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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Aggies lose regular season finale

When the Aggies left the field after battling Pacific for 70 minutes, they knew all too well what improvements had to be made heading into the NorPac Conference Tournament.

“I’d like to see that fire from our forwards,” said coach Vianney Campos. “We need to try and score instead of always pass in transition.”

The Aggies could only garner one shot in a 2-1 loss to Pacific Saturday afternoon at Brookside Field.

That one shot – property of Nadia Namdari – found the back of the net in an offensive performance that was hard for the Aggies to swallow.

“Having that few shots is quite disappointing,” Campos said. “We could not get the ball into the circle at all.”

With what would prove to be the only offense the Tigers would need to hold off the Aggies, Campos’ alma mater slipped the ball between the pipes twice in the first 38 minutes.

Senior Katy Mcdonough and Davis High graduate Kiddy Leubane scored their third and fifth goals of the season, respectively.

The UC Davis defense was the highlight of the game as they allowed the Tigers to score only twice on 13 shots on goal. Goalkeeper Lauren Sawvelle, who played all 70 minutes, recorded 10 saves.

The forwards weren’t the only area of improvement needed by the Aggies according to Campos, as she also focused on the midfielders.

“Our midfielders were invisible out there,” Campos said. “Our forwards are fast but they can’t dribble through the defense for every goal. Our midfielders need to move the ball up-field so our forwards can focus on scoring rather than setting up the score. We will be working hard on making our midfielders available in transition.”

While the offense fell short of expectations, Campos was impressed with the play of Namdari and defender Lindsey Valadez, who recorded the assist on the lone Aggie goal.

“Lindsey has been great all year,” Campos said. “Her ability to score as a defender is a great asset for us. Her and Nadia did a nice job scoring off of one of our penalty corners.”

Now the regular season has come to a close, the Aggies will begin to make improvements today in preparation for the NorPac Conference Tournament. The first game for UC Davis is set start at 4 p.m. on Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif.

MARK LING can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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