Teams: No. 11 UC Davis vs. No. 9 UC Irvine; No. 17 Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 11-5 (2-0); Anteaters, 15-8 (2-1); 49ers, 7-13 (1-3)
Where: Schaal Aquatic Center
When: Saturday at noon; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: When coach Jamey Wright lost senior standout Jessica Soza last season to graduation, he thought his defense would be in trouble.
Luckily, it looks like someone has stepped up to fill Soza’s defensive shoes – or cap, that is.
Junior defender Ashley Chandler notched back-to-back five steal games in wins against Harvard and UC Santa Barbara last week. The Aggies only gave up 18 goals in the four-game stretch, partly due to Chandler’s stellar defense.
Did you know: UC Davis has lost three one-goal games to UC Irvine in the past three seasons. Additionally, it fell to the Anteaters at their host tournament, the Irvine Invitational, earlier this season, 11-7.
The Aggies are looking to break that streak this weekend as they hope to keep their perfect Big West start to the season alive.
Preview: The Aggies are hot, as they have won four in a row and nine of their past 11.
The team has been doing so with a variety of offensive weapons. Senior Lindsay Kiyama had three goals in the UCSB victory, while freshman Kaylee Miller had a hat trick of her own – including the game-winner – against Cal State Northridge.
UC Davis is looking for more of the same against two talented conference opponents this weekend.
“This will be a really good test for us,” Wright said of facing UC Irvine. “Win or lose, we want to see how well we can play against a quality opponent, and they’re as good a team as there is in our conference right now.“
– Sammy Brasch