into the 2009 season, coach Jamey Wright did not know what to expect from his incoming freshman class.
It goes without saying that he’s been pleasantly surprised, especially by the play of standout freshman Kaylee Miller.
The game-changing lefty leads the team in proficiency, having scored the most goals in the fewest minutes, and snagged her first career hat trick this weekend in a win over Cal State Bakersfield.
Did you know? The Aggies hold the No. 11 spot for the second straight week for a good reason.
The squad has gone 6-0 against teams that are currently ranked No. 12-20 and 7-0 against non-ranked opponents. Conversely, UC Davis has only beaten two of eight in the nation’s top 10, but is looking to change that this weekend against No. 6 San Diego State.
Preview: Coming off a successful stretch where the only Aggie loss in four games came to No. 1 Stanford, the Aggies are looking to keep playing well against two ranked opponents this weekend.
“If you can play the No. 1 team for 12 minutes where you’re even with them or even a little better, that’s pretty good,” Wright said of the team’s play against Stanford. “All in all, I’d give us a ‘B ‘ for the weekend, with an ‘A‘ in certain stretches.“
Now the Aggies are looking ahead to a familiar foe in San Diego State. Last season, UC Davis beat the Aztecs twice, winning both by a one-goal margin. One of those victories was the biggest win in program history, putting the Aggies in the collegiate water polo Final Four for the first time ever.
This season, the teams have faced another once, with SDSU silencing UC Davis 12-8 in the championship game of Triton Invitational.
This will be the first time the Aggies have faced Maryland since March of 2007. The team is depending on its depth to push it past the Terrapins for its first win against an East Coast opponent this season.
“I’m growing as a coach with my courage and ability to go deeper on the bench,” Wright said. “Giving less experienced players some opportunities to succeed and build some confidence – I think that’s something that will serve us well.“
– Sammy Brasch