The Aggies faced off with two of the Big West Conference’s top teams over the weekend, walking away with a pair of one-goal results.
The two highest-ranked teams in the Big West met Saturday with UC Irvine barely sneaking past UC Davis in a 6-5 defensive struggle.
Sunday again brought offensive problems the Aggies‘ way, but late-game heroics by senior Lindsay Kiyama pushed UC Davis past Long Beach State 8-7 in overtime.
Saturday – No. 9 UC Irvine 6, No. 10 UC Davis 5
The Aggies started off their challenging weekend with a test in the form of the Big West’s best team, UC Irvine.
UC Davis fought hard, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to get the game within one numerous times.
But the Anteaters‘ efficient offense and the Aggies‘ woeful shooting performance handed UC Davis its first Big West loss.
The Anteaters, who shot 6-for-17 from the field, were led by hole set Kat Plummer. She had two goals and drew four ejections, leading UC Irvine to go 2-for-4 on power play opportunities.
No Aggie scored more than one goal on Saturday. They shot just 5-for-29 in the game. Most of the misses didn’t even find the cage, as UC Irvine goalie Lauren Davis only had to make 10 saves.
“No team was getting good shots on cage,” said coach Jamey Wright. “The difference was 6-on-5‘s. They converted on more than we did, and that will lead to a victory most of the time.“
Sunday – No. 10 UC Davis 8, No. 17 Long Beach State 7 (OT)
UC Davis‘ shooting woes continued on Sunday, but its 3-for-16 shooting on man-up opportunities was enough to put it past the 49ers in overtime.
The Aggies once again had to come back from an early deficit, as they found themselves down 5-1 early in the game. Long Beach State was shooting 5-for-20 at the break, while the Aggies were just 2-for-20.
“We actually dominated the first half,” Wright said. “The fact that we were down 5-2 was not really representative of how the game was going.“
UC Davis outscored Long Beach State 3-1 in the fourth, setting the stage for another showing of Aggie overtime heroics.
Kiyama stepped up for the Aggies, scoring on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 1:11 remaining in overtime to seal the victory. The win was UC Davis‘ fourth straight overtime win and moves their conference record to 3-1.
Kiyama, who also scored the tying five-meter penalty shot to send it to overtime, led all players with three strikes. Junior Ashley Chandler added two.
“We were definitely the better conditioned team in the pool,” Wright said. “Although we were losing at halftime, our hard work fatigued them for the rest of the game. It made our comeback that much easier.“
With the win, UC Davis moves to 20-8 overall. The Aggies return to action on Saturday at noon to play host to Pacific.
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at email@example.com.