UC Davis’ first year field hockey team is not yet a finished product.
After falling 6-1 to a tough California squad, coach Vianney Campos realizes that while her team played hard, they still have a lot of work to do.
“The girls played really hard but Cal took advantage of every opportunity they had,” Campos said. “We made a huge improvement on recovery defense, we marked up really well and we warmed up great on offense. We keep getting better.”
The Golden Bears showed their skill early and often.
They scored at the five-minute mark, twice more in the first period and three more times in the second.
For the Aggies, the contest was ultimately a tale of two periods.
In the first half of play, the Golden Bears led the Aggies 19-2 in shots and 12-0 in penalty corners.
UC Davis stiffened up in the second period, allowing Cal to only get nine shots off, while leading in corners 4-3.
Despite the final outcome, coach Campos believes that the Aggies showed a toughness that most teams lack.
“Mentally and emotionally the girls brought it,” Campos said. “They pushed through a tough game.”
Liz Siemion scored the only UC Davis goal on an assist from defender Lindsey Valadez.
Manning the net, Lauren Sawvelle had 10 saves in the first period and 11 overall for the game.
The final score wasn’t indicative of UC Davis’ play and masked the amount of effort provided by the Aggies, according to Campos.
“Lindsey and Casey [Wollbrinck] held our defense together today,” said Campos. “Our forwards pressured well. Liz and Lauren LemMon played great as they always do.”
With the NorPac Conference victory, the Golden Bears rebounded from a three-game losing streak moving to 4-8 overall and 2-1 in league games.
While Cal got back in the win column, UC Davis wasn’t as fortunate, falling to 3-10 on the year with a 0-3 mark in conference play after winning its first three games of 2009.
Next up for UC Davis is a rematch with the 13th-ranked Stanford Cardinal on Saturday, a team that beat the Aggies 5-1 earlier in the season.
MARK LING can be reached at email@example.com.